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This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in Spanish Wikipedia. (April 2010) After translating, {{Translated|es|León, Spain}} must be added to the talk page to ensure copyright compliance. Translation instructions · Translate via Google This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Please improve this article if you can. The talk page may contain suggestions. (October 2009) León Flag Coat of arms Anthem: Himno a León León Location of León Coordinates: 42°36′20″N 5°34′12″W / 42.60556°N 5.57°W / 42.60556; -5.57 Country Spain Region Castile and León Province León Founded 1st century BC Military camp established 68 AD Reconstruction 1017 Government  - Type Mayor-council  - Body Ayuntamiento de León  - Mayor Francisco Fernández (PSOE) Area  - Land 39.20 km2 (15.1 sq mi) Elevation 838 m (2,749 ft) Population (2006)  - City 136,999  - Metro 337,740 Demonym Leonés (Spanish) Llïonés (Leonese) Leonese (English) Time zone CET (UTC+1)  - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2) Postal code 240xx Website Ayuntamiento de León León (Leonese[1]: Llión) is the capital of the province of León in the autonomous community of Castile and León, northwest of Spain. Its city population of 136,985 (2006)[2] makes it the largest municipality in the province, accounting for more than one quarter[3] of the province's population. With its metropolitan area the population is calculated at 337,740 (2009). León sits along the banks of the river Bernesga and it's the last major city in the Camino de Santiago before it climbs west into the mountains that separate province of León from Galicia. Contents 1 History 1.1 Origins 1.2 Kingdom of León 1.3 First democratic Parliament in 1188 1.4 Later history 2 Main sights 3 Folklore and customs 4 Districts 5 Climate 6 Transportation 6.1 Airport 6.2 Train stations 6.3 Public transport 7 Leonese language 7.1 History 7.2 Teaching 8 Government 9 Twin towns — sister cities 10 Food 11 See also 12 Gallery 13 References 13.1 Notes 14 External links // History Origins León was founded in the 1st century BC by the Roman legion Legio VI Victrix. In 68 AD Legio VII Gemina created a permanent military camp, which was the origin of a later city. Its modern name is derived from the city's Latin name Legio[4], which itself derives from the Roman legion recruited from the Iberians by Galba. The legion established the site of the city to protect the territory from the Astures and Cantabrians, and to secure the transport of gold extracted in the province, especially in Las Médulas.[5] Tacitus calls the legion Galbiana, to distinguish it from the old Legio VII Claudia, but this appellation is not found on any inscriptions. It appears to have received the appellation of Gemina[6] on account of its amalgamation by Vespasian with one of the German legions, not improbably the Legio I Germanica. Its full name was Legio VII Gemina Felix. After serving in Pannonia, and in the civil wars, it was settled by Vespasian in Hispania Tarraconensis, to supply the place of the Legio VI Victrix and Legio X Gemina, two of the three legions ordinarily stationed in the province, but which had been withdrawn to Germany.[7] That its regular winter quarters, under later emperors, were at León, we learn from the Itinerary, Ptolemy, and the Notitiae Imperii, as well as from a few inscriptions[8]; but there are numerous inscriptions to prove that a strong detachment of it was stationed at Tarraco (modern Tarragona), the chief city of the province. Cathedral of León Hostal de San Marcos Gardens of Plaza de San Marcos Kingdom of León Main article: Kingdom of León The post-Roman history of the city is largely the history of the Kingdom of Leon. The station of the legion in the territory of the Astures grew into an important city, which resisted the attacks of the Visigoths till A.D. 586, when it was taken by Leovigild; and it was one of the few cities which the Visigoths allowed to retain their fortifications. During the struggle with the Muslim invaders, the same fortress, which the Romans had built to protect the plain from the incursions of the mountaineers, became the advanced post which covered the mountain, as the last refuge of Cisastur Tribes. Towards the year 846, a group of Mozarabs (Christians who did not flee from the Muslims and lived under the Muslim regime) tried to repopulate the city, but a Muslim