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Santiago to Leon 4 1 16



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In addition to all the rain we encountered, we can now add snow to the list.
In addition to all the rain we encountered, we can now add snow to the list.
The Astorga Santa Maria Cathedral dates from 1471 but was not completed until the eighteenth century.
The Astorga Santa Maria Cathedral dates from 1471 but was not completed until the eighteenth century.
Beautiful scenes from the life of Christ are mingled with floral decorations and cherubs on the facade.
Beautiful scenes from the life of Christ are mingled with floral decorations and cherubs on the facade.
Unfortunately, we arrived a few minutes  too late to see the inside of the Cathedral so we moseyed next door to see a creation by Spain's famous architect, Antoni Gaudi (next photo).
Unfortunately, we arrived a few minutes too late to see the inside of the Cathedral so we moseyed next door to see a creation by Spain's famous architect, Antoni Gaudi (next photo).
The Episcopal Palace was designed by famed Catalan architect, Gaudi, without Guadi seeing the site before construction.  He worked from photographs because he was occupied at the time with his Palau Guell project in Barcelona.
The Episcopal Palace was designed by famed Catalan architect, Gaudi, without Guadi seeing the site before construction. He worked from photographs because he was occupied at the time with his Palau Guell project in Barcelona.
It was on to Leon where we found this pilgrim statue outside our hotel.
It was on to Leon where we found this pilgrim statue outside our hotel.
Our hotel, the Parador de Leon, had an impressive facade. It is the former San Marcos Monastery dating from the 16th century.
Our hotel, the Parador de Leon, had an impressive facade. It is the former San Marcos Monastery dating from the 16th century.
In the Spanish Civil War, it served as a prison with about 20,000 prisoners passing through.  Prisoner deaths in Leon totaled 3,000, a good portion of them here.
In the Spanish Civil War, it served as a prison with about 20,000 prisoners passing through. Prisoner deaths in Leon totaled 3,000, a good portion of them here.
It has both a hotel and a church/museum today and is a pilgrim stop on the Camino de Santiago.
It has both a hotel and a church/museum today and is a pilgrim stop on the Camino de Santiago.
Remains of walls built by the Romans, probably in the first century, B.C. Romans built the fort to secure the transportation of gold from nearby mines.
Remains of walls built by the Romans, probably in the first century, B.C. Romans built the fort to secure the transportation of gold from nearby mines.
Fountain at Leon's Plaza de Santo Domingo
Fountain at Leon's Plaza de Santo Domingo
While the architect, Gaudi, was working on the Episcopal Palace in Astoria, he was persuaded to design this house, called Casa Botines for a former owner.  Completed in the 1890s, it was a home until 1929 when it taken over by a bank but is now for sale.
While the architect, Gaudi, was working on the Episcopal Palace in Astoria, he was persuaded to design this house, called Casa Botines for a former owner. Completed in the 1890s, it was a home until 1929 when it taken over by a bank but is now for sale.
We had a young, female guide who showed us this model of how the city developed.  We were taken aback when she jumped on top of the model but said it was metal and she couldn't hurt it.
We had a young, female guide who showed us this model of how the city developed. We were taken aback when she jumped on top of the model but said it was metal and she couldn't hurt it.
Statue of Gaudi on bench outside Casa Botines.
Statue of Gaudi on bench outside Casa Botines.
The familiar scallop shell showing the way of the Camino de Santiago.
The familiar scallop shell showing the way of the Camino de Santiago.
Most consider Leon's Cathedral to be its number one attraction. Dating from the 13th century, it was completed in the 16th.
Most consider Leon's Cathedral to be its number one attraction. Dating from the 13th century, it was completed in the 16th.
The church has 1,800 square meters of stained glass windows. They are considered among the most beautiful in all of Europe.
The church has 1,800 square meters of stained glass windows. They are considered among the most beautiful in all of Europe.
Heavily influenced by French churches, its stained glass has been compared to that of both Chartres and Sainte Chapelle.
Heavily influenced by French churches, its stained glass has been compared to that of both Chartres and Sainte Chapelle.
Carved scenes of the Nativity inside the Cathedral.
Carved scenes of the Nativity inside the Cathedral.
Beautiful carvings in the Cathedral choir stalls.
Beautiful carvings in the Cathedral choir stalls.
Side altar in one of the chapels at the Cathedral.
Side altar in one of the chapels at the Cathedral.

We left Santiago in the morning and headed towards Leon. On the way, we saw some snow on distant mountains before arriving in Astorga for lunch.  After a very quick tour, it was on to Leon.

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