The Archaeological Crypt of Puerta Obispo

Cripta Puerta Obispo
Cripta Puerta Obispo

Address: Plaza Puerta Obispo, s/nº

The crypt, located on the south side of the Cathedral, is located on the south side of the Cathedral, sheltering inside the archaeological remains found during excavations in 1986 on the occasion of the works of pedestrianization in the environment Leon first temple.

In the crypt, we will find the Porta Pincipalis Sinistra of the camp of Legio VII Gemina and magnificent remains of the baths that had the camp latrines here.


This wall passage was a monumental construction, which permitted the entrance to the fortress of the legio VII gemina from the east. It was a large gateway with double passage, which was flanked by two gate towers with a length of 12.80 m and a width of 5 m at the exteriors. Only the tower at the north side is exposed in this ‘crypt’, while today the opposite tower is lying beneath the road, although it was completely documented in the course of the archaeological excavations. The entrance took place via two passages with barrel vaults, which could be entered by two round archs of 4 m width. At both ends they were open; they could be locked by a wooden, double leaf outer door.


First traces of this construction - according to the words of the Augustinian monk M. Risco “the magnificent building, that the pagans built up in other times for their comfort and for the use as baths and thermae“- were discovered in the middle of the 19th century during restoration works under the cathedral. As far as known today, the building traces had a greater size than the cathedral, whereby they extended to the present Plaza de la Regla, where traces of large rooms were found, which were warmed by an underfloor heating, through which warm air circulated (hypocaustum).

Panorama: The Archaeological Crypt of Puerta Obispo




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