DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy. Accessibility to points of interest. It is done by car.
The historical town of Noia preserves in the center a unique museum in the world: The museum of “guild” tombstones (Laudas), exclusive for the high number of its pieces and the quality of the same given the symbols inscribed on it.
What makes this museum especially valuable is that these pieces are in direct connection with the Petroglyphs and Dolmens of the Barbanza mountain range (connection of this route with routes 1 and 2). They are Christian symbols but are inspired by prehistoric symbols in a sort of neoprehistoric medieval art.
The laudas with “guild” signs belong to the central centuries of the Middle Ages. But these same laudas collect all the tradition expressed in the petroglyphs, prolonging, due to the similarity of their symbols, in time the same communication and dialogical expression that the primitive people carried out in their stone inscriptions thousands of years before. Between the Petroglyphs and the Laudas there is the same communicative message that remains unaltered in the experience of the human being; and this communication represents the code that identifies the Arca de Occidente as a human phenomenon present in this region of Barbanza.
The difference between the Petroglyphs and the Laudas lies in the different spaces in which they are developed: The first belongs to a primitive experience linked to the stars and the transcendent, it is what we could call a first primitive stage of reflection and communication; the second belongs to the Christian experience linked to a concrete religion but strongly mediated by the tradition of the ancestors existing in the mountains, it is what we can call modern stage of deepening and encounter.
Visiting the museum of Laudas means to feel the identity of the tradition of the Arca de Occidente intact through the centuries, only altered by formal variations that show a Galician idiosyncrasy typical of the inhabitants of this region, who have the West as the point of arrival of a path that shapes existence.
This route will focus primarily on the museum of Laudas and the surroundings of Santa María a Nova in which the museum is located, and an explanatory view of the Portico of San Martiño de Noia, a sample of the Jacobean presence and port of the Apostle.
Virtual Tour, Knowledge and Audiovisual Training
Pincheiro has a wide range of its own audiovisual materials that will introduce you to this route, and offer you an understanding of the meaning of the route: History of the museum and its surroundings, classification and interpretation of the Laudas, legends of Santa María and interpretation of San Martiño. The virtual classroom offers you the possibility to learn about the Laudas (tombstone), their meaning and environment.
Face-to-face tour, Hiking and experience
We will analyze in this route the signs and marks of the Laudas and their link with the prehistoric engravings.
Itinerary. This route takes place in the surroundings of Santa María a Nova de Noia where the Church of Santa María is located, which contains in its interior the Museum of Laudas. There will be a short walk from the Museum to the Church of San Martiño, which is about 200 meters on foot.
Starting point: Pincheiro’s façade and indication of the “Guild” Laudas found on the façade and their dialogue with the petroglyphs on the façade. Visit and explanation of the surroundings of Santa Maria, entrance to the Museum to understand the classification of the Laudas. Finally we moved to the Church of San Martiño to understand the meaning of the Portico of this church.