🇪🇸 León is a city and municipality of Spain, capital of the province of León, part of the autonomous community of Castile and León, in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula. It is the largest municipality in the province. The metropolitan area, includes the neighbouring San Andrés del Rabanedo and other smaller municipalities.
Founded as the military encampment of the Legio VI Victrix around 29 BC, its standing as an encampment city was consolidated with the definitive settlement of the Legio VII Gemina from 74 AD. The end of the 19th and the 20th century saw a significant acceleration in the rate of urban expansion, when the city became an important communications hub of the north-west due to the rise of the coal mining industry and the arrival of the railroad.
León's historical and architectural heritage, as well as the numerous festivals hosted throughout the year, particularly the Easter processions, and its location on the French Way of the Camino de Santiago, which is ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, make it a destination of both domestic and international tourism. Some of the city's most prominent historical buildings are the Cathedral, one of the finest examples of French-style classic Gothic architecture in Spain, the Basilica of San Isidoro, one of the most important Romanesque churches in Spain and resting place of León's medieval monarchs, the Monastery of San Marcos, an example of plateresque and Renaissance Spanish architecture, and the Casa Botines, a Modernist creation of the architect Antoni Gaudí. An example of modern architecture is the city's Museum of Contemporary Art or MUSAC.
León has two railway stations, León railway station on the RENFE line, and León-Matallana on the FEVE lines. There are high-speed services that connect León to Madrid in approximately two hours. Other destinations directly reachable from León are Galicia, Asturias and Valladolid.
León is rated Sufficiency by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities.
León has a population of over 124,303 people. León also forms part of the wider León metropolitan area which has a population of over 200,000 people.
Twin Towns – Sister Cities León is twinned with: • Bragança, Portugal • Porto, Portugal • León (Guanajuato), México • Voronezh, Russia • Dublin, Ireland • Xiangtan, China • Córdoba, Spain • Chartres, France.