|municipality of Spain|
From left to right and from top to bottom: Cathedral, Roman sewer, Episcopal Palace, Town Hall, Chocolate Museum and wall.
|Location of Astorga in Spain.|
|Location of Astorga in the province of León.|
|Motto : Very noble, loyal, worthy, magnificent and august|
|• Autonomous Com.||Castile and Leon|
|• County||Astorga land [ 1 ] [ Note 1 ]|
|• Judicial party||Astorga|
|• Altitude||869 [ 2 ] m|
|Astorga, Castrillo de los Polvazares , Murias de Rechivaldo , Santa Catalina de Somoza and Valdeviejas|
|Foundation||Around 14 a. C.|
|Population||10,741 hab. (2020)|
|• Density||238,41 hab./km²|
|Demonym||Astorgano, -a [ note 2 ]|
|Mayor (2019)||Juan Jose Alonso Perandones ( PSOE ) [ 3 ]|
|Budget||8 700 005 € (2010)|
|Twinned with|| Reus ( Tarragona ) |
Moissac ( France )
Clavijo ( La Rioja )
Mérida ( Badajoz )
|Pattern|| Santo Toribio |
|Patroness|| Santa Marta |
Astorga ( Estorga , [ 5 ] in the Leonese of Maragatería ) is a municipality [ 6 ] and city in Spain , in the central area of the province of León , in the autonomous community of Castilla y León . It is located in the transit between the Páramo Leonés and the mountains of León , and acts as the backbone of the regions of Maragatería , La Cepeda and Ribera del Órbigo . [ 7 ]The city is the head of one of the largest and oldest dioceses in Spain, whose jurisdiction covers half of the province of León and part of those of Orense and Zamora . [ 8 ] In addition, he is the head of judicial party number 5 in the province of León. [ 9 ]
Born as a Roman military camp of Legio X Gemina at the end of the 1st century BC. C., [ 10 ] shortly after it became a civil settlement and was the capital of the Asturian Convent . It developed as an important communications hub in the northwest of the peninsula and enjoyed a certain prosperity in the first two centuries of our era, thanks to gold mining, being defined by Pliny the Elder as magnificent vrbs . [ 11 ] In the central years of the third century it must have been established as an episcopal see, with Basílidesas its first bishop. [ 8 ] It was part of the kingdom of the Suevi after the barbarian invasions and in 714 it was taken by Muslim troops from Táriq , although it would be reconquered by the Asturian monarchy in the middle of the same century. At the end of the 10th century, he again suffered, on three occasions, Muslim harassment at the hands of Almanzor . [ 12 ]
Since the 11th century , and thanks to the impulse given by the Camino de Santiago , the city experienced a progressive development, in which the Church played a leading role. In 1465 Enrique IV of Castile granted Álvaro Pérez Osorio , Count of Trastamara, Lord of Villalobos and Castroverde, the title of Marquis of Astorga, for which the city passed from the free state to a feudatory condition . [ 13 ] At the beginning of the 19th century the city suffered the consequences of the French occupationand it was one of the first cities that rose up against the French, with the mutiny of peasants and laborers on May 2, 1808. [ 14 ] The French army entered the city on December 31 of the same year and during the years Following this, the square changed hands on several occasions until the French finally capitulated on August 17, 1812.
Between the middle of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th , an important industrial development took place, in which the arrival of the railroad and the rise of the chocolate industry played a fundamental role. [ 15 ] This continues active together with other branches of the food industry, such as the confectionery and meat industry, although the economic activity of the municipality is based mainly on the services sector , with administration, commerce and cultural tourism as sectors. most prominent. The latter is mainly based on its historical-artistic heritage, in which it is worth highlighting the cathedral , the Episcopal Palace , thetown hall and the Roman ergástula , all of them declared a Site of Cultural Interest , [ 16 ] in addition to being a place of passage of the Camino de Santiago and one of the headwaters of the Vía de la Plata .
The most representative celebrations are the carnivals - the first weekend after Ash Wednesday -, Holy Week - declared of National Tourist Interest -, [ 17 ] the Astures y Romanos festival - declared of Regional Tourist Interest - [ 18 ] And, discontinuously, the procession of the Zuiza in honor of the Clavijo banner and the procession of the Virgin of Castrotierra , brought in years of drought from its sanctuary located 17 kilometers from the city.
In 2015, in the approval by Unesco of the extension of the Camino de Santiago in Spain to " Caminos de Santiago de Compostela: French Way and Northern Spanish Ways ", Spain sent as documentation a "Retrospective Inventory - Associated Elements" ( Retrospective Inventory - Associated Components ) in which between the numbers 1708 and 1772 Astorga appears with a set of associated elements. [ 19 ]
The Astorga place name is a natural and popular evolution of the old Asturica place name. On the origin and meaning of the latter there are several theories: [ 20 ] for some, such as the chronicler Gil González Dávila , it comes from the name that Astyr or Astur, squire of Memnon had come from the east, while for others it derives from Astiria, Astirica or Asturia, name by which it was still known during the conquests of Munuza .
Pedro Junco, relying on other texts such as the Covarrubias Dictionary , wrote in 1635 that the name derived from Astu and Orgia, two words that together would form Astorgia, with the meaning of "city to celebrate the worship of the gods", specifically from Bacchus , and that Latinized would become Asturica; Likewise, he affirmed that before being called Asturica it was called Rhoma, a synonym for fort in Greek. [ 20 ] [ 21 ]
The city is cited as Astorica in documents from 878, as Osturga and Austurga in the Codex Calixtinus , and as Astur, Asturius and Asturia throughout the Middle Ages . [ 22 ] In the 19th century , Víctor Gebhardt wrote in his General History of Spain that Astorga, in earlier times, had the name of Asturica Amak. In the dictionary of Antonio de Nebrija , edition of 1734, it is called Asturia and Asturica: "Asturia, region and city close to Portugal" and "Asturica Augusta, city of Tarragona Spain, vulgarly called Rome."
In any case, Asturica was called the old capital of the 22 Asturian tribes , which later received, from the hands of the Emperor César Augustus , the surname of Augusta, while raising the place to the capital of a legal convent . [ 23 ]
The municipal term of Astorga, which covers an area of 46.78 km², is located to the southwest of the central area of the province of León, in the transition zone between the plain of the Páramo Leonés and the mountains of León , which makes Astorga is a strategic communications center, already attested since ancient times by being a crossroads between the Camino de Santiago and the Vía de la Plata, and the natural gateway to Galicia. [ 24 ] Its territory is divided between the traditional regions of Tierra de Astorga and Maragatería [ 12 ] and is represented on sheets MTN50 (scale 1:50 000) 192 and 193 of the National Topographic Map.
|Northwest: Brazuelo||North: Brazuelo and Villaobispo de Otero||Northeast: San Justo de la Vega|
|West: Brazuelo||East: San Justo de la Vega|
|Southwest Santa Colomba de Somoza||South: Val de San Lorenzo and Santiago Millas||Southeast: San Justo de la Vega|
Astorga is located in the northwestern part of the Duero basin and presents, in general, a smooth relief, but with two differentiated areas: [ 26 ] on the one hand, a series of ESE-WNW orientation mountain ranges, with materials from the Lower Paleozoic. , and on the other the plain of the river Tuerto , of tertiary materials covered later during the Quaternary . [ 27 ] The western zone presents a morphology of valleys, with the same orientation as the Hercynian structures(ESE-ONO), characterized by being flat bottom and filled with Miocene sediments, while in the eastern zone alluvial plains and different levels of terraces dominate . [ 27 ]
The average altitude of the municipality ranges between 830 m asl of the vegas that surround the city and more than a thousand meters of the western end of the term. [ 28 ] This difference supposes the passage from a flat landscape to an elevated terrain, with gentle slopes, which culminates in heights such as El Sierro (969 meters above sea level), La Cuesta (996 meters above sea level) and, especially, El Cuerno, a geodesic vertex located at 1114 m asl [ 29 ] The city itself is located on a promontory, at 870 m asl, on which its historic center sits, whose profile resembles a spur, becoming smoother at its western end. [ 30 ]
The entire municipality is framed within the Duero river basin ; As in a good part of the province, its river courses are characterized by the irregularity of their flow, with droughts in summer and floods in autumn and winter due to rain and melting snow. [ 31 ]
The fertile plain of the Tuerto river, a tributary of the Órbigo river , is the most important in the municipal area and extends through the eastern part of it. However, the course with the longest route through the municipality is the Jerga River , which rises in the Peña del Gato, next to the Foncebadón port , and after passing through Castrillo de los Polvazares, Murias de Rechivaldo, Astorga and Celada de la Vega, It pours its waters into the Tuerto river a few kilometers from Astorga. Other smaller channels are the different streams that flow into both rivers, such as La Moldera, Val Seco or Fontanal. [ 28 ]
The climate in the municipality is classified as continental Mediterranean, with cold winters with frequent frosts, and hot and dry summers. The annual thermal oscillation is around 15 ° C while the daily one sometimes exceeds 20 ° C. Rainfall is distributed unevenly throughout the year, with scarcity of it in summer, concentrating at the end of autumn, in the winter months and at the beginning of spring. [ 32 ] [ 33 ] The altitude above sea level, its elevated position on the environment and exposure to winds generally favor a cool environment much of the year, being particularly bleak in winter and spring. [ 34 ]
According to the Köppen climatic classification , Astorga falls within the Csb variant, [ 32 ] that is to say, a Mediterranean climate with mild summers, with the mean of the warmest month not exceeding 22 ° C, but exceeding 10 ° C for five or more more months. It is a transitional climate between the Mediterranean (Csa) and the oceanic (Cfb). The city has a meteorological station located in the El Sierro area, dependent on the State Meteorological Agency . [ 35 ]
|Average climatic parameters of Astorga|
|Temp. media (°C)||2.9||4.2||6.8||8.4||12.0||16.6||20.2||19.9||16.5||11.7||6.4||3.8||10.8|
|Total precipitation (mm)||46.2||38.5||29.1||32.1||42.6||32.9||19.6||18.1||29.5||41.6||41.5||40.7||412.4|
|Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Precipitation data and temperature (1961-2001) [ 36 ]|
Geologically, Astorga is located in the Asturoccidental-Leonesa Zone , southwest of the Navia-Alto Sil Domain. At the lithological level, the most outstanding materials found in the municipality are, on the one hand, natural aggregates from the Quaternary and Miocene clays - traditionally used for the production of ceramics, both at an industrial and artisanal level -, and on the other hand quartzites, Paleozoic sandstones and shales . On the alluvial deposits of the Miocene, there are concentrations of gold, of a secondary nature and low yields, both in ancient and modern river terraces. [ 27 ] With respect to the stratigraphy, to the west of the municipality there are levels of theSeries of Los Cabos from the Upper Cambrian and Lower Ordovician and the Pizarras de Luarca , from the Middle Ordovician; the Paleozoic outcrops are flanked by Miocene levels on which the Quaternary sediments are arranged in extensive areas and completely cover the river basins of the Jerga and Tuerto rivers. [ 27 ] [ 37 ]
The municipality of Astorga is located on the supra-Mediterranean bioclimatic floor , so its climax vegetation is made up of marcescent and coniferous species . [ 38 ] [ 39 ] These include the rebollos, which grow in the cooler and more humid areas of the west of the municipality, on quaternary deposits and predominantly siliceous soils, as well as the reforestation pine forests, located mainly in the Alto del Cuerno environment, composed of species such as the Scots pine. Holm oak is also present, generally scattered, but forming a homogeneous unit in the mountain between Castrillo de los Polvazares and Murias de Rechivaldo , very degraded, in a carved state and with stunted feet; This is due to the traditional use of oak for charcoal and firewood, something that also happens in the rest of the province. [ 40 ] In its lower stratum there are species such as genistas ,lavenders or hare's feet . In areas where the tree stratum is not present, mainly sunny slopes , due to both the low quality of the soil and the scarcity of water, there are shrubs of rosemary, broom or rockrose. In the plain of the Tuerto river, apart from the poplar plantations, you can find poplars, willows or alders. The rest of the municipal territory corresponds to wastelands and farmland.
