Unique spaces for events in Galicia
If you want to host an event that impacts your attendees beyond the content itself, make sure you choose a good place, one that is unique, exclusive, and surprising. The space selected also infuses the event with meaning, it’s all connected. That’s why we’re going to give you some ideas for unique spaces in Galicia with different and varied characteristics, so that you can draw inspiration and make the right choice.
In the very centre of A Coruña, flanking the sea, we can find Palexco. Surrounded by emblematic galleries, the marina, the dock for transatlantic voyages, and the historic city centre, this is a palace right next to the sea that boasts 10,000m2, 17 rooms, and multiple options for events. The versatility of its facilities enables the use of various spaces without ever exiting the building. The light and spaciousness that the building’s exterior hints at floods the senses when you step inside.
However, what undoubtedly makes it unique is its second floor with the Sotavento space, a 550m2 venue that has been totally re-designed. It is a different, more inviting corner, surrounded by a terrace that has lighting that will make the attendee feel almost like they are aboard a transatlantic voyage, because it is shaped like a boat. The venue also boasts a panelling system that allows for the space to be divided into 5 modular rooms, one with 110m2 and another four with 60m2, or other combinations according to the event format.
Considering the current circumstances and the maximum occupancy limits being imposed, Palexco just launched “THE CORNER”, a set with a creative design that allows for events that combine in-person and virtual attendance, via streaming, without losing the endless views with the ocean in the background. It has already been used for different events like the Cancer and Microbiota Conference organised by the Fundación SOG, the Equality Seminar organised by the Confederation of Employers of La Coruña (CEC), and the Youth Forum organised by the Galician Association of Family Businesses (AGEF).
You simply cannot miss one of the most unique spaces in Galicia: the Cidade da Cultura. It was built atop Gaiás, one of the mountains that surrounds Santiago de Compostela, by American architect Peter Eisenman. Its one-of-a-kind architecture and features make its spaces great for hosting numerous events organised by institutions, companies, and social groups. Each year it plays host to some 300 events, including some very prestigious ones like the awards ceremonies for the Medallas de Galicia (Medals of Galicia) and the Premios da Cultura (Culture Awards). The visual power of these facilities also attracts attention from representatives of the world of cinema and advertising, who often find attractive sets for audiovisual projects in this complex.
This “city”, dedicated to culture, entrepreneurship, and technology, opens its doors for events in four different areas: the Gaiás Centre Museum, the Library and Archive of Galicia, the Centre for Entrepreneurship, and the Centre for Cultural Innovation. It has three auditoriums, two of them with 200m2 and one with 157m2, a convention hall, a multi-purpose hall that can be used for events ranging from a press conference or presentation to a breakfast or cocktail party, two more multi-use halls with 100m2, and a smaller hall with 66m2 for more intimate events. It even has an open-plan space of 500m2, which can be partitioned to create two connected or independent areas. Galicia’s Forest, the Literary Garden, the Theatre Garden, and Lake Park are the green spaces on Gaiás, and they can host outdoor events, a very in-demand option these days.
To rest or celebrate, we have the Parador de Santiago, Hostal dos Reis Católicos, located in the Plaza del Obradoiro, next to the cathedral. The building was originally a hospital and thanks to all the history contained in its walls, it is considered a “museum hotel”. Its church, known as the “Royal Chapel”, where pilgrims could attend mass, can host events ranging from conferences to gala banquets. Until the 19th century, the chapel was equipped with an altar shaped like a pavilion, with two levels, in the centre of the transept. The lower altar, from which church services were held, was located on a wooden platform with stairs. Four sturdy columns held up the second level, which had an altar in its centre. From here, mass was held for people who were ill, who would listen from their beds or from the balconies. With the same attentiveness that event attendees listen nowadays.
At first, the Hospital had six rooms for the ill, but this number increased to more than twenty by the final decades of its use. Today, these host the Royal Hall and the Royal Dining Hall. In these halls, which overlook the Obradoiro Plaza, the traditional Fuegos del Apostol (Fires of the Apostle) dinner is held, with its light, sound, and fireworks show.
Spaces that are 100% made in Galicia
Pazos, traditional Galician houses, are a symbol of the culture and history of Galicia, and every province in the region has many that are now used to host events, such as the Pazo de Andeade in Touro (A Coruña), not far from Santiago de Compostela. Built at the beginning of the 18th century, it possesses all of the characteristic elements of manor house construction. It was restored in 1995, with the aim of conserving its original identity as much as possible while also creating different, multi-functional spaces that can be used and enjoyed. Day after day, its doors open for rural tourism. For events, it has different spaces, the highlight being the 400m2 main hall. The main area of the pazo, including the restaurant, and the guest area are also available when organising an event. The gardens, too, of course! Take advantage of the surrounding green spaces and the hidden nooks and crannies of the pazo. Different activities can be carried out in different areas. Why not hold a product presentation in its chapel?
