Spain: Treasures of Galicia

Tesouros de Galicia

There’s a small village in Galicia, in Spain’s Atlantic Northwest. The smallest municipality in the whole of Spain with just 2.4 squared kilometers. It´s called Mondariz-Balneario; two words to explain its initial origin (Mondariz) and the reason why it became an independent municipality (Balneario, which means SPA resort).

It was 1873 when the Peinador brothers founded that singular source of thermal and mineral water in the last decades of the 19th Century, while Spain was losing the last colonies of its magnificent Empire. In a social environment marked by an economic crisis and lack of hope, a brand new project was born in an unknown rural place in Galicia, from a basic resource: water.

UnknownLearning from the experiences of those people provides a huge educational resource; how the exploitation of the tourist potential helps to economic development in different industries. Between 1907 and 1914, this small town introduced Galicia to hundreds of British tourists making their way to Galicia. It was part of a project conceived by a group of Galician businessmen and representatives of “Real Academia Galega”, whose aim was to develop the historical ties between Galicia and Great Britain into a modern relationship of mutual economic, social and cultural benefit, and they considered tourism the ideal way to achieve this.

Successful response to this strategy can be found in the visitors’ books of the Grand Hotel at Mondariz, where British tourists left their thoughts alongside the eminent Spanish, Portuguese and Latin-American visitors who made up the majority of the spa’s clientele.

The first World War and following Spanish Civil War, explain why this is an unknown story…

One hundred years later, Tesouros de Galicia / Treasures of Galicia is born to make good use of that experience. An association to initiate a social movement to aid in the recovery of the heritage of Galicia, its cultural identity, and to provide an international platform for the Galician heritage sites, local products and services as a way to strengthen the Galician economy.

In defining “social Movement”, it is the responsibility not only of the public administration but of individuals, companies, and cultural entities together, in a social voluntary collaboration of public and private, to form a Social Managerial Responsibility.

The organisation is a non-profit making association, not assigned to any commercial or political interests, but that invites to any individual, company, organisation  government or public administration to take part. An open entity made up of people who want to form a structured cultural identity in the service of creating sustainable projects for the future of Galicia. A structured offer that shapes an identity: A platform for the internationalisation of the Galician economy; its tourism, history, culture, and products.

Adding value to heritage, by connecting it to the principal economic sector of Spain: tourism. Cultural identity as an economic resource and of endogenous development.

…From the smallest municipality in Spain.

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