Known in ancient times as the Ilicino Mountain, it is directly related to the arrival of the Apostle Santiago´s disciples to bury him in the lands where he had preached.
It is said that they stopped there to ask Queen Lupa for some oxen and cart to continue their journey. The queen, an ally of the Romans, sent them to the forest where there was a dragon.
This story could have ended badly, but as usual, good triumphed over evil. The dragon was destroyed thanks to the prayers of the disciples. The queen seeing the miracle converted to Christianity.
Whether myth or reality, the truth is that throughout the centuries the Pico Sacro has been the centre of numerous legends; since the scaring terrible giants inside to stories of Moors hidden in their guts.
Before they allowed a company to erode the adjacent mountain to extract quartz from its entrails, the Pico Sacro was like a magnet for storms. My mother remembers that it was frequent, throughout the year, to have storms in the area. Now, this atmospheric phenomenon happens rarely.
The Pico Sacro is so ingrained in the area that it is the central theme of local sayings, especially those related to meteorology.
Although it doesn’t sound so good, this would be the translation of several of them:
“When the Pico covers the hair, girls from Ulla put on the apron.”
“Saint Cristóbal with a hat, water to the nose.”
“When the Pico wears a headscarf, we have water, some or lots of.”
Pico Sacro Star Lookout
The truth is that from the top, there are stunning views that cover about 30 km around, making this mountain a privileged place to look at the stars or contemplate the landscape.
-Thanks to some informative panels, we can know what towns we see from this natural viewpoint.
Once a year, in summer, the City Council organizes a night of star observation. It is always with the help of experts in the field. In Casa de Casal we inform you of the dates through our Facebook page.
On its top, there is a chapel dedicated to San Sebastián. It is the only vestige of the monastery that set there in the 11th century.
The chapel locates on the rocks of the mountain. It only opens twice a year, in the months of January and May. Its interior is very austere due to the humidity inside. Recently I had the privilege of entering it, and it was like being in a refrigerator.
That does not take away charm to this place.
How to get to the Pico Sacro?
To get to this mythical place, you have to drive to Lestedo. At the end of town coming from Santiago, there are the first indicators. The road seems narrow, but two cars can pass at the same time.
Part of the route runs along the Vía de la Plata. That is why many pilgrims decide to deviate from the Path to climb to its top.
When I was a child, you had to climb the rocks to climb to the highest part. For a few years, there are stairs to climb. There are several information panels to help recognize the visible towns.
Besides, there are several wooden posts with QR codes to link to the City Council Webs on the Pico Sacro.
The Pico Sacro caves
I can’t forget the caves in the Pico Sacro. Its origin is not certainly known. Some say it was the Romans looking for gold, others that are of natural origin.
There are two caves. One of them, the one with an ascending gallery, is reached by crossing the mountain from one side to the other through the Queen Lupa Paso, a vertical cut that divides the mountain into two. To the cave with the descending gallery, you go along a path that goes down from the bottom of the Chapel of San Sebastián.
A few years ago, a team of speleologists went into them. The caves come together inside.
The descending cave has carved steps. Better not to approach because it seems dangerous. I’ve seen who throws stones inside. It is a tradition that goes back many many years ago. Throwing pebbles is supposed to scare away the dragon that lives inside.
Children love to visit the first cave, as it can be accessed a little inside, and it is not dangerous to visit. Better to enter with a flashlight, it makes it more interesting.
A few meters from Casa de Casal, there is an Interpretation Center on the Pico Sacro. The building was the priest house. It currently houses a museum dedicated to this mythical mountain.
If you want to visit it, it is necessary to make an appointment at the Boqueixón City Council, by calling 981 51 30 61.