The municipality has a rich and varied fauna due to its transition situation between the Mediterranean and the Eurosiberian world. [ 41 ] Thus, as for the ichthyids , the waters of Astorga support only two species, the common barbel and the Duero boga , which are accompanied by mammals such as the otter. [ 42 ] Among the different species of amphibians and reptiles are the common toad, the marbled newt , the ocellated lizard or the Seoane viper and the bastard snake . [ 43 ]In the flat areas of the municipality there are birds such as the kestrel or the common hawk and small mammals such as the rabbit or the Iberian hare. In the surroundings of the population centers, the white stork, the swallow, the common swift, the wood pigeon, different species of eyelids , the rook or birds of prey such as the red kite are common. [ 44 ] Finally, in the grassland or forest areas, birds such as the red partridge and mammals such as roe deer, weasel, fox, wild boar and, occasionally, wolf are present. [ 45 ]
The history of the city goes back, in theory, to pre- Roman times , since the Greek-Egyptian geographer Ptolemy already referred to Asturica as Asturian city and capital of the amacos . This has led to different researchers such as Manuel Gómez-Moreno or José María Luengo granting it an indigenous origin. [ 46 ] [ 47 ] [ 48 ] However, archaeological excavations that have been made in the urban area have not provided any such material that might corroborate origins. [ 49 ]Therefore, it cannot be scientifically affirmed that there was a pre-Roman settlement, despite the existence of several hill forts from the Iron Age in the surroundings of Astorga, such as La Mesa in Castrillo de los Polvazares. [ 50 ] [ 51 ]
Its foundation, based on data obtained thanks to archeology, is related to the presence of a detachment of the Legio X Gemina as a result of the Cantabrian wars . This presence is attested by the discovery of two trenches or moats as a defensive system, as well as by the existence of several foundation trenches for possible wooden structures. [ 10 ] Once the military campaigns of Augustus against the Asturians and Cantabrians ended , between 29 BC. C. and 19 a. C., the camp was raised, which after the pacification of the territory became a civilian settlement within the province Tarragona . This conversion must have occurred at the beginning of the 1st century , since in the year 27 the pact of hospitality with the Zoelas shows that Rome's relations with the natives were already stabilized. [ 52 ]
Approximately in the transition between the governments of Claudio and Vespasiano , the city assumed the capital of the Conventus Iuridicus Asturum and was the main receiving nucleus of the gold extracted from mines such as Las Médulas . This boom made Pliny the Elder , at that time Procurator of Hispania Citerior , define the city, in his work Naturalis Historia , as vrbs magnifica . [ 53 ] [ 11 ] With the territorial reorganization occurred in the Century III, the city became part of the Gallaecia province , with capital in Bracara Augusta ( Braga ). When the mining operations ended in Diocletian's time , the decline of the city began.
In the middle years of the 3rd century , it must have been established as an episcopal see, with Basilides as its first bishop, around 249. [ 8 ] However, the implantation of Christianity was threatened by the barbarian invasions and, religiously , by the expansion of the priscilianistas and manicheístas doctrines , against which they fought later Hidacio and santo Toribio . [ 54 ]
After the barbarian invasions occurred, the Swabians settled in the territory of ancient Gallaecia around 410 and the city became part of their kingdom. The confrontation between the Swabians and the Visigoths caused Astorga to suffer looting by the latter, the first by Teodorico II in 459 and the second by Leovigildo in 569. Because of all this, Astorga lost its status as the capital of a legal convent , along with the disappearance of the Roman political and administrative system, and the protagonism fell, from that moment, on the city of León. In 714, on the occasion of the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula , Astorga suffered the attack and destruction by Táriqon their march north. [ 55 ] [ 12 ] After the rise of the kingdom of Asturias in the middle of the century VIII , the king Alfonso I of Asturias moved south and reconquered for Christians, among others, the city of Astorga. Ordoño I of Asturias , who ascended to the throne in 850, commissioned Count Gatón to repopulate and rebuild the city.
Years later, the five sons of Alfonso III of Asturias revolted against him and the monarch distributed the crown among them after abdicating; thus García I de León , to whom León corresponded, located his court in Astorga for four years, until his death in 914. After that, Ordoño II de León transferred the capital to León, circumstances that gave rise to the birth of the kingdom of León . In 988 the capital suffered looting by Almanzor which caused, according to Gebhardt , the temporary transfer of the court to Astorga. [ 56 ] The latter also suffered, in 988, 994 and 996, the siege and pillage by the troops of Almanzor.
In 1034, Sancho Garcés III of Pamplona took the city and the rest of León due to the disagreements with Bermudo III of León . In 1073 tenure was established as a form of government. [ 57 ] [ 58 ] This was occupied in the early years of the century XII , by Teresa, Countess of Portugal , taking advantage of the disputes occurred between her sister Magpie I of Leon and Alfonso I of Aragon , and in 1143 became domain of his son, Alfonso I of Portugal .
During the government of Ferdinand III of Castile , the mode of territorial administration changed and thus the holdings became lordships. In the specific case of Astorga, this happened around 1277, but in 1345 Alfonso XI of Castile decided that the government of the city should be in the hands of a magistrate and several regidores.
From 1367 until the end of the century, the city suffered a crisis due to the plague, the struggles between Pedro I of Castile and Enrique II of Castile, and the poor economic situation. At this time, Astorgan merchants maintained relations and traffic with various towns in Galicia, which could be the origin of the future muleteer . [ 59 ]
On July 16, 1465, through a privilege given in Toro , Enrique IV of Castile granted Álvar Pérez de Osorio , Count of Trastamara, Lord of Villalobos and Castroverde, the title of Marquis of Astorga, which is why the city it passed from the free state to a feudal condition. [ 13 ] The power of the marquisate exerted a great influence on the government of the city and came to affect those areas that the Cathedral Chapter had under its power. [ 60 ]
The sixteenth century was starred, in its early years, by the War of the Communards (1520-1521); Astorga belonged to the realistic side, as the marquis was a follower of the king Carlos I . [ 61 ] It was a period in which numerous brotherhoods were created to help, through hospitals, the poor and pilgrims, a fact that was accentuated thanks to the passage of the Camino de Santiago through the city. Of all this tradition of reception, the one of San Juan Bautista and that of the Five Wounds remain in the city . [ 62 ]The religious influence was always present, not only because of the ecclesiastical moral domain, but also because the Cabildo was the owner of large rustic and urban properties.
The arrival of the printing press, in 1545 at the hand of Agustín de Paz, favored written production, which at that time was reduced almost exclusively to missals and ecclesiastical works, such as Francisco de Evia's Thesaurus Angelorum . In addition, it marked the beginning of a tradition of printers, such as Antonio de la Calzada, whose peak came at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th , when more printers were operating in Astorga than in the provincial capital itself, [ 63 ] among the which were those of Antonio Gullón, Juan Alonso, Porfirio López, Nicesio Fidalgo, González Revillo and Ortiz.
During the 18th century the city reached a certain prosperity and in its daily life reed games , bullfights in the Plaza Mayor, bowling - regulated in 1601 -, theatrical performances and sacramental functions were common. [ 64 ] Between the 18th and 19th centuries the territory of Astorga was affected by the division of the province into cantons and jurisdictions, which was later modified during the War of Independence.
At the beginning of the 19th century , the previous growth of the city stopped due to both the epidemics and the consequences of the French occupation . Thus, Astorga was one of the first cities to rise up against the French, with the mutiny of peasants and day laborers on May 2, 1808, [ 14 ] and the following month the Armament and Defense Board was formed. The French army entered the city on December 31, 1808 and during the following years the square changed hands on several occasions, with heroic deeds such as the defense made by General José María de Santocildes , until finally, and thanks to a strategy prepared by Generals Castaños andWellington , the French capitulated on August 17, 1812. Of everything that happened in those years, General Santocildes wrote the Historical Summary of the attacks, siege and surrender of Astorga . [ 65 ]
After the restitution to the throne of Fernando VII , he abolished the Constitution of 1812 and returned to absolutism , something that was well received by the ecclesiastical, noble and bourgeois sectors of the city; the influence of the Bishopric and Cabildo continued throughout the 19th and 20th centuries . [ 66 ] Regarding local administration, during the brief government of José I Bonaparte a new organization of the territory was proposed , with Astorga at the head of one of the departments, the Department of Esla. [ 67 ]The idea did not go ahead and in 1820, with the beginning of the Liberal Triennium , a new division was proposed, with Astorga as one of the eleven parties in the province, but in 1823 it was canceled. In 1833, with the new territorial reorganization , the city and the Maragatería were assigned to the province of León .
During the reign of Isabel II , and after the Constitution of 1845 , Astorga was represented by the progressive Santiago Alonso Cordero . In the following decades, other representatives in the Cortes were Pío Gullón Iglesias , who was part of the political alternative to Cánovas del Castillo , and Manuel García Prieto , who held the presidency of the government several times, the last of which, in 1922, was prior to the military coup of Miguel Primo de Rivera . [ 68 ] With the outbreak of the Civil War on July 18, 1936After the passage to Asturias of the columns of miners that had initially advanced towards the south, on July 20 the Civil Guard and the military took control of the city, which remained - as did most of the city. province - in rebellious territory. Some time later, the Transition and the arrival of democracy gave a new impetus to the development of the city with a greater diversification of its economic activities thanks to the development of tourism, the increase in road transport and its revitalization as a regional center.
The religious influence has always been present in the historical development of the city. There is no known mention of indigenous deities in the Astorian territory and neither do they appear in the city itself, due to its Roman bell origin, but the presence of the god Caraedudi can be verified in the town of Cuevas - together with Celada de la Vega -, [ 69 ] [ 70 ] as well as the existence of a plaque to Marti thylene, found in Quintana of the frame .
- Roman and Greek gods
With the installation of the Roman camp, both the Roman and Greek gods were welcomed on a religious level; thus, the following are known of the cult in the city:
- Mars , since he was the god of war who helped the camp. In Astorga he was also known as Gradivo - the god who also makes the harvest grow - and as Sagato, alluding to the sagum or field cloak worn by the soldiers. [ 71 ]
- Mercury , god of commerce and roads. Only one representation of him has been found in Astorga, on a secondary road that goes from this city to the gold mines of Las Médulas . [ 72 ]
- Worship of the Emperor and worship of the Empress. It is natural that these cults existed, since it was the capital of the Legal Convent , where a large number of officials lived.
- Iulia Domna, who is considered and respected as the mother of the emperor, mother of the senate, the camp and the motherland. This cult was consummated through the goddesses Minerva and Juno . [ 73 ]
- Proserpina , daughter of Ceres , known in Astorga with the title of Invicta. [ 74 ]
- Apollo , protector god of the emperor; in Astorga he is related to Granno, a Celtic god whose name means "garnet", "bright like scarlet" or "shining like the sun." This god had a shrine in Trier . [ 75 ]
Representations of the god Aesculapius and his son Telesphoros have also been found , related to medicine and healing.
- Eastern gods
As a consequence of its status as the capital of a legal convent and the place where the superior officials of the imperial administration lived, dedications or consecrations to the eastern gods appeared at the end of the second century and the beginning of the third . These were introduced in Rome from the Severus , under the influence of high imperial officials from the East, such as Ioul or Silvanos Melanion, who brought with them an imported religion with their gods; sometimes the dedication inscription is written in the Greek language.
