Ponferrada - Las Medulas - Villafranca Del Bierzo

Price: 89.00 EUR
Countries: Spain
Route: Leon - Ponferrada - Las Medulas - Villafranca Del Bierzo - Leon
Duration: 9 h
The first stop of our tour will be at Ponferrada which has two well-differentiated parts, the historic centre, where the monuments are concentrated, and the new city, where the services and shops are concentrated. From the historical centre, of reduced dimensions, we will walk to the Avenida del Castillo at the height of the Plaza del Temple, next to the Castle, since a few steps further you will find the small church of San Andrés of the XVII century. If you go back to the square and take Calle Gil y Carrasco you will pass in front of the Casa de los Escudos (House of Shields) where the Radio Museum has been installed. At the end of the street to be in front of the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Encina, a Renaissance temple that guards the patron saint of the city, the Virgen de la Encina. According to legend, it was brought from Jerusalem by Santo Toribio and guarded in Astorga until the Muslim incursions when, for security reasons, it was decided to bury it in a secluded area, choosing an oak grove in El Bierzo.Centuries later, while the Templars were building their fortress, exploiting the nearby holm oaks, it was found and turned into the patron saint of the place. Following the Calle del Reloj you can see the Torre del Reloj, the only thing that remains of the old walled enclosure of the city, and the old prison that functioned until 1968 and that today has been conditioned to house the Museo del Bierzo. At the end of the street is the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Town Hall Square), with pleasant cafés taking advantage of the shelter of the arcades and from which there are several medieval alleys that are worth walking through. The next stop will be at the region of El Bierzo, to the northeast of the Montes Aquilanos and near the valley of the river Sil, where we will find Las Médulas, a fantastic landscape resulting from the gold exploitation by the Romans, and it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The reddish sunset colour of these slopes has converted the area into a magically mysterious piece of landscape. Who would have thought that such sharp peaks have Roman gold buried within. After centuries of mining inactivity, las Médulas have become an attraction among tourists due to their beautiful landscape and museum consisting of an archaeological room where you are given a fully detailed description of the period when the largest open cast gold mine in the Roman Empire operated. Our last stop in this tour will be at the Villafranca Del Bierzo. The French monks of Clunny settled down in Villafranca in 1070 in order to take care of pilgrims on their way to Compostela. It is known that there were several hospices for pilgrims like Santiago, St. Lázaro, St. Roque, St. Juan . Pilgrims, most of them French, congregated in this area and the new borough of “Villa-francorum” arose.During the centuries XIV th and XV th a new born group of craftsmen and guilds developed and grew up in the following years.In 1486 Villafranca was made into a marquisate.Donations by the Marquis contributed to augment the monumental wealth of this village. There you will see the Church of Santiago, Tejedores Quarter, Convent of la Anunciada, Convent of San Nicolás, Del Agua Street, Collegiate of St. María,  Church of San Juan, The Castle, Convent of La Laura and Garden of La Alameda. After that we will return to Leon.
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Countries: Spain

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