One of the great unknowns of Castilla y León is Ponferrada, the largest city that is not the capital of the province of the Community and with a great history in its streets linked to the Templars, who protected the Camino de Santiago and left a great legacy in the city with his castle.
Visiting Ponferrada in one day is possible since it is a small city with all its points of interest very close. If you are going to spend more days you can make an excursion to nearby places such as Astorga or Las Médulas and enjoy the gastronomy of El Bierzo, its region.
Here we give you an example of a route that you can take to visit the main places of interest to see in Ponferrada.
What to see in Ponferrada in one day
The Castle of the Templars
The tour with the best things to see in Ponferrada in one day can start at the Castillo de los Templarios, the main monument of the city and whose visit will take you a long time.
The Castle of the Templars was built in the same place where a Celtic fort was located, which was replaced by Roman and Visigothic buildings until the 12th century when the castle that we can see today and that served as a base was finally built. of the Knights Templar who protected the road and the city by order of King Fernando II of León.
Although the castle was enlarged in successive centuries, which is why during your visit you will be able to see so many different architectural styles traveling back in time from the 12th century to the 20th when the last extensions were made.
Do not miss its main façade, flanked by two towers, as well as the Sala de Armas, the Torre del Homenaje and the Templar Library with numerous books of the Order of the Temple.
On the way to the Plaza de la Virgen de la Encina
Once we have visited the Castillo de los Templarios we can walk towards the Plaza de la Virgen de la Encina, leaving aside the spectacular walls of the castle in another very interesting image of it.
The first point of interest that you will find will be the Radio Museum, promoted by the famous radio announcer Luis del Olmo and in which we can find more than 200 transistors of his property with which we can take a tour of their technical evolution. and the history of radio.
Nearby is the Plaza de la Vírgen de la Encina, one of the beautiful squares in Ponferrada where we can find the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Encina, the main church of the city, in Renaissance style and with a slender tower that does not pass unnoticed. It is dedicated to the patron saint of El Bierzo. In the same square you should not miss the Statue of the Knight Templar with the Virgen de la Encina.
The Clock Tower and the Town Hall Square
Calle del Reloj is the next one we must walk along. In it we find several bars and restaurants and the Museum of El Bierzo. You can get lost in the surrounding streets but it will be difficult for you to divert your gaze from the end of the street, where the Clock Tower is located.
The Clock Tower is an old city gate, built in the 16th century on one of the arches of the old medieval wall. After passing under the tower, we finally arrive at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the nerve center of Ponferrada. Under the square there is a parking lot in case you come by car and want to start your visit from this place.
In this square is located, as its name suggests, the Town Hall of Ponferrada, in a Baroque building from the 18th century, highlighting its two towers and the city’s coat of arms on one of its balconies.
In addition to the bars and restaurants that surround the square under its arcades, we invite you to look for the statue of El Barquillero.
The National Museum of Energy
The National Museum of Energy is quite far from the area that we have already visited but it is worth going there, either by car or on foot (about 25 minutes).
It is also known as La Fábrica de la Luz and is located in an old thermal power station abandoned in 1971 and which has been refurbished to show everyone the process of obtaining electricity from coal thanks to the original machinery that is still is kept in the museum.
In the National Museum of Energy there is also a section dedicated to energy efficiency and the role of living beings.
If you still have time, you can cross the city again to the Railway Museum, located in the Ponferrada railway station where you can see a good collection of trains, models and locomotives.
You can find more information on the official Ponferrada tourism page.