From left to right and from top to bottom: Las Médulas , León Cathedral , Astorga Episcopal Palace , Ponferrada Castle , La Robla Thermal Power Plant , Vega del Esla and the Riaño Reservoir .
Location of León
|• Other languages||Leonese and Galician|
|• Community||Castile and Leon|
| Congress |
4 deputies |
211 municipalities |
7 judicial districts
|Foundation||Territorial division of 1833|
|Surface||Since 7 .º|
15581 km² |
(3.09% of Spain)
|Population (2017)||Since 32 .º|
|• Total||468,316 hab.|
|• Density||30.05 hab / km²|
|ISO 3166-2||IS IT|
|Official Web site|
Municipal division of the province.
León ( Llión , in Leonese ; León in Galician ) is a Spanish province located in the northwest of the autonomous community of Castilla y León . Its capital is León . It limits to the north with the Principality of Asturias and Cantabria , to the east with the province of Palencia , to the south with the provinces of Zamora and Valladolid and to the west with Galicia , specifically with the provinces of Orense and Lugo . It has an extension of 15 581km² and in 2018 it had 463 746 inhabitants. [ 2 ]
As such, it was constituted in the administrative division of 1833 , [ 3 ] after the reforms carried out by Javier de Burgos , forming part, although without administrative operation, of the León region . [ 4 ] It is divided into 211 municipalities , grouped into seven judicial districts : Sahagún , León , La Bañeza , Ponferrada , Astorga , Cistierna and Villablino . [ 5 ]
A place of passage between important regions of the Iberian Peninsula, two major routes run through the province of León: from south to north the Vía de la Plata , and from east to west the Camino de Santiago .
As is common in most of Spain, the province takes its name from its capital, the city of León . The origin of the name of this comes from the Latin word legio , which refers to the legion that founded the city in its current location. This thesis, commonly accepted, is reinforced with the still valid name "Legionense" to refer to the inhabitants of the city. The evolution from Legio to León is easily explained, because in classical Latin, the gi is pronounced as if it were a gui , so the pronunciation of Legio would be Leguio, something that ended up leading to Leio or Leionem , which in turn ended up in the current name of León. [ 6 ]
The effigy of the lion as a symbol of the province appears documented for the first time in the coins minted by King Alfonso VII ( 1126 - 1157 ). [ 7 ] Until then, the most common sign used by the Leonese kings in their documents and coins was the cross, but from the reign of said sovereign, it will be progressively displaced by the lion . The historian and heraldist Martín de Riquer stated that in 1148 the lion was already used as a heraldic emblem. [ 8 ]
The origin of the current flag is unknown. On the one hand, the design of flags with the symbol "enclosed" in a shield in the center responds to a rather late heraldic use, and on the other, the first description of a similar banner was found by Waldo Merino in the minutes of 18 December. February of 1789of the Book of Municipal Agreements; In it he could read that the banner of the city was crimson, with six cards or small shields with two lions of gold, silver and silk. From the same period, or somewhat later, is the banner preserved in the office of the mayor of León, which consists of a shield with a golden rampant lion in the center and two smaller ones at the ends, embroidered on a colored damask fabric. crimson. According to the historian Ricardo Chao, this was the banner of the city that over time, and with some variations, ended up representing the entire province and the entire region . [ 7 ]
The province of León is located in the northwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula , in the autonomous community of Castilla y León ( Spain ). It limits to the north with the principality of Asturias and Cantabria , where the Cantabrian mountain range plays the role of natural border between the North plateau and the Cantabrian coast. To the west, there are different units of the Galaico-Leonés massif that act as a border with the Galician provinces of Orense and Lugo . To the south it borders the provinces of Zamora and Valladolidand to the east with the province of Palencia , without a natural border between them. [ 9 ]
|Northwest: Lugo Province||North: Principality of Asturias||Northeast: Cantabria|
| West: Lugo Province and |
|East: Province of Palencia|
|Southwest Province of Orense||South: Province of Zamora||Southeast: Province of Valladolid|
The territory of the province of León does not constitute a homogeneous unit but rather three large geological units can be differentiated: to the north, coinciding with the morphological unit of the Cantabrian mountain range , the Paleozoic base emerges, to the west is the Bierzo depression and the Constituent set of the Galaico-Leonés massif , and the rest of the territory is made up of the sedimentary basin that occupies most of the autonomous community and in which two types of rock are distinguished, the materials of the old base of the Primario and the sedimentary materials deposited during the Tertiary and Quaternary in the center of it. [ 10 ]
From a structural point of view, the relief of the province is organized around three large morphological units: the Cantabrian mountain range, the Galaico-Leonés massif and the Meseta. The mountainous formations occupy an important part of the relief, being more than 50% of the total surface over 1000 meters of altitude. [ 11 ]
- Cantabrian Mountains
The Cantabrian mountain range is represented by the so-called Asturian massif. Among the whole complex, the Picos de Europa stand out , where the topographic contrasts resulting from the Hercynian-Alpine orogeny have been accentuated by the boxing of the river network (with deep gorges such as the Los Beyos gorge and the Cares gorge ), and where we find peaks that exceed 2500 m in altitude such as Torre de Cerredo (2648 m) or Torre del Llambrión (2642 m). The vertical forms, the glacial cirques , the karst complexes , the gorges, the snowfieldsThe, the sinkholes and chasms are the most important elements. [ 11 ]
In the western zone, the alignments run from west to east, leaving fluvial corridors that, in the case of the Luna and Omaña rivers , opened the depressions that make up the Babia and Omaña regions . In the central sector, different watercourses opened north-south transversal valleys, sometimes forming gorges such as Hoces de Vegacervera or Hoces de Valdeteja . Glacier modeling and karst modeling left their mark with formations such as the Valporquero cave . [ 12 ]
- Galaico-Leonese Massif
The Galician-Leonese mountains close the province to the west, separating it from Galicia . They constitute a bulge of the old Paleozoic massif that was fractured into different units: the Sierra de Gistredo , with the Catoute peak (2,117 m), the Montes de León , with the Teleno (2,188 m), La Cabrera , with the Vizcodillo (2,121 m ), [ 13 ] and the western mountains such as Los Ancares , with Cuiña (1992 m), and Caurel , with Montouto(1541 m). In the center of all of them the basin of the Bierzo was formed, characterized by a landscape of countryside and meadows. [ 14 ] The peaks are flattened, interrupted by alignments of quartzite crests (picones, alto, rocks), and the glacial forms are manifested with examples of U-shaped valleys or with lakes such as Truchillas and La Baña .
- The plateau
The Leonese sector of the Meseta occupies the central and southeastern part of the province, being the northwestern end of the sedimentary basin that occupies the interior of Spain. With an average altitude between 700 and 1000 meters of altitude, it is an almost horizontal relief of moors with gentle undulations only interrupted by terraces and interfluviums , [ 11 ] formed by the rivers that descend, both from the Cantabrian mountain range and from the Galaico massif. -Leonese. These flat and elevated reliefs are known as rañas or chanas moors. [ 15 ]In the south, on the sedimentary materials, the erosion originated wide valleys with interfluviums that hardly stand out. These undulating plains, when they come into contact with the moors in the center of the basin, cease to be open spaces as they are interrupted by witness hills, tesos or alcores.
