Villafranca del Bierzo, Province of León

Going to Villafranca del Bierzo from Cacabelos.

Scenery, from Cacabelos to Villafranca del Bierzo.

Scenery, from Cacabelos to Villafranca del Bierzo. Pilgrimage path on vineyards, traditional thatched roof warehouse, pilgrimage pass, fountain for travelers.

Arrived at the edge of the town of Villafranca del Bierzo, and took a lunch in the restaurant of La Charola Hostal.

The restaurant La Charola Hostal Villafranca del Bierzo

The restaurant La Charola Hostal Villafranca del Bierzo

Lunch of the restaurant, specialty of this area, Oreja de cerdo a la gallega (Pig ear Galician). Do you think this dish is good?

Lunch of the restaurant, specialty of this area, Oreja de cerdo a la gallega (Pig ear Galician). Do you think this dish is good?

At this restaurant I met modern Spanish Amazones.

With Spanish female soldiers, I put on her hat.

With Spanish female soldiers, I put on her hat.

An automatic rifle is on the table.

An automatic rifle is on the table.

They look really strong, don't they?

They look really strong, Amazons!

Said “Adiós, señoritas” and left there for the city of Villafranca del Bierzo. Vilafranca del Bierzo is a village and municipality located in the comarca of El Bierzo.

The Castle-Palace of the Marquis of Villafranca was rebuilt by Pedro de Toledo in 1515.

Castillo de Villafranca del Bierzo. (Castle of Villafranca del Bierzo)

Castillo de Villafranca del Bierzo. (Castle of Villafranca del Bierzo)

Past the front of the Castle-Palace, going to the Santiago church.

Going to the iglesia de Santiago.

Going to the iglesia de Santiago.

Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol (St. James Church) is a Catholic parish church located in Villafranca del Bierzo.

Iglesia de Santiago Villafranca del Bierzo

Iglesia de Santiago Villafranca del Bierzo

The Iglesia de Santiago has a unique rectangular nave with barrel vault with Baroque chapel and vestry added in the thirteenth century.

Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol (St. James Church) and Its Door of Forgiveness.

Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol (St. James Church) and Its Door of Forgiveness.

The Door of Forgiveness was open for many years for ill and tired pilgrims. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the door was boarded up due to pests and to protect the temple from the plague.

Interior of the iglesia de Santiago, Villafranca del Bierzo.

Interior of the iglesia de Santiago. Baroque altarpiece side chapel with statue of the Our Lady of Sorrows and the apse, Christ Crucified thirteenth century Byzantine.

After the Iglesia de Santiago, I headed to the nearby Pilgrim hostel  “Albergue de peregrinos Ave Fenix.”

Going to the “Albergue de peregrinos Ave Fenix”

Going to the “Albergue de peregrinos Ave Fenix”

At Albergue de peregrinos Ave Fenix

At the front of Albergue de peregrinos Ave Fenix

Albergue de peregrinos Ave Fenix; Kept my luggage in the Albergue, went out exploring the village center of Villafranca del Bierzo.

Albergue de peregrinos Ave Fenix; Kept my luggage in the Albergue, went out exploring the village center of Villafranca del Bierzo.

Walking around the quiet streets of Villafranca del Bierzo.

Walking around the quiet streets of Villafranca del Bierzo.

Ayuntamiento Villafranca del Bierzo; The City Hall is located on the Plaza Mayor. It is a Galician speaking council of Castilla and León, the municipality has 3,504 inhabitants.

City Hall and Plaza Mayor

City Hall and Plaza Mayor

Convent of San Francisco was founded by Queen Doña Urraca in 1213, and moved to the current location in 1285.

Iglesia de San Francisco Villafranca del Bierzo

Convento de San Francisco Villafranca del Bierzo

The original Convent of San Francisco only preserved the church, some walls and arches of the cloister.

The façade, altarpiece and side-chapel of Iglesia de San Francisco, Villafranca del Bierzo.

The façade, altarpiece and side-chapel of Iglesia de San Francisco, Villafranca del Bierzo.

Inside of the Iglesia de San Francisco, Villafranca del Bierzo.

Inside of the Iglesia de San Francisco, Villafranca del Bierzo.

Santa María Collegiate Church; The Collegiate Church had its origins in a Benedictine monastery built in twelfth century with hospice to care for French pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.

Colegiata de Santa María (Villafranca del Bierzo)

Colegiata de Santa María (Villafranca del Bierzo)

This church stands on the old site of the Santa María de Cluniaco or Cruñego monastery. Belonging to the Late Gothic period, it has certain Plateresque elements.

Façade and interior, alterpiece of the Santa María Collegiate Church Villafranca del Bierzo.

Façade and interior, alterpiece of the Santa María Collegiate Church Villafranca del Bierzo.

La iglesia-convento de San Nicolás (The church convent of San Nicolas) is a religious and architectural complex built in twelfth century in Villafranca del Bierzo.

La iglesia-convento de San Nicolás (The church convent of San Nicolas) and the Façade

La iglesia-convento de San Nicolás (The church convent of San Nicolas) and the Façade

Interior of the San Nicolas church, altarpiece and wall painting.

Interior of the San Nicolas church, altarpiece and wall painting.

There are too many churches in this village. I got tired of visiting these churches. So I decided going to the Burbia River.

Villafranca is located at the confluence of the rivers Valcarce and Burbia, and it is natural gateway to the Sierra de Los Ancares (mountain range of the Galician Massif), declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Medieval stone bridge arched across the river Burbia.

Medieval stone bridge arched across the river Burbia.

The monument of the pilgrim and the promenade of the Burbia river bank.

The monument of the pilgrim and the promenade of the Burbia river bank.

Flowers from  the village of Villafranca del Bierzo.

Flowers from the village of Villafranca del Bierzo.

 

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