This is a hard route over the most important summits and
valleys of the Aquilianos Mounts. Starting form Ponferrada and
going south, we climb to the Campo de las Danzas, where they
celebrate a famous pilgrimage. Following the summits of the mounts
we arrive to the ski station of El Morredero, where we take up again
the road, back to the starting point, after visiting all the villages along
The region of the Aquilianos Mounts is characterised by the crossbreeding between rural and urban styles, i.e. between tradition
and industrialization. From
its mountains we can
appreciate the beauty of its
landscapes, we can feel the
cold in winter, and we can
get to know the important '! "Tebaida Berciana" (a
name used to talk about a
period of time when most of q
the religious monasteries i
and churches were built, and
also to talk about the region vivage of peñt where they were built).
On the slopes of these
mountains we find the villages of San
Pedro de Montes and Pefialba de
Santiago. They are famous because of
the monastic life they hosted for
centuries and also because they preserve
a Mozarabic treasure, the church of
Pefialba, built in 937 by Abbot Solomon.
The valley of silence waits for
us at the end of the village, inviting us
to rest just like the hermit Saint Genadio
did. He dwelt for a long period in a cave
perforated in the rocks, from where we enjoy a panoramic view of the valley nowadays. At the summit, we find the ski station of El Morredero, which is also visited in summer by those people who love nature and practising hang-gliding. Along the descent, we go across many charming villages. On the Boeza bridge, a deviation lead us back to the village of Otero, which has the Romanesque church of Saint Mary of vizbayo, from the 12th century, in the outskirts. If we get closer to the urban centre, i.e. Ponferrada, we will know this city, which is in constant growth and which fights to keep its historical wealth. Such is the case of the Templar fortress from the beginning of the 12th century, placed on the bank of the Sil river, and of the bridge that gave the city its name (pons-ferrata, i.e. iron bridge, in latin). The old quarter of the city keeps important buildings, such as the old prison, which is the museum nowadays, the Basilica of La Encina (patroness of El Bierzo), the City Hall, the remains of the old wall.
THE CASTLE OF PONFERRADA
The castle of the Templars is one of the most important fortresses from the north of Spain. and also the symbol of Ponferrada. The Kings of León gave the village of Ponferrada to the Temple's Order in 1178, to protect the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela, and to protect the pilgrims on their way along the Sil River. In 1310 the Templars were obliged to leave the castle. The fortress was then owned by the Counts of Lemos, and in the year 1486 became the Royal Villa, under the reign of the Catholic Monarchs.
Source: Consejo comarcal de Bierzo.