Due to its mountainous structure, the Leonese province divides its territory between three hydrographic basins: Cantabrian , Miño-Sil (until 2008, both made up the Northern Hydrographic Confederation ), [ 16 ] and Duero . [ 17 ] The Cantabrian basin represents only 2.2% of the surface, limiting itself, on the one hand, to the valleys of Sajambre and Valdeón , drained by the Sella and Cares rivers , and on the other, to the valleys of Balouta and Suarbol with the Balouta riversand Moreira , which flow towards the Navia River . [ 18 ]
The Miño-Sil basin represents 27.7% of the provincial surface and is separated from the Duero basin by the Montes de León , from which, and to the west, the Sil system expands . This, which rises at more than 1500 meters of altitude on the Leonese slope of the Somiedo port , crosses the regions of Laciana , El Bierzo and La Cabrera Baja and has as its main contributions, within the province, the Boeza , Cúa , Burbia , Selmo and Cabrera . [ 17 ] [ 19 ]
The Duero basin represents 72.1% of the surface and its main axis is the Esla River , one of the main tributaries of the Duero with 5040 hm³ per year. [ 20 ] Most of the river courses of the basin discharge their waters through its tributaries Porma (with its tributary the Curueño ), Bernesga (with its tributary the Torío ), Cea and Órbigo (with its tributaries Tuerto , Turienzo , Duerna , Jamuz and Eria ). Also part of the basin is thethe Valderaduey River , which flows into the Duero near Zamora , and the Grande River , which empties into the Carrión River from the Besande and Valverde de la Sierra valleys , already in the province of Palencia . [ 17 ]
Among the lakes and lagoons of natural origin we can distinguish two types, those of glacial origin and the steppes. The former are, among others, the lakes absent and Isoba in Puebla de Lillo , the lake from Bana , the lake Truchillas or Pozo Cheiroso in Valdeprado . [ 17 ] Of a steppe type are, among others, the Chozas de Arriba lagoon, the Sahelices del Payuelo lagoons , the Cal lagoon in Fontecha ( Valdevimbre ), the Grande Lagoon inBercianos del Real Camino and the Villadangos del Páramo lagoon . [ 17 ]
The deterioration of the water table has caused the disappearance of many of the wetlands that existed in the province, as well as the drying up of lagoons in the Páramo after land consolidation and the implementation of artificial irrigation. In his 1948 work, Luis Pardo described 125 in León, [ 21 ] of which only 50 survive. [ 17 ]
Several river channels have their flow regulated by swamps, reservoirs and dams. In the Miño-Sil basin are those of La Campañana , Las Rozas , Matalavilla and Bárcena . Except for the latter, which is also used for supply and irrigation, all of them are used to generate hydroelectric energy . [ 22 ]
In the Duero basin are those of Barrios de Luna , Casares , Porma , Riaño and Villameca . Most of them also generate hydroelectric energy in addition to its use as supply and irrigation, and some of them, such as Barrios de Luna, Porma and Riaño, are also used for the practice of nautical sports , being in Porma the School of Nautical Sports of Castilla y León. [ 23 ]
In climatic terms, the province of León serves as a transition between the Plateau and the mountainous areas. The predominant climate is the continentalized Mediterranean , although nuanced in some areas, such as the northwest, with an Atlantic influence , and the Hoya Berciana, with milder temperatures. In general, a high temperature range (from 12 to 20 ° C), cold and long winters, short spring and autumn, frosts and short, hot summers are characteristic. [ 24 ]
The rainfall is distributed unevenly throughout the year and depending on the area. Thus, in the north and northwest fringes 1,500 mm are reached annually, while in certain areas of the south of the province they barely reach 500 mm. Said precipitations are concentrated mainly in autumn and spring with a minimum in summer, especially accentuated in the plain, and in the form of snow in winter. [ 24 ] [ 25 ]
Regarding temperatures, in general it is a cold climate due to the altitude and the abundance of frosts (which persist from November to May), being more intense in the mountainous areas, reaching -18 ° C, for example in Villamanín . Summers are short, with the hottest days being between July 15 and August 15, when they can exceed 30 ° C. [ 26 ]
The flora of the province of León is very varied, with some 3000 different species that represent 20% of those that can be found in the Iberian Peninsula . [ 27 ] The plant formations present show a differentiation between the plain and the mountain, although in both domains Mediterranean species and transition to Atlantic vegetation predominate.
After the last ice age , a more arid climate was implanted favoring the development of xerophilous vegetation and thus, the beech forest receded to the Cantabrian mountains. [ 28 ] Where it retired, the holm oak was implanted , currently being present only in scattered stands since most of it disappeared when replaced by farmland. [ 29 ] They are forests with stunted feet, traditionally used for charcoal and firewood, of which the most extensive is the Becares holm oak grove . [ 30 ] Along with the holm oak, the gall oak and thejunipers , which are found in more arid spaces with lower temperatures, such as the Crémenes and Mirantes de Luna junipers . [ 31 ] In the more humid areas the rebollo develops , occupying large areas (being the province of León the one with the largest extension of them) [ 27 ] as a degraded forest that has lost its original size.
As for the mountain, it offers nuances such as height, temperature or humidity. Up to 1400 meters the rebollares that link to develop the repopulation of Scots pine (or natural state as Cofiñal ), [ 30 ] and at the base of the oak carballo and sessile , with forests of chestnut in El Bierzo or the beech forests of the Cantabrian mountains, among which the Faedo de Ciñera stands out , considered in 2007 the best-kept forest in Spain. [ 32 ]
The understory of these forests is covered by scrub formations made up of ferns , heather or gorse . Where trees can not grow as a result of the cold and winds vegetation is constituted by broom , junipers , broom or gorse . [ 33 ] The varied forest mass favors the appearance of different species of mosses and lichens, such as capuchin whiskers , lungworts or Iceland moss , as well as an abundant mycological flora . [ 27]
The province has a rich and varied fauna due to its transition situation between the Mediterranean and the Eurosiberian world and between the plains and the mountains. [ 34 ] Thus, as the íctidos , the leonesas waters support indigenous species as trout , Tench and catfish or allochthonous as pike . In relation to the different aquatic environments, there are amphibians such as the marbled newt , mammals such as the desman or the otter , and birds such as different species of ducks and wagtails or thekingfisher . [ 35 ]
In the flat areas of the province there are birds such as the bustard or the kestrel and small mammals such as the hare and, in wooded areas, the weasel or the ermine . In the surroundings of population centers, white storks , swallows , different species of eyelids , rooks , which only reproduce in Spain in the south-central area of the province, [ 36 ] or birds of prey such as red kite . Mammals such as wild boar are present in areas that give way to countryside or forests, the fox , the roe deer or the wolf . Finally, in the mountain areas, whether in grasslands or forests, live the deer , the mountain goat , the chamois , the gray partridge or the marten and birds such as the golden eagle . [ 34 ]
However, the most emblematic species within the province are the brown bear and the grouse . The first, in its western nucleus, extends, within the province, through Los Ancares , Laciana , Babia and Omaña , and in its eastern nucleus it occupies the Montaña de Riaño . [ 37 ] Threatened with danger of extinction, in recent years its population has increased thanks to the support of administrations and the work of organizations such as the Fundación Oso Pardo with conservation and environmental education projects. [ 38 ]As for the grouse, since the beginning of the eighties it has been suffering a decline in its population of up to 70% due to the fragmentation of its habitat, the low reproduction rate and the high degree of predation [ 39 ] therefore that conservation programs are being carried out through habitat improvements or captive breeding, among others. [ 40 ] In addition, since 2005 the existence of a population of grouse in the mountains of León has been confirmed., the southernmost of all known populations, whose adaptation to a Mediterranean ecosystem is unique in its species, living in conditions of summer drought and with a different diet than usual. [ 41 ]
Areas of environmental interest
- Natural Spaces Network
Since in 1991 the Junta de Castilla y León adhered to the legal framework that allowed the protection and regulation of its natural spaces, a network has been set up that, as of 2010, integrates about forty spaces under different protection figures. [ 42 ] Of all of them, the province of León is home to eight spaces, including the Picos de Europa National Park , created in 1995 from the expansion of the Covadonga Mountain National Park, and the Picos Regional Park of Europe , created in 1994 . [ 43 ]
As for Natural Spaces, there are the Sierra de Ancares , an example of the coexistence of Galician, Leonese and Cantabrian influences, Las Médulas , with its characteristic anthropic modeling fruit of Roman mining , the San Emiliano Valley , an example of a transition zone between flora and Eurosiberian and Mediterranean fauna, and the Hoces de Vegacervera , of high geomorphological value. Finally, the natural monuments of Lake La Baña and Lake Truchillas , which stand out for their botanical, fauna and geomorphological values but which are currently threatened by the presence of open-pit mining operations. 
