Walls and parks and squares in Leon

posted in: Europe, Home, Leon, Spain | 11

I spent a week in Léon and I particularly loved taking my camera and going out on my own. It was fun to be in a city which was bustly but not too crowded. I enjoyed looking at what was happening, or perhaps setting out to find a particular sight. On this day I wanted to visit walls and parks and squares. It was comfortably hot, and busy, but not crowded like the centre of London.

Walls in Leon

Starting from the edge of the Cathedral I walked along the walls which I have described in more detail elsewhere. It was quiet on these streets, even on a weekday. I loved the atmosphere in the Calle las Cercas – it was so exciting to turn a corner and suddenly find myself back in time! It would have been fun to walk this section at night – you can imagine how it would be with the lights, and shadows.

Walls and parks and squares
The Calle Selledores, with the walls on the right
The Calle las Cercas - the Mediaeval walls
A Mediaeval fence in the Calle las Cercas
Mediaeval walls in Leon
The Mediaeval walls in Leon at the Puerta Moneda
walls along the Av Independencia
The walls along the Av Independencia at the Av Lancia interchange

Correos Park in Leon

The walk along the walls leads to a busy interchange on the Av.Lancia where I found the small Correos Park. Trees, shade, and an area for exercising provided a welcome break from the hot sun.

Walls and parks and squares
The Correos Park
The exercise area in The Correos Park
The exercise area in The Correos Park

Park of St Francis in Leon

Across the road is the much more substantial Jardin de San Francisco which is apparently the oldest park in the city. In 1818 the Benedictine monks, whose church is still across the road from the park, gave the land to the city and in 1835 it was designated a public area. It was a hot day and people were sitting under the trees, playing cards, talking, or just sitting quietly, alone.

The Church of San Francisco on the Av Lancia, Leon
The Park of San Francisco, Leon
The Park of San Francisco, Leon, with a statue of St Francis (1981)
The late 18C Fountain of Neptune
The late 18C Fountain of Neptune

Squares in Leon

I said I wanted to visit walls and parks and squares – now it was time to find squares! I then walked through a break in the walls at the road interchange, the site of one of the Mediaeval Gates, up the Calle San Francisco in search of the Plaza del Grano. At the first little square I found the Convent of the Immaculate Conception. This was originally a palace but the building became a Convent in 1489.

walls and parks and squares
The Convent of the Immaculate Conception, in the square of the same name

Nossa Senora del Mercado

Turn right down the Calle Herreros, the route of the French Camino, and you find the Iglesia Nossa Señora del Mercado. The church is also known as Santa Maria del Camino and it backs on to the Plaza del Grano. The church was started in the 11C but has been considerably changed over the centuries.

Calle Herreros with the Eglesia del Mercado
Calle Herreros with the Iglesia del Mercado
The interior of Nossa Senora del Mercado
The interior of Nossa Senora del Mercado

Plaza del Grano

The Plaza del Grano is the mediaeval square where merchants sold their grain. It can be busy and noisy, but it was quiet on this occasion, and calm. A few people were chatting over drinks, and pilgrims drifted through, heading for the Hospederia Monastica, a small hotel within a community of Benedictine Nuns. Currently twenty three nuns live in the community which has stood for over 400 years. The fountain of 1769 in the middle of the square has statues of two children who represent the Bernesga and Torío rivers which meet just south of the city.

The cross in the Plaza del Grano
The Fountain in the Plaza del Grano
The Plaza del Grano with the Hospederia Monastica glowing in the evening sun
The Plaza del Grano with the Hospederia Monastica glowing in the evening sun

Round the corner I found the Plaza Don Gutierrez with the Palace of Don Gutiérre, restored and now the cultural centre of this district – there is something wonderful around every corner here! This is another small square where there were markets in Mediaeval times.

The Plaza Don Gutierrez
Coat of Arms on the Don Gutierre Palace in the square
The Plaza Mayor on a quiet day

…through the Plaza Mayor, past the Cathedral and San Pedro de las Huertas just outside the Roman East Gate.

A Church at the City Gate

I walked past the church of San Pedro de las Huertas every day. The church, which dates to the 16C, was built on the site of the 10C Monastery of St Peter and St Paul, a religious establishment which accommodated both sexes…

A man about to pass through the former Roman East Gate of Leon
San Pedro de las Huertas, with the Cathedral of Leon behind

And just a few minutes down the road and I was back to the marvellous AirBnB – a wonderful few hours in a glorious city finding walls and parks and squares!

11 Responses

  1. Librarylady

    This is a lovely walk. I spent two weeks in Spain last year and thought it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Thanks for sharing and bringing back memories. (I found you on RestlessJo Monday Walks. My new favorite!)

    • Candy Blackham

      Well thank you for visiting, and I am pleased you enjoyed the reminder. The Monday Walks is a good meeting place! I have lots more posts on the weeks in Spain still to come and I hope you will return. Where did you go?

      • Librarylady

        Good, I’ll watch for your Spain posts. I’ve written a few too, so much to see there!. We spent a few days in Madrid, Then went to Malaga and Majorca. We’ve also went to Barcelona about five years ago. I think my favorite spot was Ronda, and the big bridge.

  2. Eunice

    Looks like a great place, I love the photos especially the park one with the flowers and the fountain 🙂

  3. restlessjo

    It’s a fine-looking city, isn’t it, Candy? I love the solidity and style of those walls. Many thanks for the link. I’m finally home from the airport with my feet up for a bit. 🙂 🙂

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