A Lastra, Fontaneira and Pradeda, with a rugged mountainous relief to the east of the province of Lugo, are villages in the council of Baleira through which the Primitive Way passes. A Lastra is a place in the parish of San Xoán da Lastra. Fontaneira is part of many other villages of the parish of Santiago de Fontaneira, and within the parish of San Pedro de Esperela is O Cádavo and Pradeda. There is a large amount of archaeological remains that testify that in the area there were settlements since prehistory, but no historical references are found before the ninth century when the Muslim invasion was waged in the parish of Esperela in a place known as Campo da Matanza, a battle between Moors and Christians. This battle is reminiscent of a coat of arms that is preserved in the old town hall, in which a knight wields his arms against Moorish soldiers. In the past, the council of Baleira was the lordship of nobles, the best known being the Count of Amarante. In the nineteenth century Napoleonic troops were also part of the history of the place.
Before arriving at A Lastra there is a place that locals and pilgrims know, admire, for its bucolic beauty, and fear, for its exigency, the so-called A Costa do Sapo. The Toad Slope gets its name because what you want to do when facing this slope is to make the jumps that this animal uses in their movements. In A Lastra the church, which also belonged to the San Juan encomienda, is dedicated to San Juan and inside you can see a fifteenth-century image of the Virgin with Child. In Fontaneira, which receives its name because it is the place where the river Neira is born, there is a beautiful recreational area that offers rest and tranquillity and invites you to get to know the area of great natural beauty, because if Neira is born on one side, the river Eo on the other.
The parish church of Fontaneira is dedicated to Santiago and was built in the eighteenth century where before there was a medieval chapel that belonged to a pilgrim hospital, the House of the Hospital. O Cádavo is the capital of the municipality and where all services are centralized, and proudly displays the new town hall, the church, dedicated to the Immaculada Concepción, a beautiful and artistic fountain, without forgetting the old House of the Concello with the legendary shield that represents the battle waged here. Very close to O Cádavo is Pradeda, a small village that shows how the " Mills of Pradeda " took advantage of the channels of the waters of the streams that are born in the mountain, and a small chapel, of great romera and milagrera tradition, that of Los Remedios.
A Lastra, Fontaneira, O Cádavo and Pradeda celebrate, like the rest of the villages in the council of Baleira, around the 12th of August the festivity of their patron saint, San Cristovo. They also celebrate the Entreoido or Carnival.
O Cádavo celebrates in February a traditional Fair of Mountain Artisan and Agrifood Products, and in it they exhibit and sell the precious products of derivatives of pork, butelo, botillo, chorizos, lacón...
When in 1809 Napoleon's troops, chasing the English general Sir Jhon Moore, set fire to the place of A Fontaneira, the local people, led by Xosé Páramo e Montesino, managed to drive away the invaders who escaped through the places of Valdería, Puñago and Pradeda, along the path that today is known by the name of Camino de los Franceses.
An ancient legend has it that in the place known as Campo da Matanza, Alfonso II the Chaste, captaining his army, confronted and defeated the Islamic armies and that in the place where so much blood was spilled, a sanctuary was later built.
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O Cádavo, A Lastra, Fontaneira and Pradeda can be reached by the LU-530 road that connects them with Lugo and A Fonsagrada respectively. The LU-750 road arrives at O Cádavo from Meira, on the N-640 that joins Lugo with the Cantabrian coast, also arrives at O Cádavo on the LU-710 that joins the locality with the A-6 at Ponte de Neira.
O Cádavo has a daily bus service that connects it with Lugo and Fonsagrada at different times. The telephone number for further information is 982 222 900.
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