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Astorga

León

We are facing an old Roman city, which name still reminds us of the crossing of the Roman legion around here… Astorga is Asturica Augusta and it was over the times that the name of this Roman city got shortened to Asturicaugusta, then Asturgusta, later Asturga and finally Astorga…

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We are facing an old Roman city, which name still reminds us of the crossing of the Roman legion around here… Astorga is Asturica Augusta and it was over the times that the name of this Roman city got shortened to Asturicaugusta, then Asturgusta, later Asturga and finally Astorga…

It was the times when the Romans were looking to fight with anyone even if they didn’t know who they were. In this case it was one of the tribes from around the area; the northern part of Hispania, the Astures, who gave the name to the region of Asturias.

And why were they looking to fight with these brave warriors most of them Celtics, hairy men with big moustaches, tattooed and with very sharp spears…? Same reason as usual. All though the Romans had a big Empire and lots of culture, they were very simple people. It happens that in this area ruled by the astures, there was gold. That’s all. That was enough for the Senate and the People of Rome to send a couple of legions over there. A habit that throughout human history has been repeated by all the leaders. Wealth? All for me!!

The second part of “Asturica Augusta” tells you when this happened- when Emperor August ruled, around the years 26 and 27 BC.

Roman historians like Floro and Orosio told that the Astures and the Cantabrians were very strong people and that, if they weren’t attacked, they would lose the control of all of Hispania. Or at least that was the popular excuse… but not the real one… the one about keeping all of their gold as we were saying earlier. And like this, August departed with his army towards this place.

The fierce resistance didn’t last very long, since the Astures had the bad… very bad idea to take refuge in Las Medulas. Exactly where the gold was and what the Romans were just looking for. In the year 19BC, August’s armies had destroyed everything from what is now the city of Burgos to Galicia. And over this total victory they built Asturica Augusta, which even though it already existed as an army camp after the end of the resistance of the Astures it kept growing and growing as a great Roman city. Like this, it survived for many years even after the last Roman emperor, Romulo, was kicked out of the little that was left of the Roman Emporium

But even so the city stayed there, serving as end of the journey to one of the main Roman roads, the one connecting Asturica Augusta with the great port of Burdigala, the actual Bordeaux.

There’s its walls, the Roman remains of the spas and the Ergastula (the jail for the slaves in that era). Other places you must see around here are, Santa Clara’s convent which reminds us of the hectic times of the war against Napoleon and of course the great jewel of the city: The Bishop’s Palace or Episcopal Palace, of which we encourage you to listen to our audio guide.

And this is all we wanted to tell you about Asturica Augusta, that is, the actual Astorga.


Astorga

Plaza Eduardo de Castro, 5 (Oficina de Turismo)
24700 Astorga
(+34) 987 618 222

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