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|Concello de Sarria|
Situation of Sarria within Galicia
|• Alcalde (Mayor)||Claudio M. Garrido Martinez|
|• Total||13,508 (INE)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CET (UTC+2)|
Sarria is a municipality in the province of Lugo, northwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Galicia. Sarria is the most densely populated town on the French Way in Galicia, with 13,700 inhabitants. It is head of the region and a popular starting point for the Camino de Santiago; many pilgrims choose Sarria because the distance from this point to Santiago allows them to cover the necessary kilometers to get the Compostela.
It was in Sarria where King Alphonse IX died in 1230 while making a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Besides, it represents the point of entry to the beautiful landscapes on the oriental side of Galicia such as Os Ancares and O Courel.
Sarria has a rich artistic heritage characterized primarily by churches, which are an essential part of the Way of St. James. Sarria's artistic heritage includes the 13th-century church O Salvador, located on Rúa Maior, which is the early Gothic style. In this town, from its unusual rúa Maior, it is possible to see high up the distance the only tower that remains of the medieval fortress belonging to the town.
Around this tower, a popular fair is held three times a month a showcase for the traditional products of the area. From its medieval past, Sarria conserves the Convent of A Madalena, presently belonging to the Mercedarian Fathers, founded at the beginning of the 13th century as a pilgrim hospital by Italian monks of the Order of the Blessed Martyrs of Jesus, who were also pilgrims. The present day building, which houses a small but lovely cloister and an interesting church, is a mixture of different styles of construction ranging from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Today it is also a private school.
Sarria stands out in the Camino de Santiago for being the population centre with the largest offering of services. It has a strategic point of view of its connections; it has good access through railway and road, being especially important the 546 road the connects Lugo and Monforte, direction Ponferrada.
The township of Sarria is known for the varied leisure activities offered to visitors, such as O Chanto recreational site, on the banks of the river Sarria. There are also options for fishing at several preserves along the river Sarria, hunting, trekking or taking horseback rides.
The village lavishes a rich, varied gastronomy on its visitors. Recommended dishes include the local stew (cocido), made primarily of pork, octopus, pasty and wild game, partridge, boar and hare. A meal based on top-quality products must be rounded off with the famous blood crepes or milk and egg freixos, served with cream or honey.
The economy of this Galician town is based on cattle farming and industry, especially the production of furniture. However, the importance of tourism in Sarria in increasing, mostly due to its richness in cultural heritage, landscapes and food.
The most popular festivities in Sarria are the feast of St. John, which is the patron saint festival, and Corpus Christi, during which a curious procession takes place. The Noite Meiga (Witch's Night), held the last Saturday of August, is also quite a spectacle.