attack prevented that initiative. In the year 856, under the Christian king Ordoño I, another attempt at repopulation was made and was successful. Alfonso III of León and García I of León made León city the capital of the Kingdom of León and the most important of the Christian cities in Iberia. The Kingdom of León officially started as an independent Kingdom in 910, becoming an Empire who reached the Rhone river in the 12th century. Sacked by Almanzor in about 987, the city was reconstructed and repopulated by Alfonso V, whose Decree of 1017 regulated its economic life, including the functioning of its markets. León was a way-station for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago leading to Santiago de Compostela. With Alfonso V of León the city had the "Fueru de Llión", an important letter of privileges. The Kingdom of León conquered the Leonese Extremadura, and was brought to their sisters by Fernando III, king of Castile, joining both crowns in 1230. His son, Alfonso X divided the kingdom again in his testament, but it was not accepted by the King of Castile, who rejoined both crowns. From 1296 to 1301 León was an independent kingdom again, and from then until 1833, when Spain was divided into regions and provinces, the Kingdom of León kept itself as a Spanish Crown territory, whose capital city was León apart from a short period, during which French troops invaded the Kingdom when it was Carracedo. First democratic Parliament in 1188 In 1188, Alfonso VIII of León joined in the city of León all the three states becoming the city in the first European Parliament, developing laws that protected the people. Suburbs for traders and artisans sprang up, who, after the 13th century, began to influence the municipal government. During the early Middle Ages, the livestock industry produced a period of prosperity for the city. Old local council Later history In the 16th century, economic and demographic decline set in and continued until the 19th century. In July 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, León joined the war against the Republicans. During the 1960s, León experienced much growth due to in-migration from the rural zones of the province. In 1983 León was added to the neighbouring region of Castile, to form the Autonomous Community of Castile and León. A popular and local political movement was opposed to being ruled from. Consequently, León is the centre of a peaceful political movement for Leonese autonomy. Some of the Leonese people support the idea of creating a Leonese autonomous community formed by the provinces of Salamanca, León and Zamora, which have traditionally composed the Leonese Region. The Palacio de los Guzmanes, the provincial parliament (Diputación) in the capital Main sights Rayonnant gothic Cathedral, with its stained glass windows Basilica of San Isidoro, with its tombs of the Kings of León and fine Romanesque paintings Convent of San Marcos (currently a luxurious parador) with a plateresque façade. Palacio de los Guzmanes, the site of the provincial diputación (parliament). It contains a patio in the plateresque style by Gil de Hontañón. The old quarter of the city conserves a large part of the medieval wall and some remains of the original Roman wall. Casa de Botines, a neogothic styled building, an example of the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. MUSAC. It is a contemporary art museum which opened in 2005. Its design by the architectural studio Mansilla+Tuñón was awarded with the 2007 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture. One of the building's most distinctive features is its façade formed out of thousands of large multicolored stained-glass panels. Close to the museum is the León Auditorium, also projected by Mansilla+Tuñón, which has an equally striking presence of crisp white cubes perforated by irregularly set windows. Barrio Húmedo (the drinking and partying area) Palacio del Conde Luna (14th century) University of León Plaza del Grano Church of San Juan y San Pedro de Renueva, dating to 1944-1970, but including a 18th-century Baroque façade taken from the ruined monastery of San Pedro de Eslonza, located c. 22 km outside the city. Church of San Salvador de Palat del Rey, the most ancient in the city (10th century), however with few remains of the original Pre-Romanesque building. As the name (meaning church of the "Holy Savior of the King's Palace") suggests, it