It is a village in the parish of Santa Eulalia Bando, in the municipality of Santiago de Compostela, on the Way of Saint James, more specifically on the French Way, and at the gates of the city of the Apostle. In this parish of soft hills the river Sar is born. Leaving Lavacolla behind and after passing through a thick oak grove, which gives the area an important environmental value, San Marcos welcomes the visitor, pilgrim or tourist, and between its houses, which stretch out around the roadway, walks, on a gentle slope, by the rúa de San Marcos towards Monxoi or Monte do Gozo from there, and after trying among the eucalyptus to see the towers of the cathedral, undertake the last kilometers that separate him from Santiago de Compostela, a city that you enter after passing through the district of San Lazaro, a parish that is also part of the council of Santiago. San Marcos, like the whole area, has an origin that is lost in time, castros and dolmens testify to this, but if anything has intervened in its history has been the millenary Way of Saint James.
San Marcos, although with new and numerous constructions, gives to the local or foreigner with beautiful prairies and constructions that make maintain in the atmosphere a gratifying rural essence. Dominating the landscape, the Monte do Gozo or also known by Monxoi and on its top the monument that remembers, besides Jacobean themes, the papal visits. Also here is located the chapel that gives or takes the name of the town, San Marcos. The district of San Lázaro surprises the pilgrim at the entrance to Compostela with the gigantic Porta Itineris Sancti Iacobi, located in the park of San Lázaro, where kings, nobles, bishops and other personalities involved and linked to the Way, watch, from their situation in this great monument of seventeen meters of granite and bronze, the walk of the pilgrim who arrives here. The church of San Lázaro, built in 1924, is of modernist style, and very close to it an administrative building of the Xunta custody, for being located on the same site, the remains of what was a hospital for lepers, for men, founded in the twelfth century.
San Marcos celebrates its patron saint festivities on 25 April in honour of the saint who lends his name to it, as well as the parish to which it belongs celebrates Santa Eulalia or Santa Olalla on 11 December. In the neighbourhood of San Lázaro, the parish celebrates its patron saint on 28 February, and is also celebrated on 15 and 16 August. With a variable date and coinciding with the fifth Sunday of Lent, also known as Lazarus Sunday or 'Passion Sunday', it is celebrated in the neighbourhood of San Lázaro. La Festa da Uña is a traditional religious gastronomic festival in which the image of Saint Lazarus is carried in procession from the chapel to the festival grounds, where a popular pilgrimage is held in which hooves and other pork pieces are auctioned. These were first offered to the saint.
Tradition has it that you have to run up to the top of Mount O Gozo, because the first to reach the top and see the towers of the cathedral has to be crowned as the king of pilgrimage.
Monxoi or Monte do Gozo is how the French word Montjoie is pronounced in Galician, which means mount of joy, of jubilation, of enjoyment. It is a word that the Galician pilgrims used when they reached the tops of the mountains from where the sacred places of Christianity could be seen. It is curious that where the Primitive Way begins in Oviedo is the Manxoya or Manjoyan. A little further south from the top of Mount O Gozo, on another hill of the mountain, a few metres away from the Way, is the famous Monument to the Pilgrim and from there you do have a good view of the city of the Apostle.
Legend has it that when Saint Mark went on a pilgrimage to Santiago, he felt tired and disheartened, thinking that he never reached such an eager goal. Suddenly he met another pilgrim with whom he engaged in conversation. It seemed to the saint that this rosemary was a good connoisseur of the Way and he was surprised that on a staff he had several pairs of slippers hanging. San Marcos asked him the reason and the young man answered that they were to replace the slippers that were damaged. San Marcos asked him again if there was still a long way to go to get to Santiago, and the ladino boy answered yes, perhaps with the desire to be the first to climb to the top of Mount O Gozo. Then the exhausted San Marcos decided not to go a step further, and building a chapel, which does not even look towards Santiago but in the opposite direction, left the pilgrimage and there he stayed, just five kilometers from the cathedral and a short run from the top.
San Marcos and San Lázaro can be reached via the N-634, which links Santiago de Compostela with its airport. It is just after leaving the city towards the airport when we will cross San Lázaro and shortly after we will find the accesses that will take us to San Marcos and Monte do Gozo.
San Marcos has a metropolitan bus service every day of the week that connects it with nearby towns and Santiago. Also the regular transport service that covers the route Santiago-Lugo every day of the week and in different schedules, has stop in the locality.
The nearest train station is Santiago de Compostela.
The airport of Santiago de Compostela is located in Lavacolla.
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