We left a local fair and wandered through the streets in Leon as dusk arrived. The lighting and crisp Fall air made these quaint streets seem so inviting. We found a wonderful wine and cheese shop and its owner sent us over to a plaza where we could find tapas. The sun had almost set and the lighting was moody and beautiful. It was one of those moments in life when you can't think of anywhere else you'd rather be.
Leon's cathedral is beautifully illuminated by night. The very light stone that it's constructed from, when contrasted to a dark night, really stands out.
As we drove out of Leon, it stood out in the distance. You could certainly easily find this town by night!
Aside from the pottery fair there was also a weekend festival going on. Spain is full of these and it's just wonderful to see everyone out and about and enjoying themselves.
Dancers were on stage doing some sort of local jig... Dare I say they were jiggy?
There's a beautiful castle-like Gaudi building right on Plaza del Obispo, in Leon. The details, like all Gaudi buildings, is unique, dreamlike and beautiful.
The detail on the fencing around it is amazing.
Leon's Plaza Mayor was being prepped for one of the many weekend festivals that happen all around Spain. Mellow/World style music was being piped into the plaza which was beautifully lit while an empty stage awaited festivities to come. The air was crisp with fall air and the stone ground seemed to glow in the lights.
It was simply beautiful.
Without the feeling of being hemmed in the plaza has a very intimate feel to it. A real centre of town, little staircases taking you off elsewhere, the really beautiful arcades. I had the pleasure of watching the sun go down over the top of the town hall, splendid.
The building is an ancient convent, rebuilt in a renaissance style by King Ferdinand. The church at the right hand side was finished in 1541 but work carried on into the 1700's. It has also been used as a hospital for pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela, but is now a luxury hotel. The wide esplanade also gives on to the river Bernesga.
Well laid out, with a splendid fountain in the middle, the Leon museum and the Casa Botinas on one side and The Church of San Marcelo on the other. From here the Gran Via de San Marcos takes you down to the plaza of the same name.
This cathedral, the only one in Spain to have adopted "French gothic style", very similar to the Reims cathedral by the shape as to the Amiens and Chartres cathedrals in height, was started in the 1250's and took around 150 years to finish. It is built on the site of an old Roman baths that became a palace 800 years later. It is also known as the "House of light - Pulchra Leonina" and has over 1,800 sq. metres of stained glass windows.
Open every day and entrance is free. Sometimes during the services the cloisters are closed.
Plaza Mayor holds the weekly market, which we missed....next time. On one side of the arcaded square is a 4 star hotel which (if I had the money) I would chose over the parador. On the other side is the city's art college.
León's Gaudí building isn't that memorable, only a few quirks. It is now a bank so no chance of studying the interior, unless you have to make some kind of financial transaction! The best thing about it is the bench outside with a bronze of the man deep in thought.
The Catedral de Santa María de León or León Cathedral (also called "The House of Light") is the cathedral of the city of León in northwest Spain. It was built on the site of a Roman bath of the 2nd century which, 800 years later, King Ordoño II converted into a palace.
León Cathedral's great doors, its rose window, the choir (one of the oldest in the country) and the delicacy of some figures, like the venerated Virgen Blanca presiding over the constant traffic of visitors, are among the many impressive features of this cathedral
this beautiful gothic cathedral was built on the site of king ordono's II 10th century palace. construction of the cathedral began in the 13th century and was completed in the 14th century. besure to go inside to see the outstanding stained glass windows.
Tapas are everywhere in Spain. But in Leon they are FREE! The idea (supposedly) came from centuries before when flies would land in your wine and the barkeep would place a plate of treats atop you glass to stop them from entering. Now it is more of a "thank you" for your patronage. A welcome custom vs. America's exorbinate 'cover charge.' Tapas include(but not limited to) olives, serrano ham, cheese, patatas fritas, papas fritas con alioli sauce(garlic mayo), chorizo(sausage). If you want beer in Leon, order a "cana" (kan-ya) if you dont want to be charged for a bottle of beer. If it is very small, it is because the idea of tapas and drinks are meant to be drank/eaten and then move on to another bar. If you like wine, ask for "tinto" meaning "red wine" and "blanco vino(be-no)" for white wine. Aproveche!(Enjoy your meal!)
The cathedral church in Lion is one the best examples of Gothic art in Spain. It is also known as the 'pulchra leonina' because it was built within a relatively short periode of time and hence the uniformity of the style. That makes it very different from other Spanish cathedrals, where the construction lasted for centuries and different architectonic styles overlap each other.
The cathedral of León follows the pattern of the French Gothic cathedrals, like Reims or Amiens. This is due to the fact that León has always been an important stop in the pilgrimage road to Saint James of Compostela, a way from where the influences of the rest of Europe entered Spain.
The colourful stain-glassed windows are unarguably the most beautiful in Spain and amazingly well preserved.