once acted as royal chapel The Walls, built in the 1st century BC and enlarged in the 3rd-4th centuries AD. They were again restored and enhanced in 1836-1840. Gaudí's Casa de los Botines. Folklore and customs Leonese customs include the Semana Santa ("Holy Week"), featuring numerous processions through the centre of the city. One of them is the so called "Procession of the Meeting", which acts out the meeting of three groups representing Saint John, the Virgin Mary and Christ, in the esplanade in front of the city's Cathedral. Associated with Semana Santa is the procession called "The Burial of Genarín". Genarín was an alcoholic beggar who was hit by and killed by the first garbage truck in the city of León in the year 1929.[citation needed] This is a celebration of alcohol, and the main purpose of the people who attend it is getting drunk in honor to the alcoholic beggar. The San Juan and San Pedro festivities are also remarkable, celebrated during the last week of June (between June 23 and June 29). During these days several concerts and festivals take place and the whole city is occupied by terraces and street markets where Leonese people celebrate the beginning of the summer, especially on San Juan's night (June 23) when beautiful fireworks and bonfires take place. Districts The city of León can be divided into more than 36 districts (barrios): Centro or downtown Casco Antiguo or Casco Histórico, the historical part of the city Área 17 Armunia Cruce de Armunia El Crucero El Ejido Ensanche Eras De Renueva La Asunción La Chantría La Lastra La Palomera La Sal La Torre La Vega La Victoria Las Ventas Obra Sindical Del Hogar Oteruelo De La Valdoncina Paraíso-Cantinas Patronato Viviendas Militares Pinilla Puente Castro San Claudio San Esteban San Lorenzo San Mamés San Marcelo San Marcos San Martín San Pedro Santa Ana Santa Marina Santa Olaja Polígono 58 Trobajo Del Cerecedo Trobajo Del Camino Climate León features the very rare Continental Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa). In the winter, temperatures are cold for Spain, and usually oscilate between 12 °C (54 °F) and 0 °C (32 °F), even though sometimes it can get hotter or colder than that. It gets colder at night and hotter during the day. Despite the temperature, as in most of Spain, the sun shines extremely brightly most of the time all year long and there is a huge amount of light. During the spring, temperatures are usually between 10 °C (50 °F) at its coldest and may easily get higher than 20 °C (68 °F). Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures usually oscilating between 25 °C (77 °F) and 30 °C (86 °F). However, it's not uncommon for temperatures to reach well over 31 °C (88 °F) in the hottest days of the summer. Transportation Airport León airport (IATA: LEN) is located approximately 6 kilometers away from the downtown part of the city, in the neighboring town of La Virgen Del Camino/Valverde de la Virgen. It offers mostly domestic flights within the country, as well as flights to and from Paris, France. Currently two Spanish airlines operate in it: Iberia/Air Nostrum and Air Europa. They offer flights from and to Madrid, Spain, Barcelona, Spain, Valencia, Spain, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Tenerife, Spain and Paris, France. During the summer months the number of available destinations increases, and flights are also offered from and to Ibiza, Spain, Menorca, Spain, Málaga, Spain and Gran Canaria, Spain. Train stations León has two railway stations, one on the RENFE line, and one on the FEVE lines. Public transport This section requires expansion. Leonese language Palacio del Conde Luna. I Festival Internacional de Televisión y Cine Históricu Reinu de Llión, in which Leonese language was official Main article: Leonese language History The Leonese language derives directly from Latin and developed in the Middle Ages. At this time, Leonese was the official language of the Leonese Kingdom and achieved a high codification grade in the city of Llión[9]. The first written text in Leonese was Nodicia de Kesos (959 or 974); other works in the language include Fueru de Llión, Fueru de Salamanca, Fueru Xulgu, Códice d'Alfonsu XI, ou Disputa d'Elena y María or Llibru d'Alixandre[10] Leonese is considered a seriously endangered language by UNESCO.