- Isis , who is shown with the Greek appellation of Myronimo — a thousand names — in reference to her attributes as protector of the earth, producer of food, patroness of childbirth and the health of women. [ 76 ]
- Mitra , god of the Sun of Persian origin, absorbed by the Roman Empire. An inscription was found in Astorga that said Invicto Deo and another with Soli Invicto , both in allusion to this god.
- Serapis , the Egyptian god, appears in some cases as a couple with Isis. He is the god of health, to whom healing powers are attributed and to whom amulets and votive offerings were dedicated. [ 77 ]
Christianity and the episcopal see
Until the arrival of Christianity the religion had been polytheistic. With Christianity, monotheism and the construction of churches dedicated to saints, who were highly venerated at the time, such as San Martín, San Acisclo, San Cristóbal or Santa Marta.
There is evidence that the council of Elvira , which was held between 295 and 314 and in which 37 bishops of the Peninsula participated, was attended by Decencio , bishop of León, who at that time formed an episcopal see in union with Astorga, one of the most ancient parts of Christian Hispania. [ 78 ] After the Edict of Milan in 313, it was considered that the city of León was greatly influenced by the Mithraic doctrine , popular among soldiers, due to its character as a military place, and the headquarters happened to be located exclusively in Astorga. It had lost all political influence at that time because the Emperor Diocletianit had made a new division of provinces and Astorga had ceased to be the capital of the Legal Convent; [ note 3 ] the transfer of the diocese favored the city, which for this reason continued to maintain its distinction, although this time in the religious field. [ Note 4 ]
The news and references that are preserved in different documents provide knowledge about the existence of the successive bishops of the Astorga diocese from 380, when the Symposium attended the first council of Zaragoza . [ 79 ] The presence of Astorgan bishops is known in the different councils of Toledo, the first of which was attended by Dictino . One of the subjects treated in this council was that of the rural churches, their maintenance and their worship; Many of these churches survived thanks to their conversion into medieval hermitages and sanctuaries of the diocese, as happened with the hermitage of the Virgen de Castrotierra, which also has its enclave in an old settlement from the Iron Age. 
Apart from the documentation of the aforementioned councils, there is the Chronicle of Hydacius to find out about the existence of Astorgan bishops throughout the 5th century . During the episcopate of Bishop Santo Toribio , from 440 to 480, the invasion of the Swabians, Vandals and Alans and the Visigothic attacks with the consequent destruction of Astorian churches took place. [ 81 ] Also at this time and during the power of Bishop Toribio, the Manichean heresy arose in Astorga - a topic dealt with at the Asturian Council of 456 during the mandate of said bishop - [ 82 ] and later, around 585, spread theArianism until the conversion of Recaredo to Christianity in 589, in the III Council of Toledo , when Talasio was as bishop of Astorga. In successive councils of Toledo there was always a representation of the astorgano bishopric, up to the Council XVI in 693. [ Note 5 ]
In the Middle Ages there was a restructuring of the diocese. During the time of repopulation, the Christian life was activated and a series of churches and monasteries appeared within the city, among which those of San Cristóbal, San Julián and Santa Basilisa, San Acisclo, San Salvador, Santo Tomé, San Martín stood out. , San Isidoro and San Pedro. [ 83 ] Outside the city the monastery of San Dictino was founded. In the 11th century the Cathedral of Santa María, several churches and the Hospital of San Juan Bautista were built , and, outside the city, more churches, the Monastery of Santa Clara and the Hospital of Santo Tomás Cantuariense —or Canterbury—.
The following is a list of the bishops of the Astorga diocese who attended the different councils in Hispania, all confirmed by the documents of the councils themselves:
- Polybius attended the first council of Braga in 561.
- Talasio attended the III council of Toledo in 589.
- Concord to the IV Council of Toledo in 633.
- Oscar to the VI Council of Toledo in 638.
- The priest Pablo in representation of the Candidate bishop to the VII Council of Toledo in 646.
- Candidate Bishop to the VIII Council of Toledo in 653.
- Elpidio the X Council of Toledo in 656.
- Isidore at the III council of Braga.
- Abbot Leopardo, representative of Bishop Aurelio to the XIII Council of Toledo in 683.
- Aurelio at the XV Council of Toledo in 688.
- Aurelio to the XVI Council of Toledo in 693.
The following news about the diocese and its bishops refer to the times of repopulation of the city and the re-creation of the bishopric and the dioceses during the reconquest. [ 84 ] Since 1954 the diocese of Astorga has been dependent on the Archdiocese of Oviedo.
According to the 2019 municipal registry of the INE , the municipality of Astorga had 10,867 inhabitants, of which 5,113 were men and 5,754 were women, [ 85 ] which makes it the fifth municipality in the province by number of inhabitants. Regarding its distribution, 10,475 lived in Astorga, 101 in Castrillo de los Polvazares , 111 in Murias de Rechivaldo , 50 in Santa Catalina de Somoza and 130 in Valdeviejas . The city, unlike others such as León and Ponferrada, did not know how to attract the population of the regions that gravitate to it and grew slowly during the 20th century., reaching its historical maximum in 1981, since the figure for 1940 is influenced by the presence in the city of soldiers and inmates from the Civil War.
Since the 1980s, the city has been registering a slight but continuous population decline as a consequence of demographic aging, the decreasing number of births and emigration to more dynamic centers. Due to this, in 2011 Astorga was ranked 25th among the 100 municipalities in Spain with the highest average age, in which case it was 46.63 years compared to the state average 17.34. [ 86 ]
- Population pyramid
|Population pyramid 2019|
The 2019 population pyramid data can be summarized as follows:
- The population under 20 years of age is 16.04% of the total.
- The one between 20-40 years is 19.39%.
- The one between 40-60 years is 30.36%.
- The older than 60 years is 34.21%.
- Evolution of the population
|Graph of demographic evolution of Astorga [ 87 ] between 1842 and 2020|
Right population (1842-1897, except 1857 and 1860 which is a de facto population ) according to the population censuses of the 19th century. Right population (1900-1991) or resident population (2001-2011) according to the INE population censuses .
- Foreign population
The foreign population registered in 2019 totaled 411 inhabitants, the most numerous nationalities being Moroccan (178 inhabitants), Bulgarian (47), Portuguese (36), Romanian (28), Chinese (19), Paraguayan and Bolivian (11). [ 88 ]
- Distribution of population
The population entities that make up the municipal term of Astorga are the following:
|Population entity||Coordinates||All. (2019)||Distance (km)||Map|
|Astorga||10 475||0|| |
|Castrillo de los Polvazares||101||5,5|
|Murias de Rechivaldo||111||3,5|
|Santa Catalina de Somoza||50||8,5|
|Source: INE, 2019 [ 89 ]|
- The old City
The urbanism of Astorga has been historically conditioned by the orography of the land, with the settlement from ancient times on top of a natural breakwater. After the end of the Cantabrian wars and the conversion of the military camp into an urban nucleus, the city enjoyed a period of growth thanks to the development of mining activity, whose peak occurred between the 1st and 3rd centuries . This led to it being the headquarters of the concillium (meeting of delegates of the indigenous tribes), of the imperial cult and of the Asturian Convent . The city extended in a space of 26 hectares limited by a wallmore than two kilometers long. The shape of the enclosure was not rectangular due to a narrowing of the breakwater in its southern corner, so that in the latter the layout adopted a triangular shape and it was where the forum was located ; Public buildings were erected, streets were paved - some with porticoes - and a sewage system was built as well as rich domestic architecture. To all this, towards the third century its role as an episcopal seat was added , something that marked the life of the city in subsequent centuries. [ 90 ]
With the fall of the Roman Empire , Astorga, like many other urban centers, suffered a period of decline that lasted until the High Middle Ages , at which point its recovery began. At that time, the urban nucleus - still enclosed behind its walls - had houses covered with straw and tiles on the old Roman layout.
- The medieval town
In the 9th century , the repopulation policy of Ordoño I caused a population increase for several decades; New neighborhoods arose and land near the city was plowed. During the 12th and 13th centuries , the new churches were replacing the old high-medieval monasteries, which were beginning to disappear. Two determining factors for the city in the medieval period were, on the one hand, the contribution of the Jewish population, who erected a synagogue , a cistern and a cemetery, [ 91 ]And, on the other, the development of the Camino de Santiago, which favored the construction of hospitals. The urban aspect was that of contiguous buildings between alleys, lots, orchards and religious precincts; The houses were made up, in the 12th century , of a corral, a wine press, a winery, a bread basket , a dovecote and an orchard. [ 92 ]
The construction of religious buildings continued during the following centuries; Thus, up to eight churches from the 15th century were counted , of which several later disappeared, such as those of San Dictino or San Feliz. Something similar happened with the monasteries and, in addition to the oldest, that of San Martín and San Francisco disappeared. On the other hand, several chapels were erected, paid for by guilds , such as San Esteban, San Adrián, San Felipe Neri or San Pedro, and numerous hospitals due to the development of the Jacobean route. In addition, from 1471 the new cathedral began to be built .
- The modern city
At the end of the 17th century , Manuel de la Lastra drew up the space of the Plaza Mayor and built the City Hall building, where the Council sessions took place, which until then were resolved in the atrium of the church of San Bartolomé, as it was current in the Leon councils . [ 93 ] In the 18th century the city was made up of four parishes - San Bartolomé, San Miguel, San Julián and Santa Marta - and outside the wall the suburbs of San Andrés, Puerta de Rey and Rectivía remained. Communications with other parts of the peninsula were limited to highway roads, in different state of conservation, and various authors, such as Antonio Ponzand Alexandre de Laborde , lamented between 1787 and 1807 the state of its streets, its irregularity and the poor cleaning. [ 94 ]
- The contemporary city
After the end of the War of Independence, whose consequences it suffered directly, Astorga began its recovery thanks to commercial and industrial activity, especially with the development of the chocolate industry. In the last years of the century, the city began its expansion, until then scarce, outside the walled enclosure: on February 19, 1866, the railway arrived with the start-up of the León-Astorga section of the León-La Coruña line , and On July 1, 1898, the Plasencia-Astorga line was opened . This double rail connection caused the growth of the neighborhoods of San Andrés and Puerta de Rey, while the junction between the Madrid-La Coruña highway and that of Leónit favored the rest of the city. This development was accompanied by the inauguration of the water supply in 1889 - previously there was another project, between 1782-1787, called "Journey of Waters" - which ended with the need to go to the Fuente Encalada spring, and the installation in 1897 of electric lighting. [ 95 ]
Already in the 20th century , specifically in 1924, the Santocildes military barracks was inaugurated. In the second quarter of a century the urban area grew to the north and west, but the civil war slowed down this development. Examples of growth over the following decades are the areas of Santa Clara, Manjarín, Candelas, Cuatro Caminos or the Pandorado highway. In 1996 two green spaces were inaugurated, until then scarce in the urban area, with the transformation of La Eragudina into a garden and the conversion of El Melgar into a recreation area.
Since 1985 there has been a Comprehensive Plan for the Protection of Buildings declared a Site of Cultural Interest (BIC) , another for the defense of facades and a third for the recovery of singular elements. Thanks to them, spaces such as the Aljibe, Plaza de la Culebra or Plaza Romana have been rehabilitated, and the so-called Monumental Axis has been pedestrianized, between Puerta Sol and Plaza Eduardo de Castro. [ 96 ]
- Parks and gardens
The city has several green areas, among which the garden of the Synagogue stands out due to its antiquity, to which the parks of La Eragudina, El Melgar and El Mayuelo have joined in the last decades of the 20th century .
