It is in the geographical centre of Galicia, at the eastern end of La Coruña. It is the capital of the region of Terra de Melide. In Melide, the Primitive Way and the French Way come together. The council of Melide is made up of thirteen parishes. Melide very possibly has origins that are lost in the pre-Roman era, as witnessed by the number of castros and archaeological wealth that exist around the town and in the region of Tierra de Melide. But the first documented historical note is from the 8th century, in the so-called testament of Odoario, bishop of Lugo. A century later another document signed by Alfonso II the Chaste one names the place of Abeancos granting it to the cathedral of Oviedo and Alfonso III grants to the seat of Mondoñedo the jurisdiction of these lands. In 1212, Alfonso IX granted these places to the archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, Don Pedro de Muñiz. In the 14th century, the town was granted the privilege of erecting a castle and surrounding it with walls.
In the revolts of the Irmandiños Melide participated actively, which resulted in the destruction of much of the castle and the demolition of its walls that would never rise again, the Catholic Monarchs so decided, being their stones used for the construction of the convent of the Holy Spirit. When the Castilian Communards rose up against Charles I, in Melide the nobles and high officials of the church met in support of the king of Spain and future emperor. Melide was the scene, in the 19th century, of the War of Independence against Napoleon and also of the Carlist battles. Today Melide is a modern town, closely linked to the Way, but which has managed to maintain customs and traditions in its life and in its craft trades, some of which remain alive in the historic centre of the town.
Melide smells like the sea, although it is an inland town it has the well-deserved fame of offering one of the best octopuses on the Way of Saint James. Melide smells of delicious pastries, as the daily baking of its Riches and Melindres aromatizes the atmosphere as visitors wander its streets in search of the glorious stones that tell of its past. Houses with their coats of arms of nobility, churches... Arriving at the chapel of San Roque, from the 13th century, which has the Romanesque front, which is remembered on the ten euro bills, of the already non-existent parish church of San Pedro, next to it the transept, probably the oldest in Galicia, is also offered to the curious gaze of the people. The fountain of the Cuatro Caños, in a quiet little park, is a backwater in the middle of the whirlpool at the crossroads where it is situated.
The Square of the Convent brings together notable buildings such as the town hall, which was once a beautiful pazo, the chapel of San Antonio from the 17th century, the church of San Pedro, which belonged to the former Franciscan convent of the Holy Spirit, from the 14th to the 18th centuries and the one that today exhibits the history and culture of these lands, the Museo da Terra de Melide, a building that was born as a pilgrims' hospital in the year 1375 and was renovated at the end of the 15th century and later in the 18th century. In the upper part of Melide, where the castle used to be, the eighteenth-century chapel of the Virgen del Carmen also claims its little piece of importance. But Melide is also the sound of bagpipes that at any moment let their melody fly and spread around the life of the village.
Melide celebrates its big week in honour of San Roque from 15 to 20 August, the festivity of San Antón is celebrated on 13 June, and San Pedro, patron saint of Melide, is honoured on 29 June, the festivity of Carmen is on 16 and 17 July. In the last week of June the Galician Interior Trade Fair is held, which brings together the Melindre, Galician Veal and Horse festivals. The Foliada de Melide, which is held the last weekend in April, is attended by musical groups from all over Galicia.
On the second Sunday of September, the festival of San Caralampio, traditionally known as the Festivity of the Drunkards, is celebrated in Melide. This festival is dedicated to wine and among the music of the pipers and the charangas, locals and visitors can taste typical products of the area, peppers, cachelos ... accompanied by the protagonist of the festival, wine. Melide also enjoys the fame of offering one of the best octopuses of the Way and for dessert that better than its rich melindres, which is a cake made with wheat flour, eggs, butter and a very fine sugar bath.
In Melide, more specifically in the centre of the village, the Primitive Way and the French Way become one to continue together to the city of the Apostle. The Primitive or Ovedo Way was originally a Roman road and was later known as the Royal Way from Melide to Lugo. Converted into a pilgrimage route, tradition has it that King Alfonso II was the first pilgrim to cross it.
The old pilgrim hospital had twelve beds, and in each bed two pilgrims had to rest. Before leaving for Santiago they had to go to Mass in the convent. Those who died in this hospital were buried on the floor of the church itself. It is also said that a French gentleman, Lanzarote Delatour de Auvergiere, who also died in hospital, after having his heart removed, his body was taken in a silver box to Santiago.
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As far as Melide we can arrive following the N-547 that unite it with Santiago de Compostela and Lugo, other options are the AC-840 that from Betanzos goes through Melide to communicate the locality with Agolada in the N-640. There are also several local roads that reach Melide communicating with the villages and towns of the region.
Melide has bus services from different companies that connect daily with Santiago, Lugo, A Coruña and Orense.
The closest train stations to Melide are Lugo and Santiago de Compostela.
The closest airport to Melide is Lavacolla in Santiago de Compostela.
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