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Ponferrada

León

Audioguide of Ponferrada

What to see in Ponferrada

There is a book from the Spanish writer Jesus Avila about the magic enclaves of Spain, which already warns us that Route LE-142 is one of the most interesting roads that you can follow in the province of León. And why? Well, maybe it is because it brings you to Ponferrada through a road in which there is lots to see. For example, Las Medulas, a place where the Romans, a long time ago, fell in love with and took possession of around 150,000 kilograms of bright yellow metal pebbles, commonly known as “gold”.

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There is a book from the Spanish writer Jesus Avila about the magic enclaves of Spain, which already warns us that Route LE-142 is one of the most interesting roads that you can follow in the province of León. And why? Well, maybe it is because it brings you to Ponferrada through a road in which there is lots to see. For example, Las Medulas, a place where the Romans, a long time ago, fell in love with and took possession of around 150,000 kilograms of bright yellow metal pebbles, commonly known as “gold”.

And so, we arrive to Ponferrada, which means Iron Bridge, despite the fact that the Romans initially baptized it as “Bergidum”, which means “earthly paradise”. But History goes around a lot, and once the Middle Ages started, it happened that this concept of paradise completely changed. You will see…

It turns out that here passed the famous Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James), but for the pilgrims who crossed it, who came from all over Europe, this was the most dangerous part of the journey. And why? Because between el Valle del Silencio (the Silence Valley), the Aquilanos mountains and their fame of been so rich in gold, that area was full of robbers of every shape and size. And what happened when the innocent pilgrims where assaulted by this robbers? The Knights Templar would appear, that was the reason why the Order had been founded during the Crusades, back in the year 1115 AD.

That is why, when you get to Ponferrada, you will realize immediately that the Templars who settled in this Leonese city were determined to carry out their mission conscientiously, since Alfonso XI gave them permission to fortify the villa. This is how they built this grand castle and palace over the remains of the old Roman camp where the city had its origins. That’s why they did it, this knights in white robes adorned with a red cross or their favourite symbol: A Greek letter, the “Tau”, or “T” which if you take a close look is also engraved in this impressive fortress of 8,000 square meters and triple lines of defence that today continues to dominate the villa; Ponferrada’s castle. A place that since its foundation in the year 1178, kept growing and improving until it was more or less as you can see it today.

They say is the biggest fortress that the Templars had in Spain and it’s probably true. You just have to take a look inside this building which was owned by The Templars until its official dissolution in the year 1314, with the burning of its Grand Master Jacques de Molay in the centre of Paris. It is probably why in this castle you can find the largest library known about The Knights Templar. 


Ponferrada

C/ Gil y Carrasco, 4 (Oficina de Turismo)
24400 Ponferrada
(+34) 987 424 236

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