The garden of the Synagogue, formerly called San Francisco, Alfonso XIII and the Generalissimo, is the oldest park in the city, created in 1835. [ 97 ] The space it occupies was part of the Jewish quarter and it was located its synagogue, hence its name. Three years after the birth of the project, the filling of the area, which presented a significant unevenness, was completed. At the beginning of 1840 the works were finished and the garden, one of the first in Spain of a romantic type, according to Roberto Alonso, [ 98 ] featured a rockery fountain, hedges and walks, to which a rose garden was later added. [ 99 ] In it, what was the walkway begins. of the wall, which over time ended up being transformed into the main promenade of the city.
The Mayuelo park, halfway between the urban center and the Mount of the Sierro, is located in an area of prairies where there were several springs, some of which were used for consumption or for washing clothes. In the mid-1970s a fountain was built over one of the springs, games were set up for the children and some trees were planted. Finally, in 1993, the City Council carried out a project for the more than 7000 m² of the park, which included a central walkway with trees, children's play areas and recreation areas. The fountain was also remodeled, carried out by the Workshop School. [ 100 ]
The field of La Eragudina, a former recreational area of the Marquises of Astorga next to the river Jerga , was transformed into a garden in 1996 and has various species of newly planted trees such as willows , ash trees, maples and poplars, as well as fountain and recreation areas. [ 101 ] In the same year, the space at the foot of the wall, known as El Melgar, was also transformed into a park, while the surroundings of the Roman Gate, behind the apse of the cathedral, were adapted .
Finally, other recreational areas in the city are the Aljibe park, near the cathedral and named for a cistern (water tank) used in the Middle Ages, and the surroundings of Fuente Encalada. This was built in 1674 and renovated in 1788 in a neoclassical style and currently has a landscaped environment. [ 95 ]
Transport and comunication
In 2011 there was a car park in the municipality at a rate of 465.3 cars per 1000 inhabitants. [ 4 ] According to the existing data in the database of the "Economic Yearbook of Spain 2012", published by La Caixa , [ 102 ] in total there are 5,491 cars. In these same data, a fleet of trucks and vans of 1250 units is observed. The rest of the vehicles add up to 1,150 units, which brings the number of motor vehicles to 7,926 units. The city has a Vehicle Technical Inspection point located in the industrial estate. [ 103 ]
|A-6||Northwest Highway||It runs between Madrid and La Coruña .|
|AP-71||León-Astorga Highway||It communicates the Leonese capital with Astorga and has mainly toll sections and some free. [ 104 ]|
|N-6||La Coruña road||It runs between Madrid and La Coruña .|
|N-120||National road||One of the great road axes in the north of the country, whose route connects Logroño and Vigo .|
|LE-451||Provincial road||Communicate with La Cepeda .|
|LE-141||Provincial road||It communicates with the interior of the Maragatería .|
|LE-133||Provincial road||It communicates with Nogarejas and Zamora .|
|LE-142||Provincial road||It communicates with Ponferrada through the port of Foncebadón .|
For passenger transport, the ALSA company offers road services between the city and multiple national destinations such as León , Ponferrada , La Coruña , Valladolid , Madrid , Gijón , or Barcelona . [ 105 ] At the local level, there are several companies that offer services between Astorga and the towns in the surrounding regions. [ 106 ]
Since the arrival of the railroad to the city in 1866, there has been a station , located in the Puerta del Rey neighborhood, to the northeast of the city. This station is managed by Adif , and belongs to the Palencia-La Coruña line. Astorga maintains connections by rail, via the company Renfe , are as follows: [ 107 ]
- Astorga-Ponferrada (Alvia)
- Astorga-La Coruña (Alvia, Arco, Trenhotel)
- Astorga-Vigo (Alvia, Arco, Trenhotel)
- Astorga-Ferrol (Train Hotel)
- Astorga-Madrid (Alvia, Trenhotel)
- Astorga-Barcelona](Alvia, Trenhotel)
- Astorga-Bilbao (Arch)
- Astorga-Irún (Arch)
- Astorga-León (Intercity, Regional Express)
Until 1983 the city was also the starting point of the Vía de la Plata railway , inaugurated on July 21, 1896, which spanned the distance between Astorga and Plasencia. For several years, numerous organizations and companies have called for its reopening in order to effectively structure the west of the peninsula and recover the alternative of transporting goods by rail. [ 108 ] [ 109 ] [ 110 ]
- Air Transport
The León airport, which entered service in 1999, is the only airport located in the province and the closest to the municipality, located between Valverde de la Virgen and San Andrés del Rabanedo , 44 kilometers from Astorga. [ 111 ] The other closest options for air transport are the airports of Valladolid and Asturias, located 157 and 193 kilometers away respectively.
The economic structure of the city shows weak industrial activity, with a great dependence on the service sector , public administration and, to a lesser extent, construction. The weight of agriculture is still important in the rural areas of the municipality.
Business activity and employment
In March 2013, there were a total of 596 establishments in the municipality that employed 2,280 workers. [ 112 ] In 2007, of the total number of employed persons in the municipality, 1.3% of the population was in the primary sector, 14.6% in industry, 14.6% in construction, and most of them, 69.5%, were employed in the services sector, which highlights the importance of this sector for the municipal economy. [ 4 ] Unemployment, throughout the 21st century , has increased from 176 people in May 2005 to 778 people in March 2020, of which 341 were men and 437 were women. [ 113 ]
|Graph of the evolution of the unemployment rate in Astorga [ 114 ] between 2006 and 2019|
Source: National Institute of Statistics of Spain - Graphic elaboration by Wikipedia
In 2011, the municipal area had an agricultural area of 1045.8 ha , of which 1021.5 ha were arable land, among which the rainfed and irrigated crops are differentiated, located east of the municipality, on the river bank One-eyed . Another fifteen represented garden crops and 8.3 were fruit trees. [ 4 ] The wine-growing sector was, especially between the 13th and 15th centuries , one of the pillars of the city's economy, but already in the 17th century , wine had to be brought from Rueda or Toro due to the gradual disappearance of the land belonging to it. to the vineyard, [ 115] Of which only one hectare remains. [ 4 ] The rest of the land is distributed between pastures (2339.6 ha), forest species (557.9 ha) and other non-agricultural areas (706.2 ha). At a general level, theprimary sectoremployed 1.3% of the workers and represented 0.5% of the companies, [ 4 ] as a result of the outsourcing of the municipal economy. Agricultural activity is still present in the different districts while it is practically non-existent in the capital.
In 2007, the industry represented the second most important economic activity, since it employed 29.2% of the workers and represented 24.5% of the companies. [ 4 ] For the most part they are industries that do not carry out heavy activities and do not generate significant pollution. The most representative ones belong to the food industry with companies such as Cecinas Pablo, Dulces La Mallorquina or Alonso, whose production focuses especially on typical products such as puff pastry, mantecadas and cecina ; of these last two, Astorga is the seat of their respective denominations of origin. Although currently a minority, the chocolate industry was very important from the mid-nineteenth century to the first third of the twentieth ; for example, in 1916 there were 41 manufacturers, of which four are still in operation. All his legacy in packaging, posters, lithographs and old machinery became part of the Chocolate Museum . [ 116 ] Likewise, the textile industry was also present , of which only one factory survives and some testimonies such as a laundry. [ 117 ]
The bulk of industrial activity is concentrated in the industrial estate, promoted by the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Its evolution has had four phases: the first (1991) of 65,000 m², the second of almost 50,000 m², the third (2007) of 79,000 m² and the fourth (2011), still under development. [ 118 ] In total, in 2011, there were 2 energy and water companies, 5 chemical, 24 metallurgical, and 66 manufacturing companies in the city, with a total of 97 companies in the industrial sector. For its part, the construction sector registered a total of 100 companies. [ 119 ]
In 2007, the services sector occupied a prominent place for the municipality, as it employed 69.5% of workers and had 75% of the companies. [ 4 ] The city is an economic center of reference for the surrounding regions such as Maragatería and Cepeda , which is why it presents an intense commercial activity; In 2012, it had sixty wholesale activities and in 2011 with 316 retail activities, of which 114 were food retail trade (16 were supermarkets), 188 non-food retail trade and fourteen retail trade. mixed minor. [ 119 ]Likewise, in 2012 there were fourteen depository institutions, among which five were banks and six were savings banks.
Cultural tourism has a great weight within the services sector of the city due to its historical and monumental heritage, its festivities and being a place of passage of the Camino de Santiago and the Vía de la Plata. [ 120 ] In addition, in its vicinity, typical Maragato towns such as Castrillo de los Polvazares or Santiago Millas or emblematic places of the Jacobean route such as Foncebadón stand out . Thus, in March 2013 the municipality had 47 tourist establishments, of which three were travel agencies, nine were rural tourism accommodation —with a capacity of 115 beds—, 16 were hotel establishments —with a capacity of 549 beds— and 47 were restaurants. [121 ] Also, in 2011, there were 115 coffee shops and bars. [ 4 ] Since 2004 the city has a parking area for motorhomes. [ 122 ]
Symbols and titles
Shield of gules, a bouquet of oak of its color. To the bell, the marquis crown.
The date on which it began to be used is unknown. In a document from 1320 there is a seal of the Astorga Council in which a castle with three towers and a tree is represented. [ 124 ] However, in 1635 the shield that is still in force was already in use, since it appeared in the work of Pedro Junco Fundación, names and arms of the city of Astorga . This interpreted that the old name that the city received —Rome— would come from the appellation of robur and hence the representation of an oak , of which Quercus robur is one of the most common species, with the meaning of strength, firmness and fortitude, similar to the attributes of solidity and longevity of classical mythology. As for the red field, it would be similar to that of Rome, with the meaning of the blood of the enemy trying to conquer the city. [ 125 ] The flag, rectangular, has the following description: [ 123 ]
Red flag with the shield in the center.
Regarding its titles, the city receives the denominations of "Very Noble, Loyal, Benemérita, Magnificent and Augusta". The first three were awarded after the role played during the War of Independence; centuries earlier it had received the epithets "Augusta" by Emperor Caesar Augustus and "Magnificent" by Pliny the Elder. [ 126 ]
Policy and Administration
- Autonomous administration
The Junta de Castilla y León has the powers concerning education, exercised by the Ministry of Education, in charge of the management of both the teaching staff and the educational centers, and health, through Sacyl , which manages the health services of the municipality. [ 127 ]
- Municipal administration
The local administration of the municipality is the responsibility of a democratically managed city council, whose components are elected every four years by universal suffrage. The electoral roll is made up of all residents registered in Astorga over 18 years of age, nationals of Spain and of the other member states of the European Union . In accordance with the Law on the General Electoral Regime, which establishes the number of eligible councilmen according to the population of the municipality, [ 128 ] [ 129 ] the Municipal Corporation is formed by 17 councilors.
