Astorga, where the pilgrimage roads from France and Portugal merge, once had 22 hospitals to lodge and care for ailing travelers. Though the city is no longer the crossroads that it once was, plenty of travelers visit this charming town for its eye-popping Gaudí masterpiece, El Palacio Episcopal, and its famed cocido maragato, a stick-to-your-ribs stew. Astorga is in an area once known as La Maragatería, home to a community that once stood apart from its neighbors for its special dialect, elaborate dress, and distinctive folk music.


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