- Biosphere reserves
The areas classified as Biosphere Reserve , recognized by Unesco for their scientific interest and their natural and cultural wealth, are represented in León by seven spaces that occupy a total of 3,290,253 km² (21.12% of the total surface provincial).
- Red Natura 2000
The Natura 2000 Network , whose objective is to ensure the survival of the most threatened species and habitats in Europe and which consists of Special Conservation Areas (ZEC) , previously classified as Places of Community Importance (SCI) , in accordance with the Habitats Directive , and Special Protection Areas for birds (ZEPA) , given by virtue of the Birds Directive . [ 45 ] it is present in the province with 16 SCI [ 46 ] and 11 SPAs. [ 47 ]
Provincial government and administration
The provinces are Regional Administrative Entities, inferior to the autonomous community, determined by the grouping of municipalities, with their own legal personality and full capacity to comply with the guarantee of the principles of solidarity and inter-municipal balance, within the framework of economic and political policy. Social.
The Government and the autonomous administration of the Province correspond to the Provincial Council .
History of the Provincial Council of León
Until the creation of the Provincial Councils , the provincial administration was basically a supervisory instrument , but through article 335 of the Constitution of Cádiz ( 1812) Provincial Councils were endowed with a series of perks such as the distribution of contributions, the monitoring of infractions to the Constitution, the provincial census and statistics, the establishment of constitutional councils, etc. In front of it was a Superior Chief, appointed by the King. This new position, which also served as Government Delegate, assumed the powers of public order and executive power and served as a link between the Town Halls and the Provincial Council. However, after fourteen months of existence, Ferdinand VII ended the work of the Cortes by declaring the Constitution null and void.
During the absolutist administration of Fernando VII ( 1814 - 1820 ), the liberal reformist current was paralyzed, returning to the conservatism of the old regime. After this period, during the Liberal Triennium ( 1820 - 1823 ), the provincial question arises again. The Law for the economic-political Government of the Provinces considers the Provincial Councils as the General City Council of the Province.
In 1919-1920 he was president of the Diputación de León Julio Fernandez and Fernandez [ 48 ] [ 49 ] and in 1930 it was Germán Núñez Gullón , [ 50 ] lawyer astorgano of ideas liberal and progressive and father of the literary critic , lawyer and academic from RAE Ricardo Gullón . Germán Gullón Núñez was part of the León Provincial Council that was committed to the Castilian Commonwealth, project, which was not administratively formed, to create a commonwealth of provincial councils of Castilla la Vieja , Castilla la Nueva and León with the largest number of Castilian provinces, trying to call it Castilla y León . [ 51 ] In both governments, the renowned professor and mathematician José del Corral y Herrero was a provincial deputy for the Sahagún district . [ 52 ]
The territorial organization of the province is divided between the counties, the municipalities and the local entities. At an administrative level there is no official district except for El Bierzo , recognized in 1991, [ 53 ] for which there are agricultural, health or tourism divisions, among others. The only official division is the judicial one , with the division of the province between seven parties: Sahagún , León , La Bañeza , Ponferrada , Astorga , Cistierna and Villablino . [ 54 ]
However, since the Middle Ages , when they reached administrative and jurisdictional character, there is news of the traditional regions of León, whose origins were various councils, lordships and ecclesiastical divisions. [ 55 ] Thus, the eastern mountain is divided into a multitude of valleys with their own characteristics, opened by the Esla , Valdellorma , Cea , Grande , Yuso rivers and their tributaries, and which has Cistierna as an economic, commercial and administrative center. [ 56 ] In the central mountain, the valleys of the Porma rivers, Curueño and Torío and the head of the Bernesga give regional personality to the area, in which Boñar stands out as a commercial and economic center. [ 57 ] For their part, the western mountain regions are grouped around the Bernesga , Luna and Omaña rivers and have La Robla as their most dynamic nucleus; Most of these demarcations were linked to an important castle, the center of them during the period of consolidation of the kingdom of Asturias . [ 58 ]
The lowlands of the southeastern province are divided into various regions defined by geographic types such as riverbanks, meadows and moors; to the north the banks and meadows of the Bernesga, Torío, Curueño, Porma, Esla and Cea rivers predominate, while to the south the moors extend, interrupted by hills and by the Órbigo, Esla and Cea meadows. Territories historically influenced by León and Astorga , their main centers are the old capitals of jurisdictions and manors: Valencia de Don Juan , Santa María del Páramo , Valderas , Sahagún and Mansilla de las Mulas . [ 59 ]The Astorga region, the main center of this entire area, comprises a series of well-differentiated territories between the Montes de León mountain ranges , the Órbigo and Tuerto plains and the Duerna , Eria and Jamuz valleys . In addition to Astorga, other important centers are La Bañeza , Benavides de Órbigo , Carrizo de la Ribera and Veguellina de Órbigo . [ 60 ]
As for the western part of the province, although very different meanings have been applied to the term Bierzo (giving its name to the current region of El Bierzo), its traditional distribution is spread over the lower valleys of Sil , Boeza , El Cúa and Burbia , which were an important part of the old Ponferrada Party. The entire region, made up of the plains of the Hoya Berciana and the valleys and banks of its mountainous border, was the result of numerous jurisdictional and ecclesiastical divisions, and as a consequence of all this derives a set of well-identified territories. [ 61 ]
At the local level, the province is divided into 211 municipalities , politically governed by a city council , in which there are 1,228 population entities or EATIMES , 33% of those in Spain. [ 62 ] These are governed by a neighborhood council , which is made up of a President and several members, and is in charge of the management of communal assets. When the population has less than 250 inhabitants, it can be managed through an open council , made up of a mayor and the assembly of all the residents.
These institutions, below the municipal level, are direct heirs of the medieval councils, which arose in the northern territories of the Peninsula, including the kingdom of León . These councils consisted of the meeting of all the neighbors to manage the lands and other communal assets (pastures, mountains, mills) as well as the work in common, as farmers to fix roads and sources. [ 63 ]
Transport and communications
Due to its situation, the province of León is a fundamental node for traffic from or to Galicia and Asturias . In this way, the A-66 and A-6 axes, the main access roads to Asturias and Galicia respectively, converge in the province , the intersection of these two routes being located in Benavente , just ten kilometers from the provincial limit. The railway network follows this pattern and León is the main gateway to Asturias and the access to Galicia, through El Bierzo , is one of the existing ones in this autonomous community. Regarding air transport, the province has an airport in the capital. 
The province's road network is managed by the State , the Board , the Provincial Council and finally by the Miño-Sil Hydrographic Confederation , the latter taking care of the roads that allow access to canals and reservoirs for carrying out works of maintenance.