- Judicial administration
In the first democratic elections of 1979, the Union of the Democratic Center (UCD) came to power under the guidance of Luis González Pérez and in the following legislature, Recaredo Bautista ruled at the head of the Independent Popular Electoral Group (AEPI). [ 132 ] In the 1987 elections, Juan José Alonso Perandones ( PSOE ) remained on the verge of an absolute majority, but the four opposition groups united to give the mayor's office to the minority candidacy of Adolfo Alonso Ares. [ 133 ] However, two years later, thanks to the support of the representative of Centro Democrático y Social(CDS), Rosa Fernández González, a motion of censure was filed that allowed Perandones to occupy the mayor's seat on March 29, 1989, a position he held until 2011, when he announced his retirement from politics. [ 134 ]
In the elections of that same year, and after no pact between any of the political groups came forward, the mayor's office was left in the hands of the most voted list, that of Victorina Alonso Fernández, successor to Perandones in the PSOE. [ 135 ] In 2015 it was the representative of the PP, Arsenio García, who was elected minority mayor. [ 136 ] On July 5, 2019, after a court case by the PP claimed the validity of an initially given null vote, finally confirmed the invalidity of the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla and Leon [ 137 ]And that it would have given one more councilor to the PP to the detriment of the PSOE, the municipal groups of the PSOE and IU agreed on a coalition municipal government that returned the baton to Perandones, [ 138 ] after 8 years away from the first political line .
|% votes||councilors||% votes||councilors||% votes||councilors||% votes||councilors||% votes||councilors||% votes||councilors|
| PP |
( CD , CP and AP until 1989)
|% votes||councilors||% votes||councilors||% votes||councilors||% votes||councilors||% votes||councilors|
- Town hall
|Period||Mayor's name||Political party|
|1979-1983||Luis González Pérez||UCD|
|1987-1989||Adolfo Alonso Ares||PDP|
|1989-2011||Juan Jose Alonso Perandones||PSOE|
|2011-2015||Victorina Alonso Fernandez||PSOE|
|2015-2019||Arsenio García Fuertes||PP / nonassigned [ Note 6 ]|
|2019-||Juan Jose Alonso Perandones||PSOE|
- Government areas
The municipal executive management is organized into different areas, headed by a councilor from the government team. Management areas of the City, during the term 2019-2023 are as follows: [ 140 ]
Equipments and services
The existing educational offer in the city is specified, at the public level, in three nursery and primary education centers, a secondary education institute and a special education center, and, at a private level, in three centers that teach from infant education to high school. [ 141 ]
The institute provides Compulsory Secondary Education, Baccalaureate and some vocational training cycles such as Electricity and electronics and Cooking and restoration in basic grade, Bakery, Pastry and Confectionery, Administrative Management, Telecommunications Installations, Electrical and Automatic Installations, in medium grade , and Administration and Finance and Automation and Industrial Robotics, in higher grade. [ 142 ]
Regarding the special regime teachings, Astorga has an Official Language School - in which French, English and German are taught -, [ 143 ] a Professional Conservatory of Music, a Municipal School of Music and an Education Center of Adults.
|CEIP Ángel González Álvarez||Public||Infant and Primary||CPM Ángel Barja||Public||Musical|
|CEIP White by Cela||Public||Infant and Primary||EOI Astorga||Public||Languages|
|CEIP Santa Marta||Public||Infant and Primary||University of Experience [ 144 ]||Public||Adults|
|IES Astorga||Public||High school||
La Salle ( De La Salle Brothers ) ||Concerted||Infant, Primary and Secondary|
|CPEE Holy Mother of the Church||Public||Special||
Paula Montal |
( Schoolpies )
|Concerted||Infant, Primary and Secondary|
Virgen de las Candelas |
The city's health system is divided between the benefits of the public health system and those provided by private medicine. In relation to the first, Astorga has a health center [ 145 ] in which the basic Astorga I health areas are centralized —which includes the municipalities of San Justo de la Vega and Villaobispo de Otero , in addition to Astorga itself— and Astorga II —which includes Brazuelo , Val de San Lorenzo , Valderrey , Quintana del Castillo , Santa Colomba de Somoza , Magaz de Cepeda , Luyego , Lucillo ,Villamejil , Villagatón and Santiago Millas -, [ 127 ] and with a heliport where a 112 Emergency Service helicopter is based . [ 146 ]
Likewise, the City Council is in charge of managing the powers established in article 42 of the General Health Law [ 147 ] where it provides that the City Councils, without prejudice to the powers of the other Public Administrations, will have the following minimum responsibilities in related matters with health:
- Sanitary control of the environment: air pollution, water supply, sewage treatment , urban and industrial waste.
- Sanitary control of industries, activities and services, transport, noise and vibrations.
- Sanitary control of buildings and places of housing and human coexistence, especially of food centers, hairdressers, saunas and personal hygiene centers, hotels and residential centers, schools, tourist camps and areas of physical activity, sports and recreation.
- Sanitary control of the distribution and supply of perishable food, beverages and other products, directly or indirectly related to human use or consumption, as well as the means of their transportation.
- Sanitary control of cemeteries and mortuary health police.
- Citizen security
Astorga has endowments from the Civil Guard , Local Police and National Police that are in charge of ensuring citizen security. As in the rest of Castilla y León, the Emergency 112 system is operational . On the other hand, the headquarters of the El Teleno Maneuvering and Firing Field Command and the 63rd Field Rocket Launcher Artillery Regiment , [ 149 ] dependent on the Ministry of Defense, have their headquarters in the Santocildes Barracks .
- Social services
The city has several private assistance centers such as the San Juan Bautista Residence, the San Francisco de Asís Residence, the El Chapin Residence Home and the Virgen de los Desamparados Residence, [ 150 ] and the Las Cinco Llagas Social Center, designed for the physically disabled and managed by Caritas | Caritas diocesana de Astorga. Likewise, since 1986 it has had the Pensioner's Home, a place of coexistence and activities for the elderly. [ 151 ]
Utilities and supply
The supply of petroleum-derived fuels (gasoline and diesel) is carried out from the storage facilities that the Hydrocarbons Logistics Company (CLH) owns in the town of Vega de Infanzones , near León, [ 152 ] and is supplied to the vehicles through two service stations, one belonging to the Repsol YPF group and the other belonging to Cepsa . [ 153 ]
- Water service
The comprehensive management of water in Astorga is the responsibility of the Aquona company. The catchment is carried out in the Tuerto river - dammed in the Villameca reservoir -, in the area of La Forti, from where it is pumped to the water treatment station located in El Sierro . The water, once treated, goes to the tanks for later distribution to the city. [ 154 ] Likewise, since 2008 Astorga has a wastewater treatment plant to which the water from the sewerage goes. [ 154 ] [ 155 ]
- Waste and cleaning
Urban waste management is handled by the concession company Urbaser, [ 156 ] which carries out tasks such as garbage collection, street cleaning and treatment of the clean-up point . This is located next to the municipal cemetery, in the Puerta de Rey neighborhood. [ 157 ] The municipality had a landfill, but thanks to the Urban Waste Plan of Castilla y León, its sealing and the subsequent recovery of the degraded area was approved. [ 158 ]Likewise, in the nearby town of San Román de la Vega is the Waste Treatment Center (CTR), with a container classification plant and a recycling and composting plant for solid urban waste. [ 159 ]
- Food supply
For the supply of perishable foods such as fruit, vegetables, meat and fish there are several supermarkets in the city as well as small traditional food establishments. [ 160 ] Likewise, every Tuesday the weekly market is held, which occupies several streets in the urban center, and where you can find clothing, footwear, jewelry, salted fish, fruits and vegetables. [ 161 ]
|Historic complex of Astorga|
| Asset of Cultural Interest |
Historical heritage of Spain
The architecture of Astorga has reflected the footprint of the inhabitants who have inhabited the city and its surroundings throughout the centuries, with a very important monumental wealth in both religious and civil buildings, with Roman, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance examples. , baroque and modernist. The municipality has seven declarations of Asset of Cultural Interest: in the category of Historical Complexes are that of Astorga itself and that of Castrillo de los Polvazares, and in the category of Monuments are the Surroundings of the Episcopal Palace, the Cathedral of Santa María —National Monument since 1931—, the Roman Ergástula, the Episcopal Palace and the Town Hall. [ 16 ]
The first excavations took place in 1835, but it was not until the 1940s when, at the hands of José María Luengo , they became more relevant. The work has continued since the end of the 20th century , which has given rise to a route that allows visitors to visit various remains of its Roman past preserved in the subsoil of the city. [ 162 ] [ 163 ] The most important findings correspond to the public sector; thus, two thermal complexes are conserved - Termas Mayores and Termas Menores - and the network of sewers, still in use; in the forum are the Aedes Augusti, a temple dedicated to the imperial cult, and the Roman Ergástula , gallery or cryptoportico on which the Roman Museum was installed. Regarding the private area, the so-called Domus of the mosaic of the bear and the birds is preserved, a house that follows the traditional scheme of the Roman domus and that represents one of the most characteristic constructions of Roman times in the city. [ 164 ]
Also corresponding to the Roman legacy is the wall. The first defense that the Roman nucleus had was the moat of the camp in which the Legio X Gemina was based, dated years before the change of era. It is about two trenches shaped like a V which would be accompanied by an embankment and a wooden palisade. Later, in the 1st century , a first walled enclosure was built, with circular towers, and in the 3rd century the hill on which the old town is located was completely surrounded with a new wall. [ 165 ]This one, of just over two kilometers long and almost rectangular in shape, had 27 semicircular cubes - each separated by about 16 meters - and was reused in medieval times. In the 19th century , the events that occurred during the War of Independence caused several damage to the fence and later the north and south canvases, as well as numerous cubes of the west canvas, were almost completely demolished. There are no remains of the old doors, although they are preserved in the street nomenclature: Puerta Obispo, Puerta del Rey, El Postigo, Puerta del Sol, and Puerta de San Miguel.
The origin of the cathedral, dedicated to Santa María, dates back to 1069, when the first temple was consecrated by Bishop Pedro Núñez . Later it was rebuilt in 1087, under Bishop Osmundo and in the 13th century , being Bishop Pedro Fernández . This last rebuilding was the basis for the definitive extension, which began in 1471. From that moment the works lasted until the 18th century , which is why its layout combines Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. [ 166 ] The temple has a rectangular floor plan, a sanctuary with three apses, three naves and a false transept.; two towers are erected on both sides of the main façade. The first part of the building, of Gothic design, was built at the end of the 15th century and the first third of the 16th century . Throughout the latter, the works were directed by Francisco de Colonia , Juan Gil de Hontañón and Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón , who contributed the Renaissance elements present especially in the transept and the southeast door. At the end of the 17th century , the main façade began: the whole of it —which is in the Churrigueresque baroque style., with three doors under an arch and flanked by two towers — it is organized like a stone altarpiece, with abundant decoration throughout. Of these, the left dates from 1678, but was first affected by the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and by the War of Independence later - which is why it was not completed until 1965 - and the right began in 1692 and was it ended in 1704. [ 167 ] Also outside, on one of the turrets that crown the head, is the statue of Pedro Mato, a legendary figure linked to the battle of Clavijo .
