One of my favorite corners in Santiago. For a cool drink on warm days, watching people walk back and forth, contemplating the medieval buildings. Have spent many hours doing all of these, over the years. And over the years, some things never change: the odd-shaped little square, the nearby place where Santiago's horse was said to have stopped for water (just a legend ), the door to the patio of Fonseca that opens onto Rúa do Franco (the Romanesque arch that opens onto Obradoiro Square is another architectural jewel!). On the other hand, the traditional little restaurants/bars have been remodeled, probably are a bit more expensive, and it seems a few too many visitors try to sit down in this limited area. Especially if somebody is loud and a smoker, Fonseca loses a bit of its appeal. Still, you can't beat sitting literally in the shadow of the cathedral and imagining how many feet have walked the dented stones that lead to it.
Probably few tourists really soak in this spot. It deserves an hour of one's time, though. And has gotten dozens of hours from me. Will get many more, too.
Am adding a PS to this review, since I just went back to follow my own advice. The afternoon had been especially hectic, and sitting own in the Praza de Fonseca was good for recharging. The days in July prior to the Apostle (25th) are teeming with visitors, many with their maps out, squinting to find their location among the windy old streets. I wanted to tell them to put the map away, sit down to have a manchado (café con leche with very little café) and look around without knowing anything except the cathedral is off to the right, Rua do Franco to the left, and the façade of Fonseca right smack in front of them. Ask the waiters where to go, ask any local just about any question, and you'll get an answer, usually correct. On my most recent visit it was a bit breezy and overcast. Part of the appeal - Fonseca changes personality with the weather, but it's always the same. After all, what else can a medieval city do?
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