The Galicia Director of Tourism, Nava Castro, visited the Monte do Gozo complex this morning along with renowned landscape architect João Nunes, who came to Galicia to check the progress on the Action Plan developed by the government of Galicia to adapt the area to today’s needs and, in the process, to turn it into a landmark for Spain and for the Way of St. James.
The plan is an essential project for both Compostela and the Way of St. James, the goal being to revitalize the largest park in the city and the gateway to pilgrims entering Galicia.
The work planned for the park is designed to breathe new life into this wide-open park area in Santiago de Compostela, once again turning it into a landmark along the Way of St. James while at the same time converting it into an area to be enjoyed by residents and tourists alike in Santiago de Compostela and Galicia.
During the visit, which also involved the Galicia Manager of Tourism, Elena Barca, the Xacobeo Manager, Rafael Sánchez, the project’s architects and representatives of Seaga, the company executing the project, Nava Castro noted the work done in the middle of the park, where people can already enjoy an area with benches, picnic tables, water spaces and the shade of fruit trees where pilgrims and residents can spend their leisure time.
Construction is also underway on an outdoor pool, one of the features designed to create a relaxing area around the lagoon, next to the auditorium. This is a place that will provide a space where the thousands of pilgrims and tourists who walk on the Monde go Gozo every day can rest, and a spot where any Galician can unwind.
There is also important work underway around the San Marcos Chapel to return the existing walkways to their natural condition and to surround the monument to John Paul II with transplanted oak trees . This will yield a more harmonious ensemble with the oak trees around the chapel, and result in new pathways with more gradual slopes and widths to better handle pedestrian traffic, the removal of the parking lot at the side of the chapel, the ensuing change to the bus route, and the creation of stone walls and usable areas.
Also of note is the work being done to the Parque Inglés, specifically around the statue of the pilgrims, the access to which was completely revamped by returning the pedestrian staircase to use and emphasizing the view of the city and the cathedral. This part of the park now has a ring-shaped pathway that is practically flat, which will make it very appealing to walkers and runners, as well as stone benches where people can sit and take in the view.
Landscape architect João Nunes is a founding member and president of PROAP, a landscape architecture firm with considerable experience in landscapes. He is also a professor at various international universities. His work relies on the importance of recovering the meaning and symbolism of Monte do Gozo to the Way of St. James and to the city of Compostela.
The prestigious landscape architect thus seeks to simulate the operation of the Way of St. James by working with both the park’s landscape and its symbolism, capturing the gaze of pilgrims and fashioning the various views of the area. In his work, João Nunes also strives to create a symbiosis of pilgrims and residents in the new park.