Inside, in addition to the choir with stalls from the 16th century and a grille from the 17th century , the different chapels are distributed : seven on the sides of the three naves, three at the head, one in each arm of the false transept and two more at the base of each of the towers. Of all of them, the chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Majestad stands out, in whose [[Altarpiece of the Virgen de la Majestad altarpiece is the image of the Virgen de la Majestad , from the 12th century ; the Main Chapel, which houses the Renaissance-style altarpiece by Gaspar Becerra ; and the chapel of the altarpiece of San Miguel, an example of Spanish-Flemish art from the 16th century. Also part of the cathedral complex is the crypt, built in 1521 under the presbytery to be the pantheon of the Marquis of Astorga; [ 168 ] the cloister, in neoclassical style from 1755 and consisting of five arches in each wing joined by Ionic pilasters; the sacristy, from 1772 and in which an altar-reliquary in Rococo style stands out; the dependencies of the Diocesan Museum and the Diocesan Archive. [ 169 ]
|Episcopal Palace of Astorga .|
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After the fire of 1886, in which the old episcopal palace burned down, Bishop Joan Baptista Grau i Vallespinós commissioned the project of a new palace from the modernist architect Antoni Gaudí , with whom the bishop had an old friendship. The works began in 1889, but after the death of the bishop in 1893 Gaudí resigned from the direction of the work due to disagreements with the Cabildo, when the second floor and the attic still had to be built. He was succeeded, without success, by the architects Francisco Blanch y Pons and Manuel Hernández Álvarez-Reyero, until with Julián de Diego y Alcolea as bishop, Ricardo García Guereta was appointed as the new project director, who completed the building in 1913. [ 170 ]During the Spanish Civil War, it served as the headquarters and headquarters of the Falange , and both in 1943 and 1956 the building underwent various repairs with the intention of turning it into the bishop's residence. This feature was never consummated, and under the pontificates of Marcelo González Martín and Antonio Briva Miravent the building was promoted as Museo de los Caminos, opened in 1963. [ 171 ] [ 172 ]
The palace, built in gray granite from El Bierzo, follows the historicist canons of architecture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries —in this case in the Neo-Gothic style— and has a Latin cross plan and four facades, with four towers in each of its angles. The initial intention was to combine in the same building the characteristics of a castle and palace, hence the incorporation, for example, of a moat. The entrance is a portico with three flared arches, separated from each other by sloping buttresses, which is finished off with a pediment ; Gaudí had planned to crown the facade with a five-meter-high angel, but this idea was not carried out in the end. [ 173 ]The rear part has an apse , corresponding to the chapel, which is surrounded by three small apses. The ground floor contains a large hall, from which the noble staircase begins, the height of which allows the opening of triangular windows that provide great luminosity, a scheme already used by Gaudí in the Güell Palace [ 174 ] and which is repeated in other rooms of the episcopal palace such as the office, the throne room, the dining room or the bedroom. The structure of the building is supported by pillars with decorated capitals and ribbed vaults.on pointed arches of glazed ceramic. In the exteriors, the figures of three angels are preserved, with the corresponding episcopal attributes ( miter , pectoral and crozier ), which were designed by Gaudí as the top of the roof, but which never came to occupy that place. [ 175 ]
The construction of the City Hall building began in 1683 according to the project of Francisco de La Lastra and ended in 1703. Later the balconies (1730, Francisco García Casella), the finishes of the side towers (1739, José Álvarez de la Viña) were added and the central belfry (1748, Domingo Martínez), which served to house the clock and the bells, the largest of which is accompanied by two dolls dressed as maragatos , called Juan Zancuda and Colasa, who mark the hours by hitting it with a mallet. [ 176 ]It is a façade on three floors, with the axis of symmetry in the semicircular arch that gives access to the building, the belfry and the royal coat of arms. In the sculptural ensemble, the elements that act as gargoyles and the coats of arms of the city and of the Marquises of Astorga stand out on the right and left tower respectively. [ 177 ] Inside, the plenary hall stands out, presided over by several commemorative tombstones, which recall illustrious figures such as Manuel García Prieto , Pío Gullón Iglesias , Lope María Blanco de Cela , Manuel Gullón and García Prieto and Marcelo Macías, and other the most important dates in the history of the city. The building was rehabilitated in 1987 by Andrés Lozano. [ 178 ]
The city has other buildings of cultural and architectural interest located mainly in the old town. Among them are the sanctuary of Fátima , formerly called the church of San Julián, of whose Romanesque origin it preserves four capitals on the façade; the church of San Bartolomé , also started in the Romanesque, with later reforms and Baroque interior decoration, in whose atrium the councils were held until the construction of the Town Hall building; the church of Santa Marta , dedicated to the patron saint of the city , which was built in 1741 on top of a previous church with a neoclassical façade and a baroque interior; the convent of Santa Clara, who experienced difficult moments in 1810 during the sieges of Astorga , when General José María de Santocildes became strong within its walls before the attack of French troops, but in 1816 it welcomed the community again, which did not they affected the dispositions of the confiscation for dedicating themselves to education; [ 179 ] the church and convent of San Francisco , from the thirteenth century , on which the Redemptorist Fathers built a new building, hence the original convent joined the lost heritage of the city; [ 180 ] [ 181 ]And the convent of Sancti Spíritus dates from the 16th century and the interior of the church has Baroque decoration. [ 182 ]
Also religious in nature are the Major Seminary, a work from 1756 with a three-storey façade and Herrerian traces, which has three closed cloisters and a neoclassical chapel; the church of Santa Colomba de Puerta de Rey, located since the seventeenth century - although the existing building is the result of numerous subsequent reforms - in the vicinity of the disappeared convent of San Dictino; the Chapel of the Vera Cruz, from the 15th century , but rebuilt in 1816; the church of San Pedro de Rectivía, built on the side of the Camino de Santiago, which has a modern layout and a facade covered with mosaics installed in the nineties ; [ 183 ] [ 184 ] andchurch of San Andrés , built in brick at the beginning of the 20th century by Hernández Álvarez-Reyero -influenced by Gaudí- according to the guidelines of historicist architecture , with traces of Gothic aesthetics, and which houses inside a baroque altarpiece of the disappeared church of San Miguel. Another of the buildings erected under modernist influence is the Casa Granell, built between 1910 and 1915 by Antonio Palacios Ramilo - the author, among other works, of the Madrid Communications Palace - commissioned by a chocolate businessman. [ 185 ]
Other buildings of interest are the Hospital de las Cinco Llagas, which was one of the most important pilgrim hospitals in the city - its origins date back to the 11th century - and on which a building was built in the 18th century , of which so much only the cover is preserved, [ 186 ] [ 187 ] and the walled cell, small space between the chapel of St. Stephen and the church of Santa Marta used in the Middle Ages women all his life have walled by penance; It has a barred window that allowed charity and on it is the inscription « remember my condition, because this will be yours. I yesterday, you today ».
During the period between 1998 and 2015 the Catholic Church in Spain has registered different properties, a process subject to certain controversy according to certain authors, including the Secretary of State for Relations with the Courts and Constitutional Affairs of the Government of Spain, who affirms that "Articles 206 of the Mortgage Law and 304 of the Mortgage Regulations, which allowed registrations in the name of the Catholic Church, are clearly unconstitutional insofar as they violate articles 14 and 16 of the Spanish Constitution." [ 189 ]
Among the unmatriculated assets is a series of them located in the municipality of Astorga, as it appears in «List of Catholic Church Assets - Definitive, Page 244 of 931 (Pg. 926) [ 190 ] of the« Study on the immatriculation of real estate of the Catholic Church ” [ 191 ] published by the Ministry of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory of the Government of Spain on February 16, 2021.
The summary of the unregistered assets in the municipality of Astorga, according to this study, is as follows:
|Kind||Solar||Iglesias||Seminars||Sanctuaries||Houses||Cathedral church||Episcopal palace||Rural properties|
There were in Astorga, both in the interior of the city and on the outskirts, a large number of convents and hospitals or hostels for pilgrims due to the importance it had not only as a place of passage to Santiago de Compostela, but as a crossroads of roads. . Most of these buildings have disappeared leaving not even the memory of a vestige, only the assurance that they existed thanks to the descriptions and documents that speak of them. In 1872 the castle also disappeared - home of the Marquises of Astorga -, leaving only a trace of the name of a street: Calle del Castillo.
The historical documentation with which scholars have been able to find out about the disappeared heritage is due to the chronicles written by travelers and historians from one field or another who, from the 16th to the 20th century, were concerned with perpetuating facts and curiosities about the city. Reliable sources also offer the archives kept by the brotherhoods and some convents even in other towns, as well as the archive of the Cathedral of León, with abundant information files. [ 192 ] The data do not support, however, the possible references that the municipal and cathedral archives would have provided, destroyed or disappeared during the Spanish War of Independence, the confiscationsand the Spanish Civil War, and which are also part of the lost heritage. [ 193 ]
Museums, archives and library
The visual arts are present in the Cathedral Museum, the Museum of the Ways and the Museum of Holy Week. The first, projected since 1889 by Bishop Grau , was inaugurated in April 1954 with two rooms, being Bishop Jesús Mérida Pérez . Among its first visitors was the future Pope John XXIII and in 1989 John Paul II, on the way to Santiago de Compostela, was there. [ 199 ] With the 1982 reform, the exhibition space tripled with the incorporation of the old Cathedral School and the Chapter House. In total it occupies ten showrooms, on two floors, covering 1,400 square meters of surface. In it liturgical and religious works of the cathedral are guarded. [ 200]
The Museum of the Roads is installed in the Episcopal Palace after its reorganization as such in 1962 by Bishop Mérida Pérez, without breaking the interior spatial distribution. It collects pieces from the entire Diocese, related to a greater or lesser extent with the Camino de Santiago, which, due to neglect or conservation, needed an appropriate place for their installation. In the different rooms designed by Gaudí, among which are the Dining Room, the Official Office, the Throne Room, the Bedroom, the Chapel and the great hall, there are pieces of great artistic value, such as Romanesque carvings or medieval goldwork. . [ 201 ] In addition, in the basement there is a collection of Roman and medieval archeology and numismatics, and the upper floor, already the work of García Guereta, was adapted in 1975 for the exhibition of works by contemporary Leonese artists. [ 202 ]
Although all the imagery of Holy Week is kept independently in each of the parishes of the city, as well as in the Episcopal Palace, the brotherhood of Santa Vera Cruz and Confalón organizes in its dependencies during the summer months a sample of its heritage, of which the Reclining Christ, from the early seventeenth century and the work of Gregorio Español , should be highlighted ; the Golden Cross, bearer of the Lignum Crucis , the Jesus Tied to the Column and the Crucified, from the 16th century ; and a series of carvings from Levantine workshops. [ 203 ] As a historical museum there is the Roman Museum, installed on the Roman construction known as Roman Ergástula. After the total acquisition of the property by the City Council in 1996, the building was refurbished, on which two floors were built, and which was opened as a museum space in 1999. [ 204 ] Objects found in the buildings are exhibited there. Excavations of the city, which show the way of life and the people of the ancient Asturica Augusta, from its origins to late Roman times, forming an outstanding collection from both a quantitative and qualitative point of view. [ 205 ]
Dedicated to its chocolate industry, the city has the Chocolate Museum, founded in 1994 at the private initiative of José Luis López García and owned by the municipality since 2005. It displays objects corresponding to the industrialization phase of the city in the 19th century. , when the boom of the muleteer originated an incipient chocolate industry in the region. Its collection, unique in Spain, contains old machinery, lithographic stones, engraving plates and collections of gift cards, among other pieces. [ 206 ] Since 2015 it has had a new headquarters, the modernist palace of the chocolate maker Magín Rubio, built by the architect Eduardo Sánchez Eznarriaga . [ 207 ]Finally, and dedicated to the so-called "School of Astorga", in August 2011 the Casa Panero was inaugurated, home of the Panero family and a place frequented by members of the generation of 27 such as Gerardo Diego or Luis Rosales , which houses the writers funds belonging to the school, [ 208 ] [ 209 ] in addition to the legacy of the archaeologist José María Luengo . [ 210 ]
Astorga also has a municipal library, created in 1931 and reorganized in 1944, whose headquarters are located in the old Hospicio, a 19th century building restored in 1983 for cultural use. [ 211 ] In addition, in the city are the Municipal Historical Archive, whose oldest document dates back to 1253 and among whose funds is kept one of the two oldest council acts in Spain, dated December 27, 1427, [ 212 ] and the Diocesan Archive, created in 1973 and which houses the documentation generated by the Diocese from 898 to the present. [ 213 ]
Performing arts and bullfighting
Astorga has, among other spaces, the Gullón theater , inaugurated in 1923; after its subsequent closure it was abandoned until in the nineties it was transformed into a disco. In 2006, the City Council bought the property and in 2011 its rehabilitation began; [ 214 ] [ 215 ] after several years of work, in 2017 he opened them again. [ 216 ] The city also has a movie theater whose origins date back to 1911 as a theater and since the 1930s as a movie projector. [ 217 ]
Various events related to the world of performance and the performing arts take place in the city. During the carnival celebration, a magic festival is organized, which since 2004 brings together both Spanish and foreign magicians. [ 218 ] In August, during the Santa Marta patron saint festivities, the “Ars Via” street theater contest takes place, in which various companies perform their shows in different parts of the city over several days. [ 219 ] In September, and since 1998, the Astorga Film Festival has been held , [ 220 ]In which, in addition to the national short film competition, various activities such as film cycles, exhibitions and conferences take place. [ 221 ] During the Christmas festivities, and since 2002, a story adapted to street theater has been performed in different streets of the old town. [ 222 ]
The bullfighting is not deeply rooted and the number of fans is low, but it is usual scheduling a run during the festival of Santa Marta. [ 223 ] The city has a bullring built at the beginning of the 20th century , partly with materials from the demolition of the castle of the Marquis; Until then the bullfighting festivities took place in the Plaza Mayor. [ 224 ] The most prominent figure who has given the city in this field is July Norte torero, who took the alternative in the bullring of Iscar in 1989. [ 225 ]
Music is an outstanding element in the cultural life of the city, which has included among its musicians Juan de Oliver, author of Sonatas de Palacio , Evaristo Fernández Blanco , precursor of serialism and author of Dramatic Overture , Venancio Blanco, which he compiled The thousand and one popular songs of the Leon region , Antonio Celada or authors of sacred music such as José María Álvarez, Manuel Ansola or González Barrón. [ 226 ] Since the end of the 20th century , organist Roberto Fresco stands out. [ 227 ]
The city has different musical groups, among which the Municipal Music Band founded in 1894 stands out, although its origins date back, at least, to 1841. [ 228 ] The rest of the groups represent very varied musical styles such as choral, instrumental , Celtic or rock, as well as the different Easter bands.
