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Castile–León and Castile–La Mancha Travel Guide


León, the ancient capital of Castile–León, sits on the banks of the Bernesga River in the high plains of Old Castile; today it's a wealthy provincial capital and prestigious university town. The wide avenues of western León are lined with boutiques, and the twisting alleys of the half-timber old town hide the bars, bookstores, and chocolaterías most popular with students.


say that the city was not named for the proud lion that has been its emblem for centuries; rather, they assert that the name is a corruption of the Roman word legio (legion), from the fact that the city was founded as a permanent camp for the Roman legions in AD 70. The capital of Christian Spain was moved here from Oviedo in 914 as the Reconquest spread south, and this was the city's richest era.

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