Length: 17 Kilometres
There are 17 km between Mansilla de las Mulas and León, the capital of the province. The way is full of bridges. Just as we leave Mansilla de las Mulas, we cross a medieval one over the river Esla. The pilgrim walks little further of 1 km through the A-road Nacional 601 and then comes a gravel road that goes parallel to the A-road.
We will reach Villamoros de Mansilla 4 km after starting the way, going up the river Esla. Then the way winds down, and one must cross again the A-road Nacional 601, firstly on the left and then towards the right.
The gravel road that we cover takes us, after 2 km, to Villarente, a village born under the protection of the pilgrimage to Santiago. A long bridge, with more than 150 metres, overcomes the river Porma and takes us to a country house on the left of the road. This house is a former Hospital for the Pilgrims and nowadays it is a restaurant. We cross the village through the A-road and walk 2 more km until we leave it and walk inside a gravel road in our right. We find Arcahueja 4,5 km further on, and after another kilometre we reach Valdelafuente, which holds one of the main industrial zones of León. We go back again to the A-road Nacional 601 and, from the Alto del Portillo, we can enjoy a first sight of the city of León.
We will descend to reach Puente Castro and, after crossing a new bridge –this one over the river Torío- we will head for León. The first contact with León is the Barrio de Santa Ana and, through the streets of Barahona, Puerta Moneda, Herreros, Rúa, Plaza de San Marcelo and calle Ancha, we reach the Catedral.
Villamoros de Mansilla
Although Villamoros de Mansilla is 4m away from Mansilla Mayor, its name is due to the latter village, as Luis Pastrana affirms in his guide of the pilgrimage to Santiago. Mansilla Mayor, does not make part of the Jubilee and it is close to the Monastery Monasterio de Sandoval.
Its real name is Villarente, although the inhabitants and the visitors have got into the habit of calling it Puente Villarente, due to the long bridge of 20 stirrups through which the pilgrim crosses the river Porma. Part of the hospital for pilgrims which lived its splendor during the XVIth Century is still standing.
San Isidro –May 15th- and San Froilán –October 5th- are the festivities of this small village which is 5 km away from León. The pilgrims cross the village through its area Barrio Alto.
This village is the prelude to the end of the stage. The compass towards Puente Castro is a copy of the original stone crucifix that today stands opposite the Hostal de San Marcos.
This is the last village of this stage, before entering the city of León. Puente Castro was a Roman settlement, and an area for traders and farmers. Its name comes from the XVIIIth Century’s bridge that crosses the river Torío which, once left behind, takes the pilgrim into León.
León is the capital of the province. Its origins come from a Roman settlement inhabited by the Legio VII Gemina. The passage of time is shown in the walls that surround the ancient city, in the narrow streets of the Barrio Húmedo, in the Plaza Mayor and in the countless artistic treasures that the pilgrim may visit.
The Real Basílica de San Isidoro is a Romanesque church whose paintings from the XIIth Century earnt the nickname of Sixtine Chapel of the Spanish Romanesque. 23 monarchs rest nside its mausoleum, the Panteón Real. 2 of its doors are specially remarkable: the one of el Cordero and the one of el Perdón. The gothic Cathedral of Santa María de la Regla, known as Pulchra Leonina, is a luminous church that holds more than 100 panes, something that makes this Cathedral unique in Spain.
The convent-monastery of San Marcos is today a National Parador. The Plateresque front, with an image of Santiago Matamoros, is quite remarkable. The pilgrim will also be able to visit the Casa Botines -from Gaudí-, the Palacio de los Guzmanes –head of the Regional Council-, or the church Iglesia del Mercado –which makes part of the Jubilee as well.
- Address: Calle del Puente, Nº 5
- Place: Mansilla de las Mulas
- Phone: 987 310 138 (Oficina de Turismo)
- Property: Municipal. The Asociación de Amigos del Peregrino de Mansilla pays the costs of preservation.
Laura Barredo is the person in charge of the Hostel. Were it closed, you can find her at 661 977 305.
- Address: Plaza Santa María del Camino
- Place: León
- Phone: 987 252 866 - 680 649 289
- Property: Community of Sisters Benedictines (run by volunteers)
The Hostel is opposite to the school and the Convent of the Benedictines
Open from 11:00 to 22:00. Leaving the premises is forbidden after the closing hour.
Open all year.
There is room for 180 people; the rest of the year there is room for 60.
A very well equipped Hostel.
- Hot water
- 6 toilets
- Room to keep the bicycles
- Drinkable water
- Sickroom/first-aid box
- Public phone
- Clothes line
- 12 shower cubicles
- Living room-Dining room
- Signal for mobile telephony available
- Sockets available for battery chargers
Services in the vicinity:
- Information and Tourism office
- Cash dispenser
- Bike repair shop
- Medical assistance
- Restaurant and snack bars
- Internet access nearby