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Title: Fisterra  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Costa da Morte, Geology of the Iberian Peninsula, Finisterre, Costa do Marisco, Cape Finisterre
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Coat of arms of Fisterra
Coat of arms
Fisterra is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Country Spain
Autonomous community Galicia
Province A Coruña
Comarca Fisterra
 • Mayor José Manuel Traba Fernández
 • Total 29.43 km2 (11.36 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Total 5,005
 • Density 170/km2 (440/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Finisterranos
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 15155
Dialing code 981
Website Official website
Ships in the port.
Langosteira beach.

Fisterra (Galician pronunciation: , Spanish: Finisterre) is a municipality in the province of A Coruña, in the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain. It belongs to the comarca of Fisterra. Fisterra is on Cape Finisterre, the final destination for many pilgrims on the Way of St. James.

Fisterra is on the rocky Costa da Morte (Galician: "Coast of Death"), named because of the large number of shipwrecks along these shores. The name Fisterra comes from Latin FINIS TERRAE, meaning "Land's End". This name stems from the fact that this area is on a remote peninsula that is one of the westernmost points of land in Galicia, and hence in Spain.

Fisterra is an ancient port and fishing village, formed by narrow streets leading to the Plaza de Ara Solis. The chapel of Nosa Señora do Bon Suceso, dating from the 18th century, is on the plaza. There is a spectacular lighthouse on a 600 metre promontory called "Monte Facho" at the tip of Cape Finisterre overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. On the road up to the lighthouse is the parish church of Santa María de Fisterra which contains the Chapel of Santo Cristo.

Fisterra is 108 km from A Coruña, and 98 km from Santiago de Compostela.



  • Geography 1
  • History 2
  • Pre-Christian beliefs 3
  • Main sights 4
  • Culture 5
  • Civil parishes 6
  • Demography 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Fisterra has some spectacular beaches like O Rostro, Arnela, Mar de Fóra, Langosteira, Ribeira, and Corveiro. Many of the beaches are framed by steep cliffs leading down to the "Mare Tenebrosum" (or dark sea, the name of the Atlantic in the Middle Ages).

There are several rocks in this area associated with religious legends, such as the "holy stones", the "stained wine stones", the "stone chair", and the tomb of Orcabella.[1]


After the discovery of the tomb of St. James, pilgrims on the Way of St. James started to arrive from Santiago to Fisterra to worship in front of an image of Sacred Christ, view the relics of San Guillerme, and see the "End of the Earth".

In 1479, a hospital to accommodate the arriving pilgrims was built. Many of the pilgrims were noblemen or otherwise famous.

Thousands of visitors continue to arrive in Fisterra every day.

Pre-Christian beliefs

In the area there are many remnants of pre-Christian beliefs and sacred locations. On Cape Finisterre, some claim that there is the "Altar Soli", where the Celts engaged in sun worship and assorted rituals.

The Monte Facho, on Cape Finisterre, was the place where the Celtic Nerios from Duio carried out their offerings and rites in honour of the sun. St. William of Gellone also lived in a house located there. Near St. William's house, sterile couples would have sexual intercourse on one specific stone to try to conceive, following a Celtic rite of fertility.

Main sights

  • Castle of San Carlos, built during the reign of Charles III of Spain.
  • Church of Nosa Señora das Areas (late 12th century, modified later). It houses the image of the Holy Christ of Fisterra.
  • Bon Suceso Chapel (18th century)
  • Fisterra Lighthouse, the main on the Costa de la Muerte.


Every Easter there is a local festival featuring the Christ of the Golden Beard.

Civil parishes

  • Duio (San Vicenzo)
  • Fisterra (Santa María)
  • San Martiño de Duio (San Martiño)
  • Sardiñeiro (San Xoán)


From:INE Archiv


  1. ^ Orcabella is a Celtic goddess that takes the form of a hag and has a prodigious sexual appetite. Humans cannot hurt Orcabella; they only see her or feel her. Orcabella has many features that are similar to the Irish crone-goddess, Cailleach Bhéirre (LA MITOLOGÍA Y EL FOLKLORE DE GALICIA Y LAS REGIONES CÉLTICAS DEL NOROESTE EUROPEO ATLÁNTICO, Manuel Alberro, Inst. of Cornish Studies, University of Exeter)

External links

  • Official website

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