From Lugo to Betanzos

Lugo contains about six thousand inhabitants. It is situated on lofty ground, and is defendedby ancient walls. It possesses no very remarkable edifice, and the cathedral church itself is asmall mean building. In the centre of the town is the principal square, a light cheerful place,not surrounded by those heavy cumbrous buildings with which the Spaniards both in ancientand modern times have encircled their plazas. It is singular enough that Lugo, at present aplace of very little importance, should at one period have been the capital of Spain: yet such itwas in the time of the Romans, who, as they were a people not much guided by caprice, haddoubtless very excellent reasons for the preference which they gave to the locality.There are many Roman remains in the vicinity of this place, the most remarkable of which arethe ruins of the ancient medicinal baths, which stand on the southern side of the river Minho,which creeps through the valley beneath the town. The Minho in this place is a dark andsullen stream, with high, precipitous, and thickly wooded banks.One evening I visited the baths, accompanied by my friend the bookseller. They had beenbuilt over warm springs which flow into the river. Notwithstanding their ruinous condition,they were crowded with sick, hoping to derive benefit from the waters, which are still famedfor their sanative power.  (…) The next day we departed for Coruña, leading our horses by the bridle: the day wasmagnificent, and our walk delightful. We passed along beneath tall umbrageous trees, whichskirted the road from Betanzos to within a short distance of Coruña. Nothing could be moresmiling and cheerful than the appearance of the country around. Vines were growing inabundance in the vicinity of the villages through which we passed, whilst millions of maizeplants upreaded their tall stalks and displayed their broad green leaves in the fields.


(George Borrow, The bible in Spain, London: Century Publishing, 1985, p. 234, p. 238-239)[1843]

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Sprachen und Sprachpolitik entlang des Jakobsweges, Romanisches Seminar der CAU zu Kiel: 28.05.2013
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