The Pazo de Andeade Restaurant uses only high-quality products that are of verified origin and in season. The kitchen and the service enjoy a renowned prestige, earned thanks to the excellent raw ingredients used and the careful traditional production that also includes touches of modern cooking.
Another pazo, considered one of the most beautiful in Galicia, is the Pazo de Brentraces, located just 7 kilometres from the city of Ourense. This makes it the perfect place from which to explore this capital city and the beautiful surrounding villages, as well as to enjoy a good wine from the Ribeira Sacra. Built at the beginning of the 15th century as part of the Celanova Monastery, the Pazo de Bentraces has kept its original structure almost completely intact, with the exception of the manor house, which has been converted to offer lodging, the common areas, and a 20,000m2 garden with numerous century-old trees. It is an oasis of peace and tranquillity.
One of the gardens, with views of the main façade featuring stone and coats of arms, can host 400 guests. Once inside the Pazo, we discover a glass-enclosed pavilion hidden inside a forest, with a capacity of 300 invitees, along with a 180-square-metre kitchen with a chimney and lareira (stone space where the fire burns). This space is especially great for hosting cosy gastronomy-based events for some 30 to 40 attendees. Below the kitchen, there is a hall with long tables in a U shape, with windows that face the garden. Many fashion photo shoots have been done here, along with events for media specialised in fashion and influencers.
The Pazo da Touza in Nigrán (Pontevedra) hides another immense garden with 40,000m2, where an event can also be hosted. If it rains, that’s not a problem, because there are other spaces: a hall that can host a banquet of 300 people or a cocktail party of 500 people, a covered terrace that can hold 200 people, and an exterior hall for 40 people. The gastronomic experience is a very important asset at the pazo– its artisan kitchen offers lovingly selected local products to make those special moments even more special. Events held there in the past have included: corporate events like car launches, gala lunches or dinners for launches by the Vigo shipbuilders, such as Freire ShipYard, launches by the Ritz Carlton, team-building activities, and the CONXEMAR exhibition, among others.
Returning to A Coruña, in Oleiros, Finca Montesqueiro has opened its doors for events, offering 6,000m2 divided into different spaces and halls where vehicles can enter. That’s why brands like Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Lexus have chosen this venue to do their presentations.
With views of the garden and the estuary, the Golden Hall (416m2) mixes the natural light that the terrace surrounding it offers with the artificial lighting coming from its beautiful wood panel ceilings. It is considered the ideal place to celebrate a conference, a symposium, or to close out a congress in style with a gala dinner. The Enredos Hall (242 m2), one of the most versatile spaces on the property, is located on the ground floor, opening to the garden and the Helechos Terrace. It is ideal for small events (a rising trend in the sector) that can combine a meeting in the hall, a coffee break on the terrace, and a cocktail hour in the majestic garden with Japanese arches, waterfalls, and sheets of water. Currently the Enredos Hall finds itself transformed, thanks to the work of Cega Audiovisuales, with an audiovisual set that allows for in-person, virtual, or hybrid events.
Its gastronomic offer is tailored to suit each event, thanks to culinary advisor Chef Nandu Jubany, who holds a Michelin star and specialises in bringing touches of innovation to traditional Galician food. A unique gastronomic experience that you can enjoy with all five senses is his Gastro Mapping, which projects 3D animations on the tables.
Many of Galicia’s emblematic buildings, such as the Teatro Afundación ABANCA, allow for the organisation of events in the heart of Vigo. This was a building project that aimed to recover the historic heritage of the García Barbón Theatre, which was designed by architect Antonio Palacios at the beginning of the 20th century. Its style can be described as academic eclecticism, with the curves and counter-curves characteristic of the Galician architect, who drew inspiration from the Opera Garnier in Paris. This building is one of the most emblematic members of Vigo’s historic architecture, demonstrating excellent exterior stonework, done in white granite sourced from the quarries in Castrelos. As for the design of the interior, Palacios focused on the entrance to the theatre, which features a huge oval lobby and a grand staircase, lit from above through Maumejean stained glass.
Its available event spaces include the concert hall, auditorium, conference hall, seminar halls, exhibition halls, reception hall, library, and 994-seat theatre.
Lastly, you have the option of holding your event in the Museo do Mar (Museum of the Sea) in Vigo, a cultural and scientific centre dedicated to the sea. Conceived by the Italian architect Aldo Rossi based on the skeleton of the old Alcabre preserves factory, it consists of 17,000m2 distributed into three buildings: the main building and another annex that can be reached through a walkway, an aquarium, and a café-restaurant. The exterior features not only a car park, but also a garden, five rehabilitated buildings, a cobblestone plaza that connects the beaches, a port that houses the aquarium (where the main ecosystems that can be found between the Museum pier and the cliff-lined coast of the Cíes Islands can be observed), a lighthouse, and the sea itself, which surrounds the establishment. Through the glass-enclosed walkway, the Alcabre fortress and Vigo estuary can be seen. It is a unique space with sea views that is easily adapted for special events and in which educational workshops on maritime themes can be held.