[11] It is almost extinct, being known and spoken by only a very few elderly people who live isolated in the mountains of the northern part of the province of León. However, people who wish to separate León from Castile and who support Leonese autonomy are trying to revive the language. León City Council and Leonese language associations like the Asociación Cultural de la Llingua Llïonesa El Fueyu are promoting its knowledge and use. Leonese Language Day started in 2006 with the support of Leonese Provincial Government, and from 2008 the celebration is organised by the León City Council. Teaching At the end of the 1990s, several associations unofficially promoted Leonese language courses. In 2001, the Universidad de León (University of León) created a course for Teachers of Leonese language, and local government developed Leonese language courses for adults. The Leonese Language Teachers and Monitors Association (Asociación de Profesores y Monitores de Llingua Llïonesa) was created in 2008 and promotes Leonese language activities. Leonese lessons in schools started in 2008, and it is currently taught in sixteen schools in León city in 2008-2009, promoted by the Leonese Local Government Department for Education. This course is for pupils in their 5th and 6th year of primary school (11 and 12 years olds), where Leonese language is taught with Leonese culture. More than one hundred people are studying Leonese in adult classes in 2008-2009. There are five levels for adults in the official courses developed by the Department for Leonese Culture of the Leonese City Council.[12] Government The Leonese City Council was founded in 1345. It has 27 city councillors. In the last municipal elections (27 May 2007) the results were: Spanish Socialist Workers Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español, PSOE) - 44.14% of the votes and 13 councillors Partido Popular - 37.55% votes and 11 councillors Unión del Pueblo Leonés - 10.88% and 3 councillors The Government of León is composed by the Socialist Party and the Union of the People of León. The mayor is Francisco Fernández, from the PSOE. León is in the county (comarca) of Tierras de León. Twin towns — sister cities León is twinned with: Bragança, Portugal[13] Porto, Portugal[14] León (Guanajuato), México[15] Voronezh, Russia[15] Dublin, Ireland[15] Food Cecina:Leonese traditional food Within the wide range of Leonese cuisine the following dishes are the most representative: cecina (cured, smoked beef), morcilla (a superb variant of blood sausage), botillo (a dish of meat-stuffed pork intestine), garlic soup, el cocido leonés (a mix of meat with vegetables and chickpeas, served after a vegetable-vermicelli soup) and mantecadas (a sweet). Another very important part of the gastronomy of León are the tapas that you can get in most of the many bars in the city. The most important thing about these tapas is that they are free unlike in most cities in Spain. It is a very common thing to do to go "de tapas" or "tapear" i.e. to go for a few drinks ("un corto", which is a very small beer, "una caña", which is roughly half a pint of beer or "un vino," a glass of wine) just before lunch but more normally as a light form of dinner. See also Kingdom of León List of municipalities in León León Airport Gallery Facade of Convento de San Marcos. Hostal de San Marcos Southern Facade of the León Cathedral. West Facade of the León Cathedral. West Facade of the León Cathedral. Casa de los Botines. Palacio de los Guzmanes. Principal facade of the Real Basílica de San Isidoro. Panteón de los Reyes of Real Basílica de San Isidoro. Plaza de Santo Domingo. La Plaza Mayor. Calle Ancha de León. León Museum. Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León. Biblical and eastern Museum. Emperador Theatre. References This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography by William Smith (1856). Notes ^ ^ Ine, 1 de Enero de 2006 ^ Datos de áreas urbanas en 2006. Hay otras estadísticas que aportan cifras distintas. Véase Área metropolitana de León ^ Itin. Ant. p. 395; Λεγίων ζ Γερμανική, Ptol. ii. 6. § 30 ^ Dion Cass. iv. 24; Tac. Hist. ii. 11, iii. 25; Suet. Galba, 10. ^ Respecting the use of which, and Gemella, see Caesar B.C. iii. 3 ^ Tac. Hist. ii. 11, 67, 86, iii. 7, 10, 21--25, iv. 39; Inscr. ap. Gruter, p. 245, no. 2. ^ Muratori, p. 2037, no. 8, A.D. 130; p. 335, nos. 2, 3, A.D. 163; p. 336, no. 3, A.D. 167; Gruter, p. 260, no. 1, A.D. 216 ^ Morala, R. (2004): Norma y usos gráficos en la documentacion leonesa. In: Aemilianese I, S. 405-429. ^ Menéndez Pidal, R. "El Dialecto Leonés". Madrid. 