The birth of Pobra do Caramiñal as a unified municipality in 1822 was not easy, so it took decades to materialize: La Villa del Caramiñal and Pobra del Deán, central parishes of the municipality, each had a very marked identity, which caused many conflicts over the centuries. These circumstances led to a certain rejection of unification into a single municipality for fear of losing its customs, traditions and rivalry with its adjacent.

Los Pincheiros, crucial gremio
One of the enchanted places of Pobra is located in the surroundings of the Church of the old Villa del Caramiñal and offers us an important page of the history of Pobra linked to the guilds of the sea piloted by the guild of the Pincheiros.
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Throughout the nineteenth century, after the unification of the two main parishes of the village in the municipality of Pobra do Caramiñal, in the village of the former Marquises of Camarasa, the guild of Pincheiros sailors became strong, so called for using longline fishing gear with many hooks to catch hake one by one, which retains a special flavor and texture thanks to the use of this art of hooking. This guild created a very important labor movement in Caramiñal that soon became a promoter of religious and cultural activities in the town directed from the newly founded Brotherhood of Carmen de los Pincheiros in 1847.

At first, this Brotherhood had its headquarters in the Church of Caramiñal. But the importance of this seamen’s guild soon led them to build their own premises for their meetings and guild and cultural activities: La Casa del Carmen, built in 1895. This place was a step away from the Pantalán ramp, a place that goes down to the sea where this guild used to moor its fleet of pincheiras or racús boats. The fleet of pincheiras boats became so numerous that they soon had to use the Arenal beach near the Pantalán.

The Catalans: canning industry
The presence and development of the Pincheiro guild in Pobra goes hand in hand with the appearance of another industrial guild in the 19th century: the settlement in Caramiñal of a group of enterprising people who came from Catalonia with the aim of developing innovative industrial projects.
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This group settled in the old Villa del Caramiñal and soon built their factories and residences on the beach promenade. These industrialists soon became a wealthy class and took charge of the Brotherhood of the Pincheiros, taking it to its splendor and enhancing, no doubt, the tradition of the Giants and Big-heads (Cabezudos) that had its roots in the town for centuries before.

The moment a visitor enters the environment of the atrium of the Caramiñal he feels the presence of the most recent history of Pobra through this guild and is introduced in the galleries of time in the social and working life of the Pobra of the 19th century, which in many aspects survives until today; the visit envelops us in the magic of the tradition of the seafaring customs of Pobra and its relationship with the sea and the spirituality of the sailor; It makes us vibrate with the passage from a powerful marquisate of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the modern reality of a working people and an industrial revolution dominated by the rising bourgeoisie; in a word, it makes us perceive the social changes and the resurgence of new realities anchored in tradition and renewed in the participation of the citizens that survive to this day. The charm of this atrium of the Church of Caramiñal is the marine smell, the flavor of the sea that circulates through its corners and whose surname is Pincheiro.

Don Ramón María del Valle-Inclán
But the greatness of this atrium increases when taking into account that Valle Inclán's feet passed through its floors countless times. He ran quickly to the door of the Church of Caramiñal (without entering) to listen to the expletives that the parish priest, Mr. Manuel Gardín Corbacho, chaplain of Alfonso XIII, hurled against him,
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appointment delivered during a visit the monarch made to Pobra on his yacht. The exchange of words between a parish priest from the pulpit and a bohemian intellectual from the door of the church is a good example of the literary “Esperpento”. This set is the set of Don Ramón that appears in his work, these places, the bucolism of the mountain, the mystery of its historical (cruceiros, fountains, church buildings) and prehistoric (mámoas, petroglyphs, stones) constructions, the ancestral and spiritual of its traditions. Don Ramón is above all a poet, an impressionist aesthete, a symbolist, a thinker in interiorized images of a landscape in which the psychology of the people throbs like a collective intrahistory. From his “marvelous lamp” he converts all reality into symbolic impressions anchored in this scenary and in this scenary that he reinvented in his writings, many of them composed in Pobra, and if not, inspired.

Virtual tour, Knowledge and Audiovisual Training

Pincheiro has a wide range of audiovisual materials filmed and produced by our own team in a digital trajectory for years.

Its objective is to help the traveler get to know each route we promote. This one in particular, explores the History of the Villa del Caramiñal and the Pincheiros; with aerial views of the Church of Caramiñal, the Arenal promenade, the surroundings of the Church, the Town Hall, the Catalans’ possessions, the Pantalán ramp; and the institutions of the Ancient Regime such as the Casa da Cadea, the Tower of Bermúdez… Part of this material is available in the Virtual Classroom, which is located at Pincheiro AT, a place designed to offer you a study site where you can learn more about this enchanted place.

On-site tour and experience in the company of a tour guide at your side

The objective of the on-site tour is to experience the place and personally find its charm.

It is a matter of liking the elements offered by the site and being able to locate the characters and events in history linked to this place.

Itinerary. This route begins in the atrium of the Church of Caramiñal to admire the construction of the building: The temple has a beautiful Renaissance apse with beautiful gargoyles. It houses in its interior one of the best baroque altarpieces of the diocese of Santiago. In its entrance door a stone image of San Antonio reminds us of the strong influence of the Convent of San Antonio del Xobre, and the main facade makes present the lordship of Xunqueiras and Camarasa and the patronage of the Virgen de la Antigua, invocation linked to the great deeds of Castile against the Muslims in southern Spain (at the time when the apse of the Church of Caramiñal is being built, in Seville the wall with the miraculous image of the Virgin of Antigua is moved to the Cathedral, an image very present in the reconquest in which Don Esteban de Xunqueiras actively participated). It is interesting to see inside the main altarpiece, and the altar of the Pincheiros, of neoclassical style.

In the atrium itself is the Casa del Carmen, seat of the Pincheiros, the crossroad that served as a marker of the passage from the parish of Caramiñal to that of Deán until 1822.

We leave the atrium towards the sea to see the ramp of the Pantalán and the view of the Arenal showing us some of the buildings of the “Barrio de los Catalanes”. At certain times of the year it is not uncommon to find shellfish gatherers collecting the slimy clam typical of this place and highly prized. On the way back from this walk we can contemplate the “Casa da Cadea” (former prison of the Villa), the cross of Pichón, typically baroque for the majesty of its slender and enormous shaft and for the drama and folds of the image (it is one of the most beautiful of the municipality). Finally, the Pobra City Hall building, the work of the distinguished patron of the arts Manuel Fernández Varela.