The Arnoia river, young and crystalline, crosses the small and beautiful city of Allariz. Legend says that it was the Swabian king Alarico who chose this beautiful bend of the river to establish the city.
After being a defensive landmark of the south of Orense –in the 11th century they built the castle and its walls, today in ruins– the town became famous for its literary court and it was the place the kings were educated and crowned. Allariz had then its moment of splendor. They built magnificent buildings, churches and monasteries and they established prosperous tanneries, workshops and factories that produced, with the water of Arnoia as its motor, excellent fabrics, leathers and cereals.
At the end of the 15th century, Allariz lost its royal aura and it remained enclosed for centuries, buried in frequent wars with Portugal.
Times passed and it had no mercy on the city. However, a few years ago, the people from the city started great projects that included reducing the river’s pollution and restoring the historical part of town. The hard work was rewarded: in 1994, Allariz received the European Price for Urbanism.
Today, the small city is full of surprises. Its narrow streets, covered with churches and noble houses, maintain a sleepy air of another time; its amazing museums and old mills are very interesting and pleasant to see; its tapas bars, chocolate shops and pastry shops and a real temptation.
For any time of the day, be it happy, romantic or melancholic, there is the bucolic “Paseo ribereño do Arnado”, with the magical medieval bridge emerging from between the willows.