- High capacity roads
|Name||From to||Important cities of León where it passes|
|Northwest Highway||Madrid - La Coruña||La Bañeza , Astorga , Torre del Bierzo , Bembibre , Ponferrada , Villafranca del Bierzo|
|Ruta de la Plata highway||Gijón - Seville||Leon , Villamañán|
|Ruta de la Plata highway||Leon - Campomanes||Leon , La Robla|
|León-Astorga Highway||Leon - Astorga||Leon , Astorga|
|A-231 Highway Camino de Santiago||Burgos - Leon||Leon , Sahagún|
|Communication highway between the LE-20 and the LE-30||León (from LE-20 to LE-30 and N-601 )|
|Inner ring road of León||From N-630 to Trobajo del Camino ( N-120 )|
|Outer ring road of León||From Puente Castro ( N-601 ) to Valverde de la Virgen ( A-66 and AP-71 )|
|Name||From to||Important cities of León where it passes|
|N-VI||Madrid - La Coruña||La Bañeza , Astorga , Torre del Bierzo , Bembibre , Ponferrada , Villafranca del Bierzo|
|N-120||Logroño - Vigo||Sahagún , León , Astorga , Ponferrada , Toral de los Vados|
|N-536||Ponferrada - El Barco de Valdeorras||Ponferrada , Carucedo , Domingo Flórez Bridge|
|N-601||Madrid - Leon||Leon, Mansilla de las Mulas|
|N-621||Leon- Unquera||Leon, Cistierna , Riaño|
|N-625||Mansilla de las Mulas - Arriondas||Mansilla de las Mulas , Cistierna|
|N-630||Gijón - Seville||La Robla , Leon, Villamanín|
The railway lines managed by Adif and that pass through the province are Venta de Baños-Gijón and León-La Coruña , as well as León Classification - Torneros del Bernesga , the latter being recently differentiated from the common trunk of Venta de Baños-Gijón for the arrival of the high-speed train to the capital. The province is also the headquarters of the Northwest Command Post, located in the capital . [ 65 ] León has a third line, the Ruta de la Plata , whose section between Astorga and Plasencia has been closed since 1985 .
Regarding the lines managed by Feve, there is the « La Robla Railroad », inaugurated in 1894 , closed in 1991 to passenger traffic, restricting traffic to freight trains and reopened in 2003 , when services are resumed. of passengers between León and Bilbao . [ 66 ]
The Valladolid-Palencia-León high-speed line entered service in 2015. The line to Asturias is currently under construction . The León-Ponferrada-Monforte de Lemos high-speed line , included in the PEIT , but whose future execution is nevertheless on hold, is also being studied for information . [ 67 ]
- Railway services
- Renfe Operadora
Renfe Operadora offers medium and long distance services. In Media Distancia, it manages lines R23 , R29 and R30 , with 6, 2 and 1 train per direction and day respectively. All lines have the provincial capital or Ponferrada as their origin or destination and Madrid , Valladolid , Gijón and Monforte de Lemos as their destination or origin , being operated by S-449 trains .
Regarding Long Distance, Renfe Operadora offers the following products: Alvia , Arco and Trenhotel . The Alvia trains began to circulate on the León- Madrid route in November 2007 , the opening in December of the same year of the high-speed line to Valladolid extended the service to three daily trains, which became four in September 2008 , shortly after the launch of a new line between Barcelona and Vigo, with a daily train per direction and whose route runs in part through the province of León. Finally, in November of the same year, the León-Madrid service switched to the current frequency of five trains per direction distributed in three different services: Alicante -Madrid; Gijón -Madrid and León-Madrid with one, three and one frequencies per direction respectively.
The Arco service present in the province is specified in the Arco Camino de Santiago, which carries out the routes Bilbao - Vigo and Irún - La Coruña . Regarding Trenhotel services , the province benefited from the first service of these characteristics launched in Spain : the Trenhotel Galicia, which connects Barcelona with La Coruña and Vigo , currently having a second, the Trenhotel Asturias, which connects Asturias with Barcelona .
|Leon - Saint Happy|
Renfe Feve maintains a commuter service between the towns of León and San Feliz, taking advantage of the railway line that runs between León and Bilbao . [ 69 ] This service passes through the municipalities of León , Villaquilambre and Garrafe de Torío .
The train travels the distance of 11 km that separates the two towns from the extremes in 16 minutes and for this purpose it has 22 frequencies in each direction on weekdays, which are reduced to 9 on weekends and holidays, being the frequency of passage of the variable trains, with an average of 50 minutes between each train. Currently, units of the 2600 and 2700 series circulate in this vicinity . [ 70 ] After the town of San Feliz, the service extends to Cistierna and after this to Guardo , although with a different rate regime.
The Airport of Leon , which entered service in 1999 , is located in the municipalities of Valverde de la Virgen and San Andrés of the Rabanedo , six kilometers from the provincial capital , using the facilities of the military base of the Virgin of the Way . After several extensions, the airport has a 3,000 meter long runway and a terminal building inaugurated in October 2010 with a capacity of 580 passengers per hour. [ 71 ]
The energy sector in León accounts for approximately 11% of the provincial GDP, but its importance goes beyond its participation in total production, since it is a strategic sector that all branches of economic activity need, and this is necessary for any kind of production of goods and services.
During 2009 , the energy produced in the province amounted to 5,192,550 MWh, after a sharp decrease compared to last year due to the stoppage in the power plants in León. Regarding electricity consumption, the province consumed less than what was produced, with 2 303 283 MWh, also with a slight decrease compared to last year. Natural gas consumption reached 2,345,487 MWh equivalent, while 1,054,457 tons of domestic coal and 222,071 tons of imported coal were burned. In turn, 72,429 tons of gasoline, 586,556 of diesel and 18,796 of fuel oil were consumed. Final energy consumption was below 1.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent .
Most of the electrical power installed in the province is of thermal origin, with three power plants that take advantage of Leon's coal resources by burning them together with imported coal. The three stations, installed power, are the thermal power of Compostilla , with 1,341 MW installed, followed by Rivets , with 620 MW , and finally by the central Anllares , with 350 MW, in total, 2,311 MW of thermal origin .
The use of water resources is carried out through large dams and small hydroelectric plants that take advantage of the course of the rivers, among which the Cornatel plant stands out, with 132 MW. Regarding the use of wind energy, nine wind farms are in operation with an installed power of 225.75 MW.
The first official census of 1857 revealed that a total of 348,756 people resided in the province, in 81,212 homes, the bulk of the population being in rural areas, the only urban centers that stood out being León , with 10,040 inhabitants, Astorga , with 4804 inhabitants and Villafranca del Bierzo , with 4547 inhabitants. In Ponferrada , now second city of the province lived 3565 inhabitants, a figure very similar to that of Valderas , with 3544 and La Bañeza , in 3106. [ 2 ]
Population growth during the second half of the 19th century was weighed down by high mortality, barely offset by the birth rate, with the greatest increase occurring in rural areas. [ 2 ] Thus, in 1900 , practically in the 20th century , the province had 386,083 people residing in 103,052 homes; The capital then had 15,580 inhabitants , and Ponferrada had already begun to become the reference urban nucleus of the Bercian region with 7,188 inhabitants, overtaking Astorga , with 5,573 inhabitants, as the second nucleus of the province, a position that has never been will quit. [ 2]
Throughout the first half of the 20th century , following the dynamics of the rest of the country , mortality fell rapidly while the birth rate did so at a much lower rate; causing a large vegetative growth, which coinciding in time with the autarkic period at the end of the period, which boosted the development of the mining of the coal and the iron , it caused great population growth. Urban development in this period, however, was scarce, reaching 59,549 inhabitants in the capital in 1950 , Ponferrada 23,773 and Astorga 9916, finally,San Andrés del Rabanedo was already beginning a timid urban development due to the overflow towards the west of the capital, reaching 6045 inhabitants. Overall, the province reached 544,779 inhabitants, who resided in 140,007 households. [ 2 ]
In the next half of the 20th century , the province reached its historical maximum, with 584 594 people inhabiting 143 040 homes in 1960 , beginning to decline thereafter, as a result of the rural exodus and the industrial weakness of the province, which based its economics in mining and agriculture . Thus, almost at the end of the century, in 1991 , the province already had 520,433 inhabitants residing in 170,407 households, which shows that fewer people shared a roof in each dwelling than in 1960 . Despite the depopulation of the province, its urban centers are reinforced, reaching the capitalin that year the 147 625 inhabitants, the historical maximum registered in the municipality, Ponferrada , 59 702, San Andrés del Rabanedo , already consolidated as the third municipality in the province as it was benefited by the overflow of the capital, reached 21 643; Astorga 13 802. [ 2 ]
During the rest of the 20th century and after the turn of the century, the population continued to decline to a minimum of 492,720 inhabitants in 2004 , after which the arrival of foreign immigrants reverses the trend and allows the recovery of half a million in 2008 of inhabitants, with 500 200; a figure that would nevertheless lose again at the end of the decade, in 2010 , with 499,284 inhabitants. During this period, urban development was maintained in the face of rural depopulation, reaching the urban area of the Leonese capital with 206,011 inhabitants and Ponferradathe 68,767, both representing more than 50% of the provincial population. During this period of demographic decline, a progressive aging of the population has occurred in parallel, with 30.21% over 60 years of age. [ 2 ]
|2010 population pyramid|
The 2010 population pyramid data can be summarized as follows:
- The population under 20 years of age is 14.89% of the total.