In the month of July, the International Music Course takes place, held annually since 1993, which is considered a benchmark in music education in Castilla y León because it is the only one that offers all the specialties of orchestra and band. [ 229 ] Also in summer, the Music in the Cathedral cycle is held, which consists of different concerts of sacred music. [ 230 ] Another musical event is the music band contest, which offers a varied repertoire of processional marches each year in the days leading up to the celebration of Holy Week. [ 231 ]
Festivities and events
Throughout the year there are several cultural and festive events that take place in the city. Chronologically, in mid-January the parish of Puerta de Rey celebrates the feast of San Antón with the traditional procession and blessing of pets. [ 233 ] In February, the parish of San Pedro de Rectivía venerates the Virgen de las Candelas with a procession through the neighborhood. [ 234 ] The same month, on a variable date, the carnival festivities begin on Piñata Saturday, the first after Ash Wednesday, with a parade with more than a hundred groups, brass bands and floats; [ 235 ]The burning of the Piñata closes on the weekend on Sunday night. [ 236 ]
In mid-April the feast of the patron saint Toribio is celebrated, which since the beginning of the 21st century is complemented by the Trade Fair and a tapas contest among the city's restaurants. [ 237 ] On a variable date, in drought years it is traditional to pray for nine days in the Cathedral to the Virgin of Castrotierra , [ 238 ] brought from her sanctuary, seventeen kilometers away, in a procession in which the inhabitants participate. of the nearby regions together with the banners of each locality, their transfer being decided by the vote of the Procurators of the Land. [ 239 ]
On a variable date the Corpus Christi procession is celebrated. [ 240 ] In June, and every three years, the Zuiza festival takes place, an ancient commemoration of the Christian victory in the battle of Clavijo recovered in 1994, in which the Clavijo Banner - kept in the Town Hall - is processed. who receives the honors of captain general and is escorted by fifty zuizones. [ 241 ] At the end of the same month, the festivities of the neighborhoods of San Andrés and San Pedro de Rectivía are celebrated with popular games and festivals, among other acts. [ 242 ] [ 243 ]
At the end of July the Astures y Romanos festival is celebrated, whose origins are in 1986 and which was declared of Regional Tourist Interest in 2011; [ 18 ] it commemorates the oldest past of the city with events such as the Roman circus, the Roman market or the installation of the Roman camp and the Asturian settlement in the Melgar park. [ 236 ] At the end of August the patron saint festivities of the city take place in honor of Santa Marta, in which festivals and concerts, street theater, parades of giants and big heads, sports competitions, the Handicraft Fair or the traditional "Long Night", the highlight of the festive events with uninterrupted music until dawn. 
Finally, and on variable dates —the first edition was in 2004—, the Napoleonic Days take place, which recall the events that took place during the War of Independence, when the city suffered two sieges by French troops. [ 245 ] The 2012 edition commemorated the bicentennial of the reconquest of the city by General Santocildes . [ 246 ]
Holy Week in Astorga is declared of National Tourist Interest [ 17 ] and Regional Tourist Interest, [ 247 ] and during it eight brotherhoods and brotherhoods go out to the street, along with the Holy Week Profomento Board, carrying a total of forty steps. [ 248 ] The set of these eight is made up of the Brotherhood of Santa Vera Cruz and Confalón , one of the oldest at the national level, since the oldest document is from 1475, [ 249 ] the Royal Brotherhood of Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno and María Santísima de la Soledad , of 1674, theArch Confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows , from 1911, the Brotherhood of Knights of Silence of Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno , from 1926, the Brotherhood of the Blessed Christ of the Afflicted , from 1943, the Brotherhood of the Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem , from 1953 , the Brotherhood of the Holy Supper , of 1969, and the Brotherhood of the Ladies of the Virgin of Mercy , of 1992.
Among the most prominent events are the Viacrucis, organized by the Junta Profomento, and in which all the brotherhoods participate; some of the events that take place on Good Friday, such as the Encuentro procession —with the traditional San Juanín race—, the Desenclavo in the Plaza Mayor or the Soledad procession; and the procession of the Risen One on Easter Sunday. Among the religious imagery stand out the carvings of the Crucified Christ, from 1560, the Blessed Christ of the Afflicted, from the end of the seventeenth century , the Virgin of Solitude, also from the end of the seventeenth century, the Virgen de los Dolores, a work of 1706 by José de Rozas, the Jesus Nazareno, of 1783 or the Golden Cross, of 1789. Along with the religious, during Holy Week various customs that accompany the celebration are maintained, such as « kill Jews ”or eat the bolla - made of flour, honey and milk - accompanied by muscatel wine. [ 250 ]
Since the 19th century , Astorga has stood out as an important cultural center. [ 251 ] Among its first relevant authors are Bishop Sampiro , who between the 10th and 11th centuries wrote the Chronicle of his name, and Juan Lorenzo de Astorga, author, between the 13th and 14th centuries , of the manuscript O of the Book of Alexandre .
The Church and its members played a prominent role in literary production; thus, figures such as Alfonso de la Madre de Dios appeared, with his work Chronica de la reforma de su religion , from 1618, Pedro Aingo de Ezpeleta, who published in 1634 Fundación de la Santa, Cathedral Church of the city of Astorga , or Pedro Junco, which in 1639 published the Foundation, arms and names of Astorga . To these should be added the extensive documentary production generated by the | Diocese. In the 19th century, a list of authors were relevant, highlighting, among others, Marcelo Macías and Francisco Blanco García, author of Spanish literature in the 19th century., both from the ecclesiastical sphere, to the jurists Alfonso de Villadiego, Mateo Martínez Moreda, Manuel García Prieto and Manuel Prieto de Castro, and to the bibliographer Andrés Martínez Salazar .
At the beginning of the 20th century, the profits generated by the chocolate industry had favored the emergence of a wealthy bourgeoisie, among whose children a true "cultural parnassus" was born, with poets like Juan Panero and Leopoldo Panero , literary critics like Ricardo Gullón and writers like Luis Alonso Luengo, all of them members of the so-called "School of Astorga." [ 252 ] In the following years, other poets such as Eugenio de Nora or Esteban Carro Celada, novelists such as José María Goy, intellectuals such as Julio Carro or scholars such as Augusto Quintana Prieto, Eduardo Aragón and José María Luengo contributed to this cultural splendor., as well as the gatherings or debates that took place in different places in the city such as the Café Moderno, the Café Iris or the Gran Café Universal. In addition, different theater societies were created attached to the Casino, the Catholic Circle, the Segura Cultural Center, La Unión and the La Amistad Society. [ 253 ]
Since the last decades of the twentieth century , the cultural life of the city is starred not only by the different events that are held in it, but, especially, by the more than fifty associations that exist, which, throughout the year, organize a multitude of activities and cultural events. [ 254 ] Among them there are social, cultural, sports, fathers and mothers and neighbors. [ 255 ]
«Pastorcicus semus, d´Uriente venimus, bulsillus trajemus, diñeiro pidimus. May God give it to us to give. L´astrella guides us to this holy home ». Copla of the shepherds for the day of Kings. [ 256 ]
The language spoken in the municipality is Spanish or Castilian, but until the 20th century , numerous forms from Leonese that belonged to the western variant of Asturleonian survived in everyday speech, both from Astorga and its surroundings and from Maragatería . [ 258 ]Phonetically, some of the main features were the diphthongation of / o / and / e /, the conservation of decreasing diphthongs, the inflection of the stressed vowel, the substitution of the final / o / by the / u / or the conservation from the Latin initial / f- /. In morphological aspects, he highlighted the scarcity of prefixes and, on the contrary, the abundance of suffixes, especially diminutives, and in terms of its | verbal system, the lack of compound tenses and the placement of personal pronouns behind the verb. [ 259 ]
In recent years, various groups such as La Caleya and Faceira have carried out defense and promotion of Leon's linguistic heritage through different activities, such as the organization of Leon language courses, informative talks or literary competitions. [ 260 ] [ 261 ] [ 262 ] In collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of the Junta de Castilla y León, the Diputación de León—Through the Leonés Institute of Culture— and the Astorga City Council, several contests of traditional Leonese stories were held, in which schoolchildren up to 14 years old from the province of León participated; the stories, written in the linguistic modalities of León —Leonian, Galician and Castilian— were embodied in the book Cuentos popular leoneses (written by children) . [ 263 ] Likewise, as a result of the collaboration between the cultural associations Facendera pola Llengua and La Caleya, in 2009 El Prencipicu was published , [ 264 ] version in Cabreirés dialect of the work of the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ,The Little Prince . The book emerged as a result of the pedagogical work carried out with seven Cabreireses students from the IES Astorga student residence within the so-called Cabreiresa Culture Room.
