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León is a city in Spain, and capital of the province of the same name. It has a city population of about 140,000 inhabitants and a metropolitan area of 200,000.
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Points of Interest in Leon
The city of León was founded by Romans, as a matter of fact its own name originates from the name Romans gave to the city "Legio VII". Tourists that come to León can enjoy many monuments such as the city walls, the gothic cathedral or romanic monuments such as the Church of San Marcelo.
Landmarks and architecture
- Santa María de León Cathedral. The premier architectural attraction, completed in the late 16th century. Superb stained glass - one of the oldest and largest in the world. Try to be there when the sun is streaming through
- The collegiate Church of San Isodoro' (11th century) and the adjoining Pantheon of the Kings of León. The ceiling paintings in the latter are breathtaking.
- Hospital de San Marcos.
- The Casa Botines. one of the few buildings by Gaudi to be found outside of Barcelona.
Other attractions include:
- Palacio de los Guzmanes, a 15th century palace.
- Palacio de los Condes de Luna. It's on restoration works.
- Roman Walls
- MUSAC. The new Museum of Contemporary Art
- Museo de León. Set IN Edificio Pallarés, a 20th century building in Santo Domingo circus.
- Fundación Vela Zanetti. The museum about Zanetti's paintings.
The village of Astorga features:
- The Walls - Astorga sits on a spur of rock, with mountains to the north and west. It has extant city walls to the south, east and west. You can walk along the walls to the south and gaze up in awe from one of the more scenic car parks to the north.
- The Bishop's Palace - Most camera crews doing Gaudi do not get as far as Astorga. The Bishop's palace is a fantastic piece of non-functional design. Balconies open over halls, walls curve and the whole flows. More conservative than other of his designs but still too much for the bishops, who never lived in it. It also has a museum dedicated to the Pilgrims way - which is not worth diverting to see.
The city of León is located in the northwest of Spain. It is situated on on the Way of St. James and has a vast cultural, historical and architectural heritage. The Kingdom of León (established in 910 A.C) was an ancient territory with a great Dynasty of Kings that would become kings of Spain after the union with the Kingdom of Aragon. County of Portugal and County of Castile born as divisions of the ancient kingdom of Leon that remained independent until the union with Castile again. The city has roman origins, when the Legio VII set up camped there.
Within the wide range of Leonese cuisine the following dishes are the most representative: Cecina (cured, smoked beef), morcilla (a superb variant of blood sausage), botillo (a dish of meat-stuffed pork intestine), garlic soup, el cocido leonés (a mix of meat with vegetables and chickpeas, served after a vegetable-vermicelli soup) and mantecadas (a sweet).
Another very important part of the gastronomy of León are the tapas that you can get in most of the many bars in the city. The most important thing about these tapas is that they are free unlike in most cities in Spain. It is a very common thing to do to go "de tapas" or "tapear" i.e. to go for a few drinks ("un corto", which is a very small beer, "una caña", which is roughly half a pint of beer or "un vino," a glass of wine) just before lunch, but more normally as a light form of dinner.
Any tourist visiting León will enjoy the ancient streets of "Barrio Húmedo". There it is possible to visit many bars in which tapas are served along with nice wines from "Tierras de Leon", "Ribera de Duero", or "Vino del Bierzo".
You can also visit some villages near Leon with vineyards such as Valdevimbre. There you will find caves that are as old as 300 years. Originally they were dug for wine cellars since they maintain nearly the same temperature year round. Today they are still used to make wine. Some of them have become restaurants or pubs.
The oldest cave-restaurant was opened in 1979 and it is called La Cueva del Tunel. It has a typical decoration with an Indian touch.
In Los Poinos you can find a mix between new cuisine and typical food from Leon.
In any of the Cuevas restaurants you will be able to enjoy the typical food from Leon such as cecina, callos, morcilla (blood pudding), etc. all those traditional place will be accompanied by local wines as Pardevalles, Tampesta, Barcillo or Los Palomares (inside the new D.O. Tierras de Leon).
Valdevimbre is 23 km from Leon and you can drive there or get a taxi for approximately 25EUR from Leon.
Tierra de León is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) for wines located in the south of the province of León. This wines are usually done with the unique grape variety typical from Leon, the Prieto Picudo, although Mencía type of grapes are also used. The Tierra de Léon wine region consists of 36 vineyards (Bodegas), which produce 1.5 millon liter of wine annually.
Go bar-hopping and/or clubbing in the barrio húmedo, a charming old neighborhood with narrow streets, which tremendous concentration of pubs, discos, and restaurants. This area isn´t usually very active during the day-time and can get fairly rowdy at night. However, despite how many people may be stumbling around drunkenly at 3am, this neighborhood is very safe, even for unescorted females late at night.
From the Cathedral, to the Bernesga River, there are two of the main streets, Calle Ancha, and Ordoño II, full of shops. In the middle of Ordoño II there's Alcázar de Toledo street, with sucursals of Spanish shops.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article León (Spain) on Wikivoyage.