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Bridges on Camino near Sarria to be torn down?


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A Spanish friend's facebook page has a link to this article:

It says that medieval bridges on the Camino will be torn down as a hydroelectric project moves forward.

Protest set for Sat. April 26 at 6 pm, with a march on the Camino over all the bridges tagged for destruction. So if you're in the neighborhood, join the protest!
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Year of past OR future Camino
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
Peregrina-- that is disturbing, specially given that the Camino is the only road on the UNESCO list of Sites designated as Patrimony of Humanity. So, I really wondered if this adds a layer of permit(s) required to do any work that alters its historical value (...of all places...SARRIA!!?? :eek:)

I have attached the scope of work; found it on the internet. It cites as the work been required due to: 1) Serious flooding episodes impacting Sarria city centre, and 2) urban growth. Apparently, the city centre is a flat area anchored by two area with flood propensity. According to the firm that prepare the scope, the objectives are to improve the river drainage, to improve the conditions around the rivers, and create areas of public leisure.

If you ask me, this scope of work can be modify and still be done without seriously impacting the bridges; it requires more work and consequently, it may cost more, but tearing down and replacing the bridges makes the "remedy worse than the disease".

Page 7 shows four (4) bridges that will be either taken down or modified: 1) Puente Castelao, 2) Puente R/Calvo Sotelo (to be demolished), 3) Puente R/Peregrino (Puente Ribeira? to be remodeled), and 4) Puente do Chanto. However, there are three (3) medieval bridges that will be demolished along with some local houses. These are: 1) Ponte Vella do Mazadoiro, 2) Ponte Vella de Becerrea, 3) Ponte do Peregrino. They invoke urban growth pressure and how unavoidable this work is...(!) They cited an Alternatives Analysis (24 options) none of which is better than demolishing the bridges (seriously?).

IMPORTANT: Page 18 of the Report, Item No. 4 states that THERE ARE NO IMPACTS TO THE HISTORICAL PATRIMONY OF THE AREA FROM THIS WORK. This is such an obvious lie and this alone would invalidate this scope and send people back to the draft board.

The Point of Contact for this work is Sr. Ignacio Maestro Saavedra, email: and his phone number is (34) 98 824 2402. I intend to write him an email message expressing concern on behalf of the WORLWIDE pilgrim's community (The Camino is after all PATRIMONY OF HUMANITY) and urging for the prevention and/or minimization to any impact to the bridges in question. I know that ultimately this is a local issue and it will be done as they wish, but I (as part of humanity!) would had said my peace. THIS IS ALSO OUR PATRIMONY.


  • Hydro Project Sarria.pdf
    3.7 MB · Views: 18

From Sarria

New Member
Dear friends,

We would like to inform you that most people from Sarria are against this project that will destroy our natural and cultural heritage, which, as you rightly point out, belongs to the workwide pilgrim's community. We have organized ourselves to fight against this atrocity. We have created an informal platform ("Plataforma Sarriana polo Río") to defend our river, the river Sarria, our trees and our old bridges, which are also yours. We consider that the great historical and cultural significance of the Camino has been completely ignored when assessing the impact of the project.

That's our facebook: Most of it is of course in Galician and in Spanish. However we have also posted a petition in which has been translated into English, French and Italian, precisely because we are convinced that not only people from Sarria but also the whole pilgrims’ community should have a say on this question. That's the link toárgenes-de-los-ríos-sarria-y-celeiro-1a-fase

We encourage you to sign our petition and to join us on Sat. April 26 at 6 pm to protest against this project, which will not only damage the Camino, but will also be completely useless to reduce damages caused by floods. We live in Sarria. We have witnessed previous floods. And we know that works underway will be completely useless to reduce flood risks or flood damages.

Please don’t hesítate to contact us through our Facebook or by e-mail ( We will be delighted to provide you with additional information on this.

Thank you so much for your support!
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Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
Interesting how the Judge who issued the Cease and Desist cited the "contradiction" in the report submitted by the firm stating no historical impacts. I noted that (see prior post) as such a blatant attempt to push this work under the table.

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