The village of O Mazo

Eu son esto que vexo e que me vei:
Os Eidos. Uxío Novoneyra


A ALDEA
O grellear da fonte.
O camiño do monte.
Andando e vendo
a miña sombra correndo
a lua nas penas o alento
o pensamento...
Os Eidos, Uxío Novoneyra.


The village of O Mazo is in the river Pequeno valley in the heart of the O Courel mountains at a height of 670m. South-facing and near the river, the original inhabitants surrounded the village with fields for their crops, meadows for hay and with the groves of sweet chestnuts (soutos) that we can enjoy today. But the people of O Courel did not always live in villages like this. It is at least 8,000 years since the first inhabitants used caves as a refuge or a place to live. Then the first settlements, castros, were built in unassailable defensive positions and took care that the gold from these mountains left safely for Rome. Finally, these original settlements became the rural houses that we see today, occupying sites such as this formed by the nature of the surrounding countryside.

The village of O Mazo, has always been linked to the river Pequeno, a tributary feeding into the left bank of the river Lor. The name itself, 'O Mazo' is a reference to the great water driven drop hammer that was used to work metal in the smithy, and which decades later became the electricity generating plant which the supplied village at the beginning of the last century. The current village is the result of the restoration of three old buildings formally housing agricultural labourers, a building used for drying chestnuts (sequiero in Galician), a special construction to protect beehives from bears and weather, a bread oven and a building originally used for chickens. These buildings covered an area of 1,500 m2 and the renovation has respected the original construction, using local stone and wood as building materials. But, at the same time, the latest communication technology and modern construction methods have been incorporated, continuing the process of change that has always characterised this settlement.

Each apartment is completely independent and the windows open onto the unspoilt nature of the O Courel mountains. The apartments provide spacious private areas which in all cases comfortably exceed the cramped space common in tourist accommodation. For rainy, snowy or cold days the village has covered areas for both outdoor and indoor activities.