Carretera Madrid-CoruÃ?Â±a, Km.329 Astorga, Astorg
More about Astorga
The pilgrim Santiago on the roof....
Tiny chapel of Santa Vera Cruz.
The diggings : calle Luis Braille.
Travel Tips for Astorga
Rest up in Jardín de la Sinagoga
If you are one of the many pilgrims that passes through the town or wanting to save pennies at lunchtime then take a picnic to the pretty park (origin of the name?). It is built into the roman wall, has shade, a purpose built graffiti wall and a pretty view of the plains below. Look out for the madroño donado trees planted with funding from Madrid...the tree (and a bear) is on the capital city's symbol.
A city full of history and beautiful spots
The cathedral and Gaudi palace are the most famous attractions of Astorga, but the whole city centre is full of sightseeings.
Take a city map from a tourist office or the pilgrims hostal (like the picture) and go round the streets to see all the marked monuments, as well as enjoy the sight from the city-wall promenade (Paseo de la muralla).
They are not a touristic spot, just 3 trees in a street.
But seeing such tall and big trees in the middle of a city is so unusual, that they seemed fantastic.
Near plaza Obispo Marcelo, in front of the seminar, at the corner with calle Carmen.
Astorga is another town where the "Camino de Santiago" runs right through the middle of it effectively joining up by the same path all the churches in it. Astorga has real Roman links with different sites in town that can be visited and has its own Roman museum. It also has a chocolate museum as it is classed as a historic centre for chocolate and is known as the "chocolate capital of Spain". Our friend Mister GAUDI has had his hand in another masterpiece of nonsense here in Astorga, the Bishops Palace, a rather modern version of a medieval fortress.
Astorga is considered the beginning and the capital of the area known as the Maragateria. From Astorga up to Pontferreda the area is simply littered with pretty little villages and friendly people. Of course it helps that the "Camino de Santiago" runs right through here, the road follows the pilgrim trail and is also known as LE-142. The Maragatos are supposedly a mix of the Moors and the Goths, hence the name.
See some of these villages in my Castrillo de los Polvazares pages with a map of the Maragateria.
Worth a day trip
"Catch a bus from León"
A couple of friends recommended we pay a visit. The journey from León wasn't pretty... the dust dry plains of central Spain yet there's lot's of historic names to spot on the signposts. Coming back we got a slower bus that was a windier, more attractive route. Astorga is on the pilgrims route to Santiago de Compostela... must be one of the more gruelling parts of the journey!
Anyway it's an attractive small town with remains of a roman wall, a cathedral, Gaudí building. I was looking forward to the chocolate factory visit most but it's closed on Mondays ;-(. We enjoyed all the other cuisine the town has to offer though!
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