- The one between 20-40 years is 25.99%.
- The one between 40-60 years is 28.9%.
- The older than 60 years is 30.21%.
|Graph of demographic evolution of the Province of León between 1900 and 2018|
The province of León has an area of 15,581 km² and a population of 463 746 people, [ 2 ] resulting in a density of 29.76 inhabitants / km², higher than the density of the autonomous community of 26.57 inhabitants / km² but very less than 91.13 inhabitants / km² of Spain . The province ranks as the second most populated in Castilla y León , after losing the first position due to the lack of demographic dynamism in the province. In the country as a whole, the province is in the position 32. [ 2 ]
The distribution of the Leonese population is not uniform, distinguishing two especially populated areas that are in turn the most dynamic demographically and economically: the areas of León and Ponferrada , [ 2 ] which together comprise more than 50% of the provincial population. , a percentage that tends to increase due to the greater dynamism of these areas compared to the rest of the province. After these two areas we can highlight the cities of Astorga and La Bañeza and Ribera del Órbigo , more populated in the past. On the opposite side, the least populated areas are the regions of Tierra de Sahagún , La Cabrera and LaEastern Mountain , with population densities below 10 inhabitants / km². [ 2 ]
- Migration movements
- Historical review
At the end of the 19th century , the beginning of the 20th century , the development of mining will create a large influx of population towards the main extractive poles; the Laciana , El Bierzo , La Magdalena , Ciñera , Sabero , San Emiliano and Valderrueda basins , the latter extending beyond the province of León, towards the Palencia mining basin . [ 2 ] The mining valleys, sparsely populated and dependent on a rudimentary agrarian subsistence economy recorded significant demographic growth. [ 2]
In the 1960s , the province lost a large part of its demographic strength due to the rural exodus , with a large part of the population emigrating to other more dynamic areas; Madrid and Barcelona above all, but also the Basque Country , Asturias [ 2 ] and abroad. Due to this demographic phenomenon, the provincial population went from 584 594 in 1960 [ 2 ] to 517 368 in 1981 , [ 2 ] producing at the same time a process of concentration of Leonese in the capital andPonferrada , which increased from 73,483 [ 2 ] to 131,134 [ 2 ] and from 37,053 [ 2 ] to 52,499 [ 2 ] respectively in the same period. The mining crisis in the eighties adds to the emigration caused by the rural exodus , [ 72 ] causing a demographic decline in the mining basins that continues even today. [ 2 ]
Finally, the last notable migratory movement in the province occurred in the early nineties with the influx of foreigners to the province, coinciding with the construction boom. [ 2 ] The increase in the number of foreigners manages to reverse the decline that the province maintained, except for small periods, since the 1960s, with a minimum in 2004 , [ 2 ] when 492 720 people inhabit the province. [ 2 ] The process of concentration around urban centers continues, reinforcing the role of the León and Ponferrada areas; San Andrés del Rabanedoand especially, Villaquilambre multiplies its population due to the scarce land available in the municipality of León. [ 2 ]
- Main localities
|3||San Andrés del Rabanedo||30 820||13||Fabero||4551|
|5||Astorga||11 029||15||The Robla||3884|
|6||La Bañeza||10 307||16||Carracedelo||3472|
|7||Bembibre||8979||17||La Pola de Gordón||3325|
|9||Valverde de la Virgen||7294||19||Cistierna||3150|
|10||Valencia of Don Juan||5302||20||Santa Maria del Páramo||3096|
|Source: INE 2018|
- Current situation
In 2009 , the Leonese population was made up of 466 116 [ 2 ] people born in Spain and 34 053 people born abroad. Among the main immigrant groups, the 4,450 Portuguese , 3,111 Colombians and 3,039 Moroccans stand out . After them, the 2,514 French , 2,455 Bulgarians and 2,144 Romanians also stand out . By continent, after Europe , the 12,135 Americans stand out , of which 8,680 are from South America , followed very far by the 4,419Africans . [ 2 ]
Regarding emigration, in 2009 , of the 620,657 people born in the province and residing in Spain , only 396,377 resided in León, the rest being distributed throughout the national geography, highlighting the 52,889 people residing in Madrid , the 30 536 residents in Catalonia , highlighting the group of 25,455 people from León in Barcelona , the 29,759 residents in Asturias , the 22,169 people from León resident in the Basque Country and the 15,006 people living in Galicia . [ 2 ]
Leonese [ 76 ] is the gluttonous term used to refer to the set of vernacular romances of the Asturian linguistic domain in the provinces of León and Zamora . [ n. 1 ] , [ 75 ] [ 77 ] The division of the domain, which describes the language, appears divided into three dialect subgroups shared mainly between Asturias, Leon and Zamora, Western , Central and Eastern, of which the predominant one in León is the Occidental, extending through Laciana, El Bierzo, La Cabrera, Maragatería, La Cepeda, Babia and Omaña, with the Central being present in the central area of the Leonese mountain. [ 74 ] There is no linguistic census that makes it possible to know precisely what the real number of speakers of Leonese is in the province, but estimates for León and Zamora range between 5,000 and 50,000 speakers. [ 78 ] [ 79 ]
After several centuries relegated to the background, its recovery began in the 19th century , consolidated throughout the 20th century with authors such as Eva González Fernández and, especially in the early years of the 21st century , with a new generation of writers to whom Various sociolinguistic studies are added, at the same time that various institutions and cultural associations such as La Caleya , Furmientu or Facendera pola Llengua promote its use and dissemination. [ 80 ] Thus, the Leonese is recognized by the Junta de Castilla y León and is cited in the statute of autonomyIn article 5 of the Preliminary Title: [ 81 ]
The Leonese language will be the object of specific protection by the institutions due to its particular value within the linguistic heritage of the Community. Its protection, use and promotion will be subject to regulation .
The Galician language is present in several municipalities in the western part of the province in contact with the autonomous community of Galicia [ 83 ] and the number of speakers, according to a study by Professor Xosé Henrique Costas, is more than 23,000, being 60% used by people over 65 years of age. [ 84 ] There are authors who argue that speech in the province evolved from a hybridization of Galician, Asturian, Leonese and Spanish, [ 85 ] a dialect known as the Berciano dialect , with its own differentiated characters and with local dialect variations depending on the area. . [ 86] In its advocacy work organizations such as Fala Ceibe and the like leonine, is recognized by the Junta de Castilla y León, indicating the following in Article 5 of the Statute of Autonomy: [ 81 ]
The Galician language and the linguistic modalities will enjoy respect and protection in the places where they are usually used.
