The capital of the Leonese region of Maragatería offers a rich medieval legacy, the result of its location at a crossroads: the French Way and the Via de la Plata route. Its walled enclosure preserves churches, convents and pilgrims’ hospitals, which take the traveller back to the purest Jacobean tradition. Also outstanding in its urban layout is a masterpiece of the modernist architect Antonio Gaudí: the Episcopal Palace. Astorga is also a good opportunity to enjoy the gastronomic richness of these lands. Its historic quarter has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
Astorga appears at the confluence of two important routes. The oldest of them, the Vía de la Plata route, dates back to Roman times. Following this route (Gijón-Seville), the metals extracted from the mines in the north of the peninsula were transported to the commercial ports in the south. During the Middle Ages it was crossed by Arab and Christian troops, in times of conquest and reconquest. Excellent communication route for centuries, it became a pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.