The Miño river is born in Fuente Miña or Fonmiñá – as we Galicians say. But its true origin is still a mystery, as there is no source here, only a pond reflecting a beautiful spot of wordy forest floor where the humid atmosphere of the typical Galician wetland breathes.
Fonmiñá in A Pastoriza, the ever learned birth of the father of the Galician rivers, the Miño river. In Fonmiñá it is still a teenager, which has much to grow, to travel and see. This has been until recently the only recognized Miño kilometer zero. A small lagoon of 3500 square meters surrounded by alders and birches, and a mineral water spring.
Many hikers visit the largest outbreak of natural water of Galicia. All right. So far the best known official history, the Miño is born, springs, in Fonmiñá. What if Fonmiñá lagoon was just an outcropping of its flow, a karstic spring, if we must get scientific? And what if the Miño in Fonmiñá had already traveled 6 km? And what if it was born in O Pedregal de Irimia in the neighboring municipality of Meira ?
It is a very tumultuous and definitely wild awakening to the world. There is a legend of biblical resonances whereby stones became men of a bloody and sinful race which expected a revival with the purification of youthful waters.
There is an irrefutable fact: the journey of our great river is a Biosphere Reserve and a visit to his birth and his course, may well stop by a little in some of the charms of its two possible parents, Meira and A Pastoriza. In both the water is crucial because other rivers and rivulets start from their mountains.
In A Pastoriza the landscape is transitional between the mountain and the plain. Its great artistic contribution goes beyond the time of the Romanesque monastery of Meira. The parish of Bretoña is itself a tribute to the Celtic “castros” or hill forts, and the subsequent German heritage.