When I entered León, it was three-thirty and later than I had hoped. I had walked thirty-six kilometers, and the last ten were very challenging. I was happy to arrive and wanted to make the best of my time. My goal for the night was the suburb of La Virgen del Camino, about ten kilometers away, and I had to allow enough time to get there… From Page 128, Camino De Santiago In 20 Days. Needless to say, I was a little shocked when I arrived at the municipal albergue in León, about two kilometers off the Camino de Santiago.
Now that I was off the Camino, I wanted to make the best of my time. I wrote on page 129, “I thought about backtracking but wanted to see something different. The Plaza de Santa Ana now would be my destination, but my map didn’t show most of the city streets. A man in a business suit was eager to give me directions, and I followed his lead but soon realized I was headed back to the albergue. I turned around, and after walking many blocks, I arrived at the Plaza de Toros, not where I had intended.”
Now, I’ll continue with my journey on the Camino de Santiago in León, Castilla y León. On my last post, On The Camino de Santiago in León, Spain, when I arrived to León, it was cold and starting to rain. It was far different than the sunny morning I had when I left El Burgo Ranero, several hours earlier. The roundabout at the Plaza de Toros had this metal sculpture to commemorate León’s anniversary. Coming from Canada, it was hard to believe that I was in a city that had been established for 1100 years.
The León Arena or Plaza de Toros de León had a classic look. It was built in 1948 and was once used for bullfighting. Now, it’s a modern arena used for basketball and concerts. The seating capacity is 10,000.
I can’t quite remember where this sculpture was, but I think it was at, or close to, the San Francisco Jardin.
This fountain was in the San Francisco Jardin.
A side view to look at the fish and other details.
Although I don’t think it was old, this was one my favorite sculptures that I saw in Spain. I wrote on page 129, “My favorite sculpture was of a bearded shepherd with his arms outstretched as he looked toward the heavens… I sensed I would be looking toward the heavens too, if I didn’t find the Camino soon. I didn’t know how much extra I had walked, but I was exhausted.”
These ancient walls were in a more modern part of the city.
Examples of 20th century architecture in León.
This BBVA building may be older.
I’m not sure which Iglesia is on the left, but it’s obviously older than 20th century.
This beautiful building is the Casa de los Botines, designed by renowned, and important Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudí. It was built in the 1890s and was a home and a warehouse. Today the Spanish savings bank, Caja España, owns Casa de los Botines. For more information on the life and works of Antoni Gaudí, please read his Wikipedia page.
Next to the Casa de los Botines, was the 16th century Palacio de los Guzmanes. Construction of this Renaissance building was never finished. Today, it houses the León Regional Government. In 1963, the Palacio de los Guzmanes was declared a national monument.
This fountain was in the plaza near the Casa de los Botines and Palacio de los Guzmanes.
After a short walk, I was in the old city of León, and back on the Camino de Santiago.
By the time I made it back to the Camino, it was late in the afternoon, and it was rainy and cold. I was hungry and dead tired from walking at least four or five extra kilometers. However, I certainly didn’t want to miss any of the Camino, and proceeded to walk back to where I had left it. That, will be my next post, Back On The Camino de Santiago in Leon, Spain, To San Marcos. Please join me.
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