Coordenates: 42°09′07″N 7°57′28″W
Altitude: 530 m.
The municipality of Celanova is located in southwestern Galicia – in northwestern Spain-, and lies within the province of Ourense. It belongs to the district of “Terra de Celanova”.
The town is bordered by the municipalities of Ramirás, A Merca, and Cartelle to the north; and by those of Verea, and Quintela de Leirado to the south.
Celanova – at an elevation of 530 m. above sea level – has a total area of 67.3 km2.
Celanova is located…
25 kms. from Ourense (train & bus station)
90 kms. from Vigo (airport, port, train & bus station)
132.2 kms. from Santiago de Compostela (airport, train & bus station)
174 kms. from Porto (airport, port, train & bus station)
200 kms. from A Coruña (airport, port, train & bus station)
489 kms. from Madrid (airport, train & bus station)
614 kms. from Bilbao (airport, port, train & bus station)
By car Celanova is only 15 minutes away from Ourense and within 15 y 30 minutes from Allariz, Ribadavia, Xinzo de Limia, Bande, Lobios, and the border with Portugal; as well as only 15 minutes from two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves: the Allariz Area Biosphere Reserve and the Xurés-Gerês Transborder Biosphere Reserve.
As of the census of 2014 the town has a total population of 5,615 inhabitants distributed throughout 18 parishes especially concentrated within the parish of Celanova (60%).
Celanova has a temperate oceanic (continental) climate. Celanova has dry summers and a very strong seasonal variation of precipitations. The driest month of the year – July – has an average of 24 mm. of rain and the rainiest – December – has an average of 170 mm.
Due to the richness of fauna and flora, close to Celanova there are two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves: Allariz Area B.R. and Gerês-Xurés Transborder B.R. The latter is one of the largest transborder protected areas in Europe and includes the largest nature park in Galicia – Baixa Limia-Xurés Nature Park- and the most important national park in Portugal – Peneda-Gerês National Park.
Within the Natura 2000 Network – nature protected spaces within the European Union – close to Celanova there are several Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs):
- Baixa Limia (SPA) (SAC)
- Limia (SPA)
- Veiga de Ponteliñares (SIC) (SAC)
It lies within the Area of Allariz B.R.
- Cañón do Sil (SAC)
Within the B.R. Allariz Area there’s also a natural monument: Carballa da Rocha.
Tangible & Intangible Cultural Heritage
As a result of its history Celanova and the towns of its surrounding area posses a varied and rich cultural and intangible heritage.
This area has samples of tangible cultural heritage of several historical periods and styles: from the Neolithic Age (dolmens), from the Bronze Age (stone carvings), from the Iron Age (“castros” – pre-Roman hillforts -), from the Roman Era (Roman roads, bridges, milestones, a Roman military camp, “mansios”, thermal baths, etc.), from the Middle Ages (monasteries and churches in Visigothic, Mozarabic, Romanesque, Gothic, and Plateresque styles), and from the Early Modern Period (monasteries and churches in Renaissance and Baroque styles).
There are also several castles and defense towers of Medieval origin.
There is also a broad array of samples of ethnographic heritage: “hórreos” (granaries on pillars), “cruceiros” (wayside stone crosses), “petos de ánimas” (wayside offertory boxes devoted to souls in Purgatory), watermills, fountains, etc…
Among the samples of intangible cultural heritage of this area there is an old Medieval pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela departing from Braga, Portugal via Celanova – “Saint Rudesind’s Way” a.k.a. “Camino de Celanova” -, as well as several “romerías” (short-distance pilgrimages) to local Marian sanctuaries.
Throughout the year many types of celebrations also take place: gastronomic, folkloric, religious, ethnographic, relative to Carnival, or to historical and events and historical periods, etc…
This area also has interesting museums and visitor interpretative centers that help us understand our varied and rich cultural and intangible heritage.