Its teaching has been regulated since 2002 after an agreement between the Ministry of Education of the Junta de Galicia and the Ministry of Education of the Junta de Castilla y León, [ 87 ] and thus it is possible to learn it in nine primary schools, three secondary education institutes and the official language school of Ponferrada . [ 88 ] During 2008 - 09 were 1003 students who studied Galician [ 89 ] and in 2009 - 10 were 1094. [ 90 ]
The health system in the province includes ten hospitals (with a capacity of 2,138 places), 39 health centers and 729 local clinics. [ 91 ] At the public level, which is managed by Sacyl , the province is divided into two health areas: [ 92 ] El Bierzo, in turn divided into 11 basic health areas, and whose resources include eleven health centers and the El Bierzo hospital , with 450 beds, and the rest of León, divided into 28 basic areas, and which has 25 health centers and the León Hospital, with 795 beds. In addition, there are three specialty centers, two in León and one in Villablino, and the San Antonio Abad mental health center in León.
At a private level, the province has eight other hospitals: [ 91 ] in Ponferrada are the Hospital de la Reina, with 88 beds, and the Ponferrada Clinic, with 45 beds, in San Andrés del Rabanedo the Hospital San Juan de Dios , with 231 beds, in Villablino the Valle de Laciana Hospital, with 20 beds, in Villaquilambre the Altollano Clinic, with 114 beds, and in León the López Otazú Sanatorium, with 45 beds, the San Francisco Clinic, with 104 beds and considered as one of the four best private clinics in the autonomous community , [ 93 ]And the Hospital Obra Nuestra Señora de Regla, belonging to the bishopric of León , with 110 beds. In addition, there are nine mobile health care centers, 16 multipurpose centers, 117 doctor's offices and 317 pharmacies . [ 92 ] Lastly, the Spanish Red Cross has a network of 16 local assemblies throughout the province through which it carries out its various social programs. [ 94 ]
Formal education is taught in various public schools in early childhood education , primary education , secondary education superior and training, dependent on the Ministry of Education of the Junta de Castilla y León , and the various religious private schools. These add up to a total of forty schools, with public centers, for their part, one hundred and thirty-five between nursery schools and primary education centers, and forty-one secondary education and higher education institutes among which there are two agricultural training centers. [ 95 ]On the other hand, there are nineteen adult education centers and three special education centers . Regarding the special regime teachings, the province has three language schools, five music conservatories and a School of Art and Superior of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Assets. [ 95 ]
With regard to university education, two universities are present in the province: the University of León and the UNED . The first was founded in 1979 , detaching it from the University of Oviedo , from the various schools and faculties that, depending on it, existed in the city of León, and on land called Vegazana. The university has two campuses, the aforementioned Vegazana in León , located in the northeast part of the city, and the one in Ponferrada . It has eight faculties (among which the Veterinary one stands out, created in 1852) and seven schools (three of them attached), it imparts more than 50 degrees, and has 26 departments, seven university institutes, four technology centers and a language center. [ 96 ] During 2006 - 07 had 13,217 students. [ 97 ] As for the UNED, it has an associated center in Ponferrada , created in 1981 , in which 28 degrees are offered. [ 98 ]
Art, culture and traditions
Art in the province of León encompasses all artistic manifestations made since the Bronze Age (4000 years ago), when the petroglyphs found in 2008 in Maragatería belong , [ 99 ] to the present day. From pre-Roman times there are several sites or forts located, highlighting, among others, those of Chano and Bergidum . [ 100 ] With the Roman conquest the territory became Romanized , being visible both in the remains of cities such as Lancia , Asturica Augusta or Legio, as in the public works of Las Médulas (declared a World Heritage Site ) [ 101 ] or the La Cabrera canals . With the crisis of the Empire , the settlement became rural , counting in the province with the examples of Navatejera and Los Villares , while Christianity offered its first samples in the church of Marialba de la Ribera , from the 4th century . In the middle of the Middle Ages , in the 10th century , Mozarabic art left its mark on examples such as those of Santiago de Peñalba, San Miguel de Escalada and Santo Tomás de las Ollas . For its part, the Mudejar has a special role in Sahagún , where the church of San Lorenzo , the church of San Tirso and the Sanctuary of the Pilgrim are raised .
From the first third of the 11th century , Romanesque architectural forms penetrated through the Camino de Santiago , which runs through the province from east to west, with various examples of religious architecture. Thus is the Basilica of San Isidoro de León , in which is the Pantheon of kings , considered one of the peaks of the Spanish Romanesque, [ 102 ] the church of San Salvador in Destriana , the church of Santiago in Villafranca del Bierzo , the church of San Miguel in Corullón or theCollegiate Church of Santa María de Arbas , in one of the branches of the Jacobean route. Likewise, the crown promoted, through different orders, the creation of monasteries such as San Benito in Sahagún , San Miguel de las Dueñas , the Monastery of Santa María de Gradefes or Santa María de Sandoval . The presence of the Gothic is also outstanding, with examples such as the Monastery of Santa María de Carracedo and the Cathedral of Astorga (although with later reforms), but especially the Cathedral of León ( 13th - 14th centuries), which presents a design in the most refined French Gothic style and is considered one of the best examples of Spanish Gothic, highlighting its set of stained glass windows . [ 103 ]
Festivities and pilgrimages
The cultural diversity of the different Leonese regions encourages celebrations characterized by their great variety of forms, ceremonies, dances and costumes, although all of them have a common historical and cultural background. It is frequent that, under Christian celebrations, pagan customs appear and thus, for example, sanctuaries and hermitages are built on sacred places of pagan origin. On the other hand, due to the agricultural nature of the province, it is the agrarian rhythms that marked the festive calendar, framing the different Christian celebrations within them. In all of them, the two most traditional elements are the banner and the bouquet . [ 104 ]
Chronologically, around Christmas and New Year, the tradition of the Bouquet survives , consisting of a wooden frame that is adorned with handkerchiefs, candles, donuts, fruits, colored ribbons and vegetable elements, to which it is sung once brought to the church. In February, there are numerous towns that celebrate Las Candelas and Las Águedas , in which women take power. [ 105 ] Carnivals are civil in nature , represented through various characters such as guirrios , zafarrones , jurrus or maranfallos and through parades such as those ofLeón , Astorga [ 106 ] or La Bañeza , the latter declared of National Tourist Interest. [ 107 ]
With the arrival of spring, numerous pilgrimages and prayers take place throughout the province, including Easter in Cacabelos or San Jorge in San Esteban de Nogales , both declared of Provincial Interest. [ 108 ] The Vow festivals, frequent in the Páramo , are also traditional , expressing gratitude for the favors that the town had received from the Virgin or some saint. Of a similar nature is the Las Cabezadas festival , in the provincial capital, for which the municipal corporation, in gratitude for various miracles, goes to the Basilica of San Isidorowith a candle and four wax axes, where they engage in a dialectical discussion about the nature of the offering, saying goodbye to the Cabildo with three bows. [ 109 ] The month of May begins with the celebration of the Mays , in its different variants, from placing a tree in the square to the living Mays of Villafranca del Bierzo , while, parallel to the profane festival, the Cross is celebrated de Mayo in different parts of the province such as Valderas with its Pastorcica . [ 110 ] The pilgrimages and prayers continue throughout the month, such as those of Camposagrado or San Froilán in Valdorria., both of Provincial Interest. [ 111 ] Without a fixed periodicity, since it is voted when the drought requires it , the Castrotierra pilgrimage is celebrated , in which thousands of people and dozens of banners accompany the Virgen del Castro from her sanctuary to the Astorga Cathedral and, after nine days of prayers, back to her sanctuary. [ 112 ]