1906 ^ UNESCO Red Book on Endangered Languages: Europe ^ "Cuasi douscientos alunos estudiarán Llingua Llïonesa esti añu". Ayuntamiento de León. 14 November 2008. ^ ^ ^ a b c External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to: León Basilica Saint Isidore of Leon León City Council (in Spanish) Tourism in León. Official Web Site (in English and Spanish) Tourism in León (in Spanish) León, northwest of Madrid... Leon on the Camino de Santiago Photos of the city of Léon Paradoxplace León Photo Pages Rural Tourism in León (in Spanish) Interview with Agustín Pérez-Rubio, current director and former chief curator of the MUSAC v • d • e Municipalities in the Province of León Acebedo · Algadefe · Alija del Infantado · Almanza · Ardón · Arganza · Astorga · Balboa · Barjas · Bembibre · Benavides · Benuza · Bercianos del Páramo · Bercianos del Real Camino · Berlanga del Bierzo · Boca de Huérgano · Borrenes · Boñar · Brazuelo · Burón · Bustillo del Páramo · Cabañas Raras · Cabreros del Río · Cabrillanes · Cacabelos · Calzada del Coto · Campazas · Campo de Villavidel · Camponaraya · Candín · Carracedelo · Carrizo · Carrocera · Carucedo · Castilfalé · Castrillo de Cabrera · Castrillo de la Valduerna · Castrocalbón · Castrocontrigo · Castropodame · Castrotierra de Valmadrigal · Cea · Cebanico · Cebrones del Río · Chozas de Abajo · Cimanes de la Vega · Cimanes del Tejar · Cistierna · Congosto · Corbillos de los Oteros · Corullón · Crémenes · Cuadros · Cubillas de Rueda · Cubillas de los Oteros · Cubillos del Sil · Cármenes · Destriana · El Burgo Ranero · Encinedo · Escobar de Campos · Fabero · Folgoso de la Ribera · Fresno de la Vega · Fuentes de Carbajal · Garrafe de Torío · Gordaliza del Pino · Gordoncillo · Gradefes · Grajal de Campos · Gusendos de los Oteros · Hospital de Órbigo · Igüeña · Izagre · Joarilla de las Matas · La Antigua · La Bañeza · La Ercina · La Pola de Gordón · La Robla · La Vecilla · Laguna Dalga · Laguna de Negrillos · Las Omañas · León · Llamas de la Ribera · Los Barrios de Luna · Lucillo · Luyego · Magaz de Cepeda · Mansilla Mayor · Mansilla de las Mulas · Maraña · Matadeón de los Oteros · Matallana de Torío · Matanza · Molinaseca · Murias de Paredes · Noceda del Bierzo · Oencia · Onzonilla · Oseja de Sajambre · Pajares de los Oteros · Palacios de la Valduerna · Palacios del Sil · Peranzanes · Pobladura de Pelayo García · Ponferrada · Posada de Valdeón · Pozuelo del Páramo · Prado de la Guzpeña · Priaranza del Bierzo · Prioro · Puebla de Lillo · Puente de Domingo Flórez · Páramo del Sil · Quintana del Castillo · Quintana del Marco · Quintana y Congosto · Regueras de Arriba · Reyero · Riaño · Riego de la Vega · Riello · Rioseco de Tapia · Roperuelos del Páramo · Sabero · Sahagún · San Adrián del Valle · San Andrés del Rabanedo · San Cristóbal de la Polantera · San Emiliano · San Esteban de Nogales · San Justo de la Vega · San Millán de los Caballeros · San Pedro Bercianos · Sancedo · Santa Colomba de Curueño · Santa Colomba de Somoza · Santa Cristina de Valmadrigal · Santa Elena de Jamuz · Santa Marina del Rey · Santa María de Ordás · Santa María de la Isla · Santa María del Monte de Cea · Santa María del Páramo · Santas Martas · Santiago Millas · Santovenia de la Valdoncina · Sariegos · Sena de Luna · Sobrado · Soto de la Vega · Soto y Amío · Toral de los Guzmanes · Toreno · Torre del Bierzo · Trabadelo · Truchas · Turcia · Urdiales del Páramo · Val de San Lorenzo · Valdefresno · Valdefuentes del Páramo · Valdelugueros · Valdemora · Valdepiélago · Valdepolo · Valderas · Valderrey · Valderrueda · Valdesamario · Valdevimbre · Valencia de Don Juan · Vallecillo · Valverde de la Virgen · Valverde-Enrique · Vega de Espinareda · Vega de Infanzones · Vega de Valcarce · Vegacervera · Vegaquemada · Vegas del Condado · Villablino · Villabraz · Villadangos del Páramo · Villadecanes · Villademor de la Vega · Villafranca del Bierzo · Villagatón · Villamandos · Villamanín · Villamartín de Don Sancho · Villamañán · Villamejil · Villamol · Villamontán de la Valduerna · Villamoratiel de las Matas · Villanueva de las Manzanas · Villaobispo de Otero · Villaornate y Castro · Villaquejida · Villaquilambre · Villarejo de Órbigo · Villares de Órbigo · Villasabariego · Villaselán · Villaturiel · Villazala · Villazanzo de Valderaduey · Zotes del Páramo Coordinates: 42°36′20″N 5°34′12″W / 42.60556°N 5.57°W / 42.60556; -5.57