This bustling town of 11,298 inhabitants is the hub of the Maragatería region and the point where two pilgrims’ routes converge: the French Route and the Silver Route. Its history dates back more than two thousand years and its historical centre has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, as have a further four monuments. It lies in the fertile meadows of the River Tuerto in a privileged geo-strategic location.
WHAT TO SEE:
- Cathedral. Although work began on this cathedral in the late 15th century, it was not completed until the 18th century, which explains the overlapping of several styles of architecture, including Florid Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. Highlights include the 11th century Romanesque Virgin of La Majestad, the main altarpiece by Becerra, La Inmaculada by Gregorio Fernández, as well as the pulpit and choir stalls.
- Episcopal Palace. Designed by the architect Antonio Gaudí and built in 1887. It houses the Pilgrims’ Routes Museum and its interesting collection of medieval sculptures and Roman epigraphy.
- Roman Walls. Restored in the 13th century.
- Roman Ergastula. Work on this Roman building included restoration activities and the creation of a Roman Museum that houses the vast collection of items discovered during the archaeological excavation of this site. There is also a Roman trail, organised by the local authority, which takes visitors around the city.
- Shrine of Fátima. The magnifi cent Romanesque capitals are not to be missed. The interior contains several superb examples of plasterwork of the Astorga School.
- Town Hall. A 17th century Baroque building. Work began under the orders of the master craftsman Francisco de la Lastra. It is a fine example of civil architecture, comparable with the former León City Hall or the Town Halls of Valderas or Ponferrada.
- Convent of Sancti Spiritus. A closed convent built in the 16th century. The altarpieces date back to the 18th century.
- Church of San Bartolomé. This is the oldest church in the city. Constant alterations have resulted in an eclectic mix of styles and artwork dating back to various periods: traces can be seen of Mozarabic, Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque elements. Chocolate Museum. Opened in 1994, it houses a large collection of items that were traditionally used in chocolate making, as well as photographs and several collections of old chocolate wrappers.