An important part of Maragato folklore is their traditional clothing. The typical muleteer costume , in use during the eighteenth , nineteenth and early twentieth centuries , is notable among the traditional costumes for maintaining its daily use until a late date; It is categorized among the trade suits, since it is the one they wore when traveling, and it is characterized by being very functional, with materials and shapes that protected from the elements and facilitated the activity of arriera , and for evolving very little over time, resulting totally different from the costumes of the rest of the Leonese regions, unlike the feminine, which has progressively lost variety and singularity. [ 265 ]
The male suit consisted of a shirt, vest, collar , panties or breeches, belt —for holidays and dancing, embroidered according to social category—, leggings , shoes, hat and cape. Some of these garments, such as the collar or the panties, seem to date back to the 16th or 17th century , according to different authors; [ 265 ] the latter present a certain singularity with respect to those used in other regions of Spain for being of the wide breeches or bloomers type, finding only similarity in the typical Majorcan costume . [ 266 ]
The female costume is an evolution of the ancient costume, influenced by the clothing of bordering areas and lacking the originality of the male wardrobe, but which retains a great wealth in terms of garments and accessories. They form the white skirt, petticoat (in cloth of various colors, depending on the social status of the person), the faltriquera -Pocket Interior-, the Manteo , the -bordado mandil silk or chenille, according to social category, the doublet and neck scarf, headscarf -different for maiden from married-, mantilla and cloak for religious ceremonies, white ribbons and tips, shoes and jewelry - earringsor chokers, earrings and rings. An exception to this typology is the costume of the Mayas , young dancers, more showy and colorful than the traditional maragata, highlighting the red, green and white. [ 266 ]
Due to its situation and historical development, Astorga has been an enclave of encounter and departure of roads since ancient times, of movement of peoples and cultures. [ 7 ] During Roman times it was connected to the main cities of the time through various communication channels . And in so - called tables Astorga , of the century III , [ 267 ] [ 268 ] are cited various routes that Asturica mentioned. Also in the 3rd century , the Antonine Itinerary indicates the network of communications that linked the city withBracara Augusta ( Braga ) on route XVIII, or passing through Lucus Augusti ( Lugo ) on route XIX, to Augusta Emerita ( Mérida ), to Tarragona passing through Caesaraugusta ( Zaragoza ) on route XXXII or Ab Asturica Terracone, or with Bordeaux , by route XXXIV or Ab Asturica Burdigalam : practically towards the four cardinal points of the Tarragona province , and through which the troops, travelers and products were transported, mainly the gold of Las Médulas . [ note 7 ]
From the south, the so-called Via de la Plata connected Mérida with Astorga ( Iter ab Emeritam Asturica ) and centuries later, it would coincide in some points with the Cañada Real de la Vizana, through which the transhumant herds traveled on their journey from Extremadura to the Leonese mountains. [ note 8 ] In contemporary times, it is part of one of the main communication routes that backbone western Spain, between Gijón and Seville, through the N-630 and the Ruta de la Plata highway / Ruta de la Plata highway ; various institutions promote this axis as a tourist route with the name of Ruta de la Plata, [ 269 ]This has generated dissension, since the historical evidence defines its route exclusively between Mérida and Astorga, and the Association of Peoples of the Vía de la Plata, chaired by the Astorga mayor's office, has carried out since 2006 protest actions against the artificial extension of the road. [ 270 ] [ 271 ]
Towards the east, the road that joined Asturica with Legio , and that later continued towards Caesaraugusta, was used as the Camino de Santiago, and became the base of the current N-120 . For its part, to the west, the road to Lucus Augusti and Gallaecia would also become, centuries later, a section of the Camino de Santiago that, leaving Astorga, crosses Foncebadón, Ponferrada and Villafranca del Bierzo, among other places. [ 272 ] Other roads were woven around these main routes, such as those of the muleteers or those of the razzias , used by both the Muslims Tarik , Muza or Almanzor.as by French troops during the Spanish War of Independence. All of them always had a circulation that gave them life and that contributed to the exchange of people and cultures, as well as the introduction of different artistic styles. Currently, Astorga tells the story of some of these roads in the Museo de los Caminos, created in 1962. [ 273 ]
- Santiago's road
Of the different pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela, the most used and known since the Middle Ages is the French Way, which originates from the Roman road Ab Asturica Burdigalam . Its route reaches Astorga from the town of San Justo de la Vega , entering the city through the old Puerta del Sol, now missing. The walker continues through San Francisco (old Calle de las Tiendas), Plaza Mayor, Pío Gullón (formerly Rua Nueva), Santiago Crespo, Santiago (formerly Caleya Yerma), and ends in front of the Episcopal Palace, the church of Santa Marta and the cathedral . From there, the pilgrim continues through Leopoldo Panero, San Pedro, to reach the church of San Pedro, of modern construction and already in the suburb of Rectivía. Crossing the N-VI, the road continues towards the port of Foncebadón .
During the Middle Ages, the city had a good number of hostels or hospitals for pilgrims. Some, such as the Hospital de San Juan Bautista, in which according to tradition San Francisco spent a few days of convalescence , gave rise to a modern charity-assistance institution, but most of them disappeared over the centuries, not remaining more than its memory and some description of the property and its history in the preserved documentation. Until the end of the eighties , the pilgrims found refuge and lodging thanks to the congregation of the Brothers of Our Lady of Lourdes , [ 274 ]But since then, these services have been attended, on the one hand, by the Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago de Astorga, [ 275 ] which, after offering its assistance in various venues, has maintained the Siervas de María shelter since 2006, with a total with 162 beds, [ 276 ] and on the other hand by the San Javier hostel, opened in 2003 and managed by the Vía de la Plata Cultural Association, which offers 95 places. [ 277 ] The Association of Friends received in 2007, from the hands of the Galician Government , the Elías Valiña award, which recognizes the promotional work of the Jacobean routes. [ 278 ]
The gastronomy in Astorga is linked to the countryside and livestock in the area. The best-known dish is the cocido maragato , whose main characteristic is that it is served the other way around, starting with the meats -whose variety can reach twelve types-, following the chickpeas, potatoes and vegetables, and the soup, to finish with the dessert, which usually consists of custard. [ 279 ] The reason for this change in the order of the dishes is not known for sure, but the custom seems to come from the muleteers , who preferred to eat cold meat first and then, once they reached a town, heat the Soup. [ 280 ]
Other outstanding dishes are garlic soup, conger eel with ajoarriero, sweetbreads in sauce, cabbages with cod and cecina de León , beef meat that since 1994 has enjoyed the benefit of a Protected Geographical Indication whose Regulatory Council is in Astorga. [ 281 ] All these culinary possibilities, which were basic for the people of this area, are preserved and disseminated by the "El Borrallo" Gastronomic and Cultural Association, whose cooking days culminate with the slaughter of the pig , from which they are obtained different products. [ 282 ]
As for pastries, sweets occupy a prominent place in Astorga cuisine. The greatest fame is provided by the mantecadas , which have a Protected Geographical Indication . [ 283 ] The first written mention of them dates from 1805, and their commercialization began in 1850; Its origin is uncertain, although it is believed that the recipe came from a nun from the Sancti Spiritus convent, who abandoned the habits to marry and popularized it. [ 284 ] Another sweet, also spread throughout the rest of the province, is puff pastry , bathed in syrup and emerged in the mid-twentieth century . [ 285 ]Merles, a puff pastry filled with cream and covered in toasted sugar, [ 286 ] and chocolate , already present in Astorga in the mid-19th century , whose industry had 41 factories in the city in 1916, are also outstanding. of which only four remain. [ 116 ]
- Written means
Astorga's journalistic tradition dates back to 1852, when the first periodical publication, the Ecclesiastical Bulletin of the Bishopric , came to light . At the end of the century, in 1885, the weekly Pedro Mato appeared , in 1892, the Catholic weekly La Luz de Astorga and in 1899, El Heraldo Astorgano . In 1903 La Lid appeared three times a week under the slogan "freedom, progress, morality and work," and El Faro Astorgano was founded , a Catholic one. The following year, El Pensamiento Astorgano began to be published , in 1906, El Evangelio en Astorga , and in 1907, El Adalid . Years later, in 1917, the weeklyEl Fresco , and in 1928 the weekly Humo began to be published under the tutelage of Ricardo Gullón, Leopoldo Panero and Luis Alonso Luengo. [ 226 ]
Of all of them, El Pensamiento and El Faro Astorgano currently prevail , this being the one with the largest circulation, with a regional, provincial and regional scope, with both printed and digital editions. [ 287 ] They are joined by the Municipal Notebooks , dedicated to historical artistic heritage, the Catedral magazine , from the Friends of the Cathedral Association, the Argutorio magazine , from the Monte Irago Cultural Association, as well as the publications of several of the brotherhoods of Holy Week. In the same way, the national newspapers with the greatest circulation can be purchased, as well as the provincial Diario de León and La Nueva Crónica..
- Electronic media
In Astorga you can tune in to any of the main radio stations that operate nationally and regionally, such as Radio Nacional de España and Cadena SER , as well as those that in the city have local stations that broadcast spaces dedicated to local news in their disconnections at different times sections, COPE Astorga , [ 288 ] Point Radio Astorga , [ 289 ] and Wave Zero The Bañeza-Astorga , [ 290 ] and stations as specific character string hundred , 40 Main Leon orCadena Dial.
Since 2010, with the entry into operation of digital terrestrial television (DTT), the number of television channels, both general and thematic and both free and paid, which can be accessed by the inhabitants of the municipality, has multiplied. [ 291 ] [ 292 ] [ 293 ]
Regarding the internet, at the local and regional level, it is worth noting the two websites of the City Council where the most significant institutional and tourist information is offered to citizens, the digital version of El Faro Astorgano , the digital newspaper Astorga RedAcción , founded in 2013, [ 294 ] the digital newspaper Diario de Astorga , founded in 2014, [ 295 ] and the Astorga.com portal. [ 296 ]
- Sports entities
The most important sports entity in the city is Atlético Astorga Club de Fútbol , [ 297 ] which is active in the Third Division of Spain . The futsal has a great tradition in the city, which until 2001 had the team Astorga FS , which played in the First Division of the National Football League since founding it in 1989 until 2001, year in which the club disappeared due to financial difficulties. [ 298 ]
Other disciplines or activities practiced in Astorga are cycling, with the Club Deportivo Cicloturista de Astorga, slot , with the Astorga Slot Club, motor sports with the Club Deportivo Moto-Quad Senderos Maragatos or the Moto Club Deportivo Astorga, hiking with the La Salle Sports Club, or kung-fu , [ 299 ] at the school run by the Jiménez family, known for its displays of strength and endurance. [ 300 ] [ 301 ] In addition, the City has several municipal schools sports such as athletics, basketball, football, wrestling and swimming Leon. [ 302 ]
- Sports events
The main sporting events organized in the city include, on the one hand, the Cyclotourist March Against Drugs, which every year brings together several hundred participants on a route around Astorga, [ 303 ] and on the other hand , the local tournaments of various disciplines such as soccer, billiards or tennis during the celebration of the Santa Marta patron saint festivities , at the end of August. [ 304 ]
In 1947, 1967 and 2011 , Astorga was the finish line or stage start of the Vuelta a España , [ 305 ] being likewise several times in which it, the Vuelta a Castilla y León and the Vuelta Ciclista a León have passed through the town.
For the practice of sport, there are various facilities located mainly in the La Eragudina area: the "La Eragudina" football field , where Atlético Astorga plays its games, [ 306 ] the "Felipe Miñambres" Municipal Sports Pavilion , the municipal swimming pools, a gym, several tennis courts and two paddle tennis courts. [ 307 ] [ 308 ] Also, Astorga has a motocross circuit, located in the hamlet of El Sierro.
The city of Astorga participates in the city twinning initiative promoted, among other institutions, by the European Union . From this initiative, ties have been established with the following localities:
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- Portal: Leon . Content related to the province of León .
- Diocese of Astorga
- Marquisate of Astorga
- Part of the municipal territory is included in the region of Maragatería .
- Although in disuse, also Asturian, from the old Asturica Augusta.
- That capitality passed to Bracara Augusta .
- The most significant work of art of Christianity in this new episcopal see is a sarcophagus decorated with six scenes from the Old and New Testaments that was imported from Rome.
- In the Christian church of Astorga three heresies arose: Manichaeism, Priscillianism and Arianism.
- In September 2018, he was discharged from the PP after appearing in the summary of the Enredadera operation as investigated.
- Asturica became a communications center for western Hispania as stated in the Antonine Itinerary , compiled in the time of Emperor Caracalla (211 to 217 AD).
- This route was used by the Arabs to enter the north of the peninsula. They gave it the name of B'lata, meaning a well paved road .
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