Picture courtesy of the Tourist Office of Villafranca del Bierzo
AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY: Castile and León
DISTANCE TO SANTIAGO: 183 km
Avenida Diez Ovelar, 10
24500 Villafranca del Bierzo
Tel.: [+34] 987 540 028
LINKS OF INTEREST
Guardia Civil: [+34] 987 540 047
Health Centre: [+34] 987 542 510
FESTIVALS & OTHER EVENTS
- Santo Tirso: January 28th.
- Christ of Hope: September 14th.
- The Feast of Maio: a celebration of spring held on May 1st and on the previous day late in the evening.
- The Feast of Magosto: held between late October and early November, celebrating the harvesting of chestnuts.
The Way of Saint James was of vital importance in the development of this area, inhabited since pre-Roman times. In the times of king Alfonso VI, in the 11th century, several hospitals for pilgrims were founded in the area: San Lázaro, Santiago y San Roque. The establishment of the marquisate of Villafranca boosted the town’s cultural and economic progress. The Marquis of Villafranca supported the construction of different religious and civil buildings. Several religious congregations also settled in the town, building new convents and monasteries. The town is a rest spot before entering the Valcarce river valley.
- Church of Santiago: Romanesque temple dating from 1186, with a single central nave and with the magnificent façade known as “the façade of Forgiveness”. The Spanish Pope Calixtus III granted sick or handicapped pilgrims who passed through this door the same indulgences as if they had arrived in Santiago. Typically austere Romanesque construction with rich iconographic decoration in the capitals.
- Barrio de los Tejedores (Weavers’ District): it is known by this name as it was mostly inhabited by local craft guild members, most of which in the textile industry.
- La Anunciada: a building built in 1606 on the ruins of an old pilgrim Hospital in Santiago. The cypress in the Convent of La Anunciada, a true landmark in the landscape, is the tallest and oldest in Spain.
- Calle del Agua: the entire street is a true museum of heraldry as well as an important sample of Baroque architecture, both civil and religious, where several monuments of great Jacobean relevance stand out.
- Collegiate Church: building designed in late Gothic style with Renaissance and mainly Baroque elements.
- Castle-Palace of the Marquis of Villafranca: located in the upper part of the town, it was mainly built in the 16th century.
- La Alameda Park: Romantic garden created in 1882. The central fountain known as ‘La Chata’ was brought from the Monastery of Santa María de Carracedo, in whose cloister it was erected in the 16th century.
- San Francisco de Asís: a former Franciscan convent of which only the church remains. Tradition has it that it was founded in 1213 by Saint Francis of Assisi himself.
Track Villafranca del Bierzo - O Cebreiro
NEARBY POINTS OF INTEREST
- Church of San Fiz de Visonia or San Juan de Fiz: temple built in slate stonework of rural Romanesque style from the late 12th or early 13th century.
- Castle of Corullón: the current crenellated tower was built on the remains of a previous tower.
- Los Ancares Leoneses Biosphere Reserve: located in the northwest of the province of León, the site was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2006. The mountain range is located in the western edge of the Cantabrian Mountains, bordering Galicia and Asturias.