Lest you think that León, Spain, a major stop along the Camino de Santiago, has only gorgeous Gothic stained glass windows to recommend it, let me assure you there is much more. Exquisitely fashioned bronze cathedral doors …
Vaults upon vaults in the claustro (cloisters)
With incredible detail everywhere you look
And shrines in the most unlikely places. This one sat high above a city street, in the wall of an ancient building.
Water features like this mesmerizing sculpture adorn the plazas
Then there was a visit to the incomparable Real Colegiato de San Isidoro. I could not take photos inside the Panteon de Reyes (pantheon of kings) that were painted in the 11th and 12th centuries.
The colors are as vibrant today as they were centuries past. This same building held a gorgeous illustrated bible from the Mozarabic period (Christian/Muslim period) from the Christian Dark Ages – 960 AD.
More walking, afterwards, took me past the ever-vigilant storks
to the Museo de Leon and the gorgeous Paradore (state-run luxury hotel housed in castles)
With beautiful details
And the image of a pilgrim looking on … or up, as it were. Notice the yellow arrow in front of it. Such arrows guided me on my journey, kilometer after kilometer.
The splendor soon petered away, into city parks
And bodegas (wine cellars built into the sides of hills, right off the streets)
I will leave Leon here, but my journey was not over yet. Stay tuned for more soon. If you’ve missed any of the photos in this series, feel free to backtrack over here.