Here we are going to tell you what to see in Astorga in 1 day. It is the capital of the Maragatería, a region famous for its stew, and one of the main references in the chocolate industry, to which there is even a museum dedicated.
Founded in Roman times and with a very important historical importance thanks to being a place of passage on the Camino de Santiago and the end of the Vía de la Plata, Astorga preserves some very interesting monuments that cover different styles and for which visiting Astorga is a must. mandatory compliance if you visit the area.
Taking a walk through this city will not take you long and here we tell you what to see in Astorga.
The main places to see in Astorga
In just a few meters we find two great architectural gems and from here we can start visiting Astorga on a walking tour that you cannot miss.
Astorga Cathedral dates from the 11th century, although there are documents that the diocese was created in the 3rd century.
Subsequently, it has had several modifications that have given it its different architectural styles that range from Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque.
Behind the beautiful façade flanked by two towers we find a very beautiful cathedral where we must highlight the choir and its stalls, its chapels, the different altarpieces and the Renaissance cloister.
The Episcopal Palace, the best thing to visit in Astorga
The current building is from the end of the 19th century after its reconstruction after a fire destroyed the old Episcopal Palace.
Gaudí was able to make a neoclassical style masterpiece, unique in this area of Spain.
Not only does its beautiful granite exterior stand out, but also a very careful interior with a decorative richness that quickly reminds you of the great Catalan architect.
The walls of Astorga and the Plaza Mayor
From there we can walk along the Walls of Astorga that surrounds the entire old town and was founded in the time of Augustus, although it has undergone subsequent reforms and in fact the one we can see today is the one built in the 3rd century.
In addition to the wall, there are numerous Roman remains that we can find around Astorga.
At the opposite end of the Old Town Cathedral is the Plaza Mayor, where we can admire the Town Hall, another of Astorga’s most characteristic buildings.
The Plaza Mayor is where the ancient Roman forum was located, which can be visited in the basement of the square.
The Town Hall is baroque in style and stands out for its towers, its balcony and the automatons that strike the hours. Under the arcades of the Plaza Mayor there are numerous shops and restaurants, where you can enjoy Maragata cuisine.
Other places to see in Astorga
Very close to the Plaza Mayor, if we continue walking through the typical Castilian streets of Astorga, we find the Roman Museum
It is built in the same place where the Ergástula was located, a building that could have been a Roman prison, and where we find various objects found in the excavations and where they tell us what life was like in ancient Asturica Augusta.
In that same square is the Church of San Bartolomé, Romanesque in style and one of the most beautiful in Astorga. A few meters away, next to the Municipal Library, are some remains of the Roman Forum and very close, the Sanctuary of Fátima, from the 12th century and in Romanesque style.
To end this visit to the old town of Astorga, we can continue along the path that runs along the southern part of the wall, leaving aside the Roman Baths, until we reach the Seminario Mayor, a spectacular 3-storey building consisting of several cloisters and a neoclassical chapel.
Finally, if we want to visit another of the main places of interest in Astorga, we will have to go outside the old town. This is the Chocolate Museum, located north of the city and where we can learn more about the chocolate industry and its production process.
What to see near Astorga. Castle of the Polvazares
We cannot talk about Astorga without mentioning the nearby town of Castrillo de los Polvazares.
This spectacular town, rebuilt in the 16th century after floods, practically preserves its original state.
It stands out for its cobbled streets and its stone houses, where the old maragato muleteers lived, who traded all kinds of products.
In Castrillo de los Polvazares, its numerous restaurants are also famous for serving the authentic maragato stew, which is distinguished from other stews because it is served upside down, that is, the meat first and the soup last.
It is believed that this way of taking the stew is due to the fact that the ancient soldiers had to take it that way since they never knew when they had to go into battle and in this way they made sure to take the most calories to be able to endure the combat if they had to leave in the middle of lunch.
Other towns that can be visited near Astorga in the Country of the Maragatos are Val de San Lorenzo, Santa Coloma de Somoza or Santiago Millás, some towns where you can admire the typical maragata architecture.