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Always been fascinated by Spain, its history and its wealth of culture. In my pursuit of all things Spanish I'll gibber on about all things to do with Espanol...

Leon in all its glory!
23 April 2010

The history of Northern Spain has always intrigued me ever since I was a little boy. My father used to tell me tales about El Cid, the Knights of Santiago, the Almohad dynasty and the Reconquista. The history of the Reconquista is too detailed to extol in such a short post, in-fact its narrative is so lengthy and convoluted that one could spend a lifetime studying it.

One of the most important cities associated with the Reconquista is the city of Leon. The kingdom was created in 910AD. The city soon expanded under the royal patronage of King Alfonso V, becoming a major hub for traders and travellers around Europe. In the 12th century the Kingdom of Leon was officially established and the city became the capital of a thriving and prosperous region.

Today Leon is the largest municipality in the region, with nearly a quarter of the provinces population living within the city limits. Positioned near the Cantabrian Mountains, Leon enjoys a hot yet temperate climate. During the summer period days regularly hit a steady average of 20 - 27°C, the temperature is often cooler around Leon due to the proximity of the mountains.

Sites to visit.

There are hundreds of unique buildings within the city and the surrounding area. One of the most notable and impressive places to visit in Leon is the Santa María de León Cathedral. Another remarkable building is the Basilica of San Isidoro which contains the resting place of 11 Kings of Leon & Castile. 

As well as numerous historical monuments there are hundreds of bars, restaurants, cafes and night clubs. The culture of Northern Spain is robust and expansive with hundreds of festivals and activities to celebrate all year round. Leon is also hosts various cultural buildings including the de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León – a museum of modern art that has received significant reviews from around the world.

Travel.

Getting to Leon is relatively easy, the city has an airport which is currently being revamped, but is still at present operational. Others may choose to fly into Santander, or Madrid, and then drive to Leon – one short note, Santander is on the other side of the Cantabrian Mountains which makes getting to Leon a slightly more arduous task and will certainly add to travel times. Cheap and affordable car hire Spain can be arranged through several main brokers.
 



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