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Ponferrada is a beautiful city in Spain, located more exactly within the province of Leon, Castile and Leon, on the banks of the Sil River. The history of Ponferrada goes back to the 11th century, when the city was founded. However, archaeological evidence show that the region was populated by the Astures ever since the pre-Roman times. Ponferrada started to develop significantly in 1881, when the railroad arrived in the city. According to the 2008 census, Ponferrada has a total population of 69,769 residents and spans on a total area of 109 square miles (283 sq km). Even though Ponferrada is not a big city, it will surely impress you with the great attractions and recreational opportunities that it offers.
Top Attractions within Ponferrada
Las Medulas is one of the most important and famous attractions in Ponferrada. This Roman historical site is located just a few miles away from Ponferrada, so visiting it is a must. This site used to be the most important gold mine in the Roman Empire. Nowadays, this cultural landscape is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The scenery is simply spectacular and will surely take your breath away.
The Way of St. James is a worldwide renowned pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where according to the tradition, the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried. This is actually one of the major Christian pilgrimage routes, having existed for over 1000 years. When reaching the destination, you will be impressed with the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a huge Romanesque Structure with Gothic and Baroque additions.
Castillo de los Templarios is an amazing Templar castle spanning on about 16,000 square meters. Legend has it that in 1178, Ferdinand II of Leon donated the city to the Templar order because he wanted to protect the pilgrims on the Way to St. James. Several restoration works are being done in order for the castle to be preserved.