Betanzos with children
The first time I visited Betanzos it was in August, the same day their famous paper balloon is lounched,a tradition dating back to 1814 . It is one of the more famous festivals in Galicia. It is a paper balloon made by neighbors. It has a height of 25 meters and 50 meters of circumference . It makes it the world’s largest paper balloon
This event is well known, but what I consider the true symbol of Betanzos. That is the Pastime “ Pasatiempo”. Its origins dates from the late XIX century when the brothers Naviera García ,after their many travels around the world, decided to decided to teach their neighbors some details of what they had seen around the world. They bought a land that was 10 times larger than the area occupied by the current Pasatiempo. With every trip the made afterwards, they were increasing their content.
The park represented exotic animals, caves, statues, biblical scenes … touches of what they had known and considered as instructive for their neighbors.
The famous Galician painter Luis Seoane called it the encyclopedic park, due to the knowledge that both brothers had “written” on it.
I would have liked to visit it during its splendid days, but I was not born yet.
Three years after the death of the brothers, the Civil War broke out.
Many statues were stolen or destroyed, even its beautiful iron gate. The nudity of the statues were considered as obscene. It was also believed that the brothers were Masonic, this fact increased the fury of those who wanted to destroy the park.
As the time passed, the park deteriorated further. Weeds covered part of it. The back wall was demolished to build a road and a big portion was devoted to cropland.
The restoration began in the 80´s, but nowadays all these years of decline are still evident.
Nevertheless, you can still guess its glorious past.
Despite this fact, I highly recommend the visit. If you do not know what to do when visiting Galicia.Whether you go with kids, or if you feel like a child,it is a magical place worth visiting.
For me it is one of the most charming places in Betanzos, even in Galicia.
The Pasatiempo is connected to a large playground by a walkway, There, addition to games for children, there are different animals.
The playground is opened daily from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 20:30,on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays until 21:00
The Pasatiempo is only opened on Saturdays and Sundays from 16:00 to 20:30