At the confluence of the Boeza and the Sil rivers, the Ponferrada city sits majestically for its known castles built by the Knights Templar around the 13th century. The town is located at the center of the famous wine region in Bierzo, where one can enjoy a glass of wine as they learn the city’s rich heritage and history. The town, which is the capital city of El Bierzo, is only a one and a half hour drive from the Historic Leon. Ponferrada is home to various attraction sites, which include the Museo de la Energia museum, the Castillo de Cornatel, the Castillo de los Templarios among others.
The city was once home to the Hispano-Celtic Callaecian people until Emperor Augustus conquered them and turned the area to a mining center. The mining sites are visible until to date and have now been converted to tourist sites, for example, the Las Medulas, which has been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Additionally, the city served as a pivotal station to the pilgrimage route leading to the Santiago de Compostela.
When visiting Ponferrada, one should start at the Old Quarter, Plaza del Ayuntamiento which housed the town hall Lords in the 16th century. While at the quarter, one will also be treated to a spectacular view of the Torre del Reloj, a clock tower that stands beside the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. The tower serves as an advent to the steep and narrow streets of the Ponferrada. As one progresses deep into the city, he or she will notice a number of busy streets filled with traditional shops, taverns and wine bars locally referred to as “Vinotecas.”
A visit to Ponferrada can only be complete with a visit to the Castillo del Temple, a castle that was built by the Knight Templar. The castle comes live at night in all its beauty characterized by strong towers and medieval architecture. Other attraction sites that one can visit include the Medulas, which was essential to gold mining in the area, the La Noche Templaria, an annual festival that occurs on July during the full moon.
Wine and Gastronomy
Ponferrada is also known for its tasty wines and exquisite culinary experience. The restaurant and taverns around the city will serve you a range of Spanish exotics paired with Bierzo’s own produced wines such as the Mencias, Alvaro Palacios’ Pelatos, and Dominio de Tares. The wines are comprised of smooth fruity notes fused with tannins to deliver a punchy flavor.