In June Corpus Christi is very celebrated throughout the province , highlighting the celebrations of Laguna de Negrillos , declared of Regional Tourist Interest. [ 113 ] Very different are the Medieval Jousts of Hospital de Órbigo , which recall the historic Paso Honroso de Suero de Quiñones and nine other knights in 1434 . In San Juan there are numerous towns that celebrate their festivals, including the provincial capital, when their main popular festivals take place. [ 114 ] In Astorga , and every three years, the Christian victory of theBattle of Clavijo through a parade in which the Clavijo Banner , accompanied by authorities and the Zuiza Guard, is moved to the cathedral on Thanksgiving. [ 115 ] At the end of the month, in Prioro , the festival of Transhumance takes place , of Provincial Interest, in which the arrival of the herds is celebrated. In the month of July, historical re-enactments take center stage, such as the Ponferrada Templar Night , in which the city's Templar past is remembered , [ 116 ] the Medieval Festival of Mansilla de las Mulas , with a market, jousts and atmosphere of theMiddle Ages , and the Astures y Romanos festival in Astorga , in which the market or the circus commemorate the early days of the Maragata city. [ 117 ]
At the beginning of August, Nuestra Señora de las Nieves is celebrated, with numerous towns in the mountains of León that celebrate such a date, such as the pilgrimages of Puebla de Lillo or Páramo del Sil . In the middle of the month are the festivities of the Asunción and San Roque , celebrated in the province by more than a hundred localities in festivals and pilgrimages such as Pandorado , which the entire region of Omaña attends . [ 118 ] At the end of August Astorga celebrates its patron saint festivities in honor of Santa Marta while other pilgrimages, such as the Virgen de los Remedios inBarrillo de las Arrimadas , congregate hundreds of faithful in different parts of the province. [ 119 ] On September 8 , the date of the Nativity of Our Lady, more than 40 towns celebrate their festivals under different titles, such as the Virgen de la Encina (patron saint of El Bierzo ) in Ponferrada or La Carballeda in Val de San Lorenzo . Likewise, on the 14th of the same month, there are more than forty towns that celebrate festivals in honor of Christ, highlighting those of Bembibre and Villafranca del Bierzo . Between both dates the Fiesta del Pastor takes place in Los Barrios de Lunaand the Festival of the Shepherds in Joarilla de las Matas , both declared of Provincial Interest. [ 120 ]
At the beginning of October the festival of Las Cantaderas is celebrated in the provincial capital , which commemorates the liberation of the tribute of the hundred maidens that the Asturian kings had to pay to the caliphs of Al-Andalus . At the same time, in La Virgen del Camino , the pilgrimage takes place in honor of San Froilán and the Virgen del Camino , patrons of the León Region , while in the city of León you can see a parade of banners and decorated cars . [ 121 ] On the second Sunday of October, the town of Luyego hosts the Pilgrimage of Los Remedios to which people from theMaragatería and the neighboring regions, and at the beginning of November it is customary in different parts of the province to celebrate the magosto with the beginning of the chestnut harvesting. Finally, throughout the fall different patron celebrations take place, among which Santa Bárbara stands out , held in most of the mining basins. [ 122 ]
Widely rooted throughout the province, and of which customs such as killing Jews or playing tag are part , the celebration of Holy Week has its nerve center in the provincial capital . In it, thousands of papons (brotherhoods), belonging to 16 brotherhoods and brotherhoods, walk the streets of the city for ten days. Among its most significant moments are the Ronda and the Procession of the Steps, both on Good Friday , which received special mention in its declaration as a Festival of International Tourist Interest in 2002 . [ 123 ] Likewise, on the night of Holy Thursdaytakes place the Burial of Genarín , a pagan celebration in honor of a lion skinner run over in 1929 while relieving himself at the base of the wall , a place where year after year he receives tribute, having become one of the most important events in recent years. crowds of Holy Week. [ 124 ]
In Astorga , declared of Regional Tourist Interest [ 125 ] and National Tourist Interest, [ 126 ] there are eight brotherhoods and brotherhoods that, together with the Holy Week Profomento Board, take to the streets these days, highlighting the different processions that take place on Good Friday. Likewise, every year (in 2011 the 18th edition was held) a contest of music bands is held that offer a varied repertoire of processional marches. [ 127 ] In 2011 the declaration is pending as a Festival of National Tourist Interest. [ 128 ] In La BañezaThere are three brotherhoods that cross the streets of the city in a total of 14 processions, highlighting as one of its most significant acts the procession of the Santo Potajero ( Holy Wednesday ), declared of Provincial Tourist Interest, in which rations are distributed to the people chickpea stew with rice and cod. [ 129 ]
In Sahagún , declared of Regional Tourist Interest, [ 130 ] the Cofradía de Jesús Nazareno y Patrocinio de San José walks the streets of the town during the big days of the Week with acts such as the auction of steps, the use of "the trunk "," the Isa "and the procession of the Steps. In Ponferrada , also declared of Regional Tourist Interest, there are four brotherhoods and brotherhoods that process throughout the Week, highlighting the character of the Lambrión Chupacandiles, who, with a bell, announces the beginning of these days in the streets. In the rest of the province, the events held in places such as Villafranca del Bierzo , Valencia de Don Juan ,Almanza , Santa Lucía de Gordón or Valderas .
- Leonese banners
The banners are large ensigns composed of a pole or pole , which can measure between 3 and 14 meters, and a silk damask fabric in stripes that combine various colors. The weight of the entire set ranges between 15 and 35 kilograms and to help its movement it has so-called "oars", cords that are fixed to the top of the pole. The most common colors are crimson (in relation to the kingdom of León ), green (perhaps related to the Reconquest , as it is the color of Islam), white and blue (both linked to Marian devotions). [ 131 ]
According to the historian Alejandro Valderas, its origin is military, serving in the Middle Ages as a symbol of the council militias that armed each town to go to war, being therefore a symbol of the town itself. [ 132 ] With the passage of time, the banners were deteriorating, being repaired on several occasions, so there are very few preserved medieval banners, among which the Banner of Baeza and the Royal Banner are famous. In recent years, many towns in the province have carried out a recovery of their banners and they have proceeded to the cataloging, restoration and recovery of many others kept for decades in parish offices. [ 132 ]
Currently, the banners are still insignia of the councils (neighborhood councils) but on many occasions linked to the parishes, taking to the streets in religious processions and pilgrimages. Likewise, through the association Pendones del Reino de León, [ 133 ] and supported by various institutions such as the Provincial Council and city councils, the concentrations of banners have reached a great boom, such as the one held in the provincial capital on October 27. July 2010 in which he broke the world record of concentration standards, with a total of 143. [ 134 ]
- Leon Bouquet
The Leon Christmas bouquet is a decorative element, used during the Christmas festivities in different parts of the province, which was offered to the Virgin Mary during the Gallo mass . Its origins seem to go back to pre-Christian times, when it had a votive character, being, therefore, a pagan symbol assimilated by the Church since the Middle Ages . [ 135 ] From the natural bouquet it evolved to a wooden structure, and from churches it became used in homes, similar to the Christmas tree . With the depopulation of the rural area that occurred during the 20th century, the tradition was close to being lost, helped by the push of other traditions such as the aforementioned tree, but in recent years it has been experiencing a rebirth, especially in the provincial capital. [ 136 ]
The bouquet consists of a wooden support with a structure on which twelve candles are placed and from which various offerings such as embroidered ribbons, bows, woolen threads, lace, donuts or fruits hang. [ 137 ] The types of branch are varied but, in general, one can speak of four especially; the triangular (characteristic of the Ribera and the Páramo ), the round (abundant in Omaña ), the oval or in the shape of a peacock's tail, and the so-called "trail", similar to the agricultural implement .
