03/05/2016

Discover Ourense XXX: Verín and the "cigarróns"

Postcard 33 features "Cigarróns", Verín's best known Carnival figures.


"Cigarróns" wear trousers with pompoms, white tights, a jacket, a tie, agirdle and a thick belt with hanging bells. The mask is made of wood and pictures of animals are hand-painted in the front. At the back there is a piece of leather.  The whole costume weighs 25 kilos approximately, so you have to be very fit to wear it!

Cigarróns. Panoramio
Cigarrones. Wikipedia
Wearing this costume is very special and the feelings of wearing it can be seen in the awesome and moving video below by photographer Borys Martínez:


Verín is a small city in the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain located in the southeast of the province of Ourense. The population of the concello (municipality) is about 14,433. It is located 70 kilometers east of the provincial capital of Ourense and 15 kilometers north of the Portuguese city of Chaves. 

Ubicación de Verín. Wikipedia

The Tâmega River flows through the town. In the Middle Ages it was known as Santa María de Verín.

Verín. Josealimia.com
Verín has one major tourist sight, which is Monterrei Castle, a huge complex looming over the rather non-descript urban area. There is a parador next to the castle.

Castelo de Monterrei. Galiciaunica.es
Monterrei Castle played an important role throughout the Portuguese-Spanish wars, having been strategically built on the frontier for the purpose. It was more than a castle since included within the perimeter were a monastery, a hospital and a small town which was abandoned in the 19th century. The castle itself is more impressive from afar than at closer look, but the view from the heights is worth the drive up. At night it is lit up and you can see it for miles on clear nights, even from the hills of Chaves in neighboring Portugal.

Castelo de Monterrei. Wikimedia Commons
Verín and the region of Monterrei are famous for the wine and known as the land of water. There used to be quite a few thermal springs with mineral-medicinal waters. Unfortunately, nowadays, there is only bottled water taken from three springs: Cabreiroá, Sousas and Fontenova.

Manantial Cabreiroá. Postal antigua. Todocolección
In 2007, Verín and a neighbouring Portuguese town, Chaves, came together to form the Eurocity Chaves-Verín, with the river Tamega functioning as a natural corridor to join the 2 towns. It was a great initiative to bring together municipalities that, despite belonging to different states, share many cultural traditions.

Eurocity Chaves Verín

Sources:

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for disseminating such interesting information about Galicia. Greetings from Santiago de Compostela.

    ReplyDelete