The filandón was a tradition consisting of a meeting, once dinner was over, in which stories were told aloud while working on some manual labor, generally textile. Such a meeting was usually held around the home , with the participants seated on benches or benches. In addition to the province of León, it is also a tradition in some areas of Galicia and Asturias .
In recent decades this tradition has been recovered, mainly in León, thanks to the work of narrators, storytellers or musicians, for example being the central theme of the film ' El Filandón ', from 1984 , [ 138 ] in which several Writers ( Luis Mateo Díez , Pedro Trapiello , Antonio Pereira , José María Merino and Julio Llamazares ) tell different stories, all of them, together with the also writer Juan Pedro Aparicio , responsible for the literary popularity and rebirth of the filandón. [ 139 ] In2010 was declared Well of Cultural Interest , also pidiéndose inclusion as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Unesco , which ultimately failed. [ 140 ]
The province of León has numerous traditional products derived from agricultural and livestock activities, all of which are characterized by their quality and artisanal production, many of them being protected. The geographical and climatic configuration of the territory allows a wide variety of foods such as fruits, wines, cheeses, garden products, sausages and legumes, among others.
Among the fresh meats, we can highlight the Montañas del Teleno beef and the Montañas del Teleno suckling lamb , both protected by a Guarantee Mark. [ 141 ] [ 142 ] In sausages and cured meats are the Botillo of the Bierzo , [ 143 ] the Cecina , [ 144 ] both with geographical indication (PGI) , and the jerky goat Vegacervera , With Guarantee Mark. [ 145 ] Among the cheeses and dairy products, theValdeón cheese , with PGI, [ 146 ] among the legumes the bean from La Bañeza , also with PGI, [ 147 ] and among the fruits and vegetables, mention the denomination of origin apple reineta del Bierzo , [ 148 ] the pear Bierzo conference with Brand Guarantee, [ 149 ] the pepper roast the Bierzo and pepper Fresno and Benavente , both with IGP, [ 150 ] [ 151 ] andLeek from Sahagún , with Guarantee Mark. [ 152 ]
Among the cooked dishes, the trout soup , blood sausage and the characteristic stew maragato stand out , whose main peculiarity is that it is eaten the other way around, starting with the meats to finish with the soup. As for the bakery and confectionery, the mantecadas from Astorga , [ 153 ] the puff pastry from Astorga , the ties from San Guillermo de Cistierna , the imperial from La Bañeza and the Nicaraguan from Boñar stand out . Among the wines, the denominations of origin of Bierzo [ 154 ] andLand of Leon . [ 155 ]
Finally, tapas are also typical of the province , very widespread throughout it, being one of the places where the Barrio Húmedo of the provincial capital is most famous , [ 156 ] and the celebration, at the end of October or the beginning of November on the magosto , tradition especially widespread in the western half of the province and whose most characteristic elements are the bonfire and chestnuts . In relation to the latter, in Santa Marina del Sil the Chestnut Fair is held every year, a festival declared of Regional Tourist Interest. [ 157 ]
- Sports entities
The sport in the province is represented by the set of sports institutions competing in different disciplines at national, regional, provincial and local levels.
Thus, in football , SD Ponferradina , who plays in the Second Division of Spain , Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa , in the Second Division B of Spain , and Atlético Astorga CF , Atlético Bembibre , CD La Virgen del Camino , stand out in football. the Jupiter Leonés and La Bañeza FC militates in Third Division of Spain - Group VIII . Of all of them, the most successful are Cultural, champion of the Second Division in the 1954 - 55 season , [ 158 ]And Ponferradina, champion of the Second Division B in the 2004-05 and 2007-08 seasons . [ 159 ] The CD Fabero , the CD Onzonilla , the CD Atletico Mansillés and SD Ponferradina B are other important equipment, all in First Division Regional Amateur Castilla y León .
In basketball , among the different existing clubs, [ 160 ] there is the Ciudad de Ponferrada Basketball Club, which is active in the Spanish Silver Basketball League , the Agustinos-Eras Basketball Club and the Baskwt León 2015 Sports Club , which are active in the Spanish League. of Amateur Basketball . Previously, there was Basketball León that played in the LEB until its disappearance and that reached the quarterfinals of the Korać Cup in the 1997 - 98 season . [ 161 ] andClub Polideportivo Bembibre for women's basketball, currently in the first division of Spanish women's basketball.
In futsal, Ruta Leonesa , a member of the Silver Division of the LNFS , stood out , a club dissolved due to financial problems and, until its disappearance in 2001 , Astorga Futbol Sala , which for many years remained in the Division of Honor . [ 162 ]
However, the most successful sport in the province is handball thanks to the Ademar León Handball Club , winner of an ASOBAL League , two ASOBAL cups , a King's Cup and two European Cup Winners' Cups . [ 163 ] Another club is the Leon Handball Club (Cleba), a member of the Spanish Women's Handball League . [ 164 ]
In relation to winter sports , the province has several entities such as CD León Curling, in the discipline of curling , [ 165 ] and the clubs San Isidro Esquí Club, Paraven Esquí Club or MAF Esquí Club, among others, in ski discipline . [ 166 ]
- Sports events
Throughout the year various sporting events take place in the province. Since 1988 , the City of León Chess Master has been held in the capital , in which some of the best chess players in the world participate . [ 167 ] [ 168 ] Each year, and its XXIst edition was held in 2010, takes place the Tour of Leon, organized by the County Council . [ 169 ] As for motor sports , the Bierzo Rally stands out, valid for the Castilla y León and Madrid championships, and which in 2010 held its seventeenth edition, [170 ] and the Ciudad de La Bañeza Speed Grand Prix , which takes place in mid-August, and which in 2010 celebrated its 51st edition. It is one of the few urban motorcycling circuitsthat exist in Spain , with classic motorcycle races (2-stroke and 4-stroke) and 125cc motorcycles. [ 171 ] Likewise, each year different fighting competitions take place in León, such as the team league or the summer championship, with the races being held in different towns in the province. [ 172 ]
- Leon fight
Leon wrestling, or aluches as it is popularly known, is a combat sport in which two opponents try to throw their opponent to the ground using a series of techniques. Its origin dates back to the 14th century , when repopulation caused disputes between shepherds and farmers. [ 173 ] At that time, crops were at risk of being lost while livestock was more profitable, being able to move from one place to another, so that disputes over pastures led to struggles. Currently there are three areas, Tierra de León , Montaña Oriental and Montaña Central(30% of the province), which show a greater survival of the aluches, being present the fighting groups in many pilgrimages and festivities of the towns, being the sporting event that more people congregate between the months of June and September. [ 173 ]
- Leonese bowling
Leonese bowling is a traditional sport originating in the province, very popular both as entertainment and as a show. [ 174 ] There are several modalities such as the individual game, in pairs or in teams, in which the pins are knocked down, and the so-called "miche", in which the routes of the balls are valued. Throughout the year different approved championships are organized as well as a national league. [ 175 ]
- Portal: Leon . Content related to the Province of León .
- Municipalities of the province of León
- Sovereign Council of Asturias and León
- Pottery in the province of León
- Provinces of Spain
- Controversy over the Sama-Velilla high voltage line
- Berciana mining basin
- People from the province of León
- This linguistic domain covers Asturias , León, Zamora and Miranda do Douro ( Portugal ). Currently there are also linguistic remains in the toponymy and vocabulary of Cantabria , Salamanca , Extremadura and Huelva , due in large part to the expansion that the Kingdom of León had in the peninsular territory.
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