Province of León

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Castile and LeonSpain
Coat of arms of the province of León
coat of arms
Flag of the Province of Leon
Spanish name : Leon
Leonese name : Llion
Basic data
Autonomous Community : Castile and Leon
Capital : Leon
Official language : Spanish
Area : 15,582 km²
Residents : 460.001 (Jan 1, 2019)
Population density : 29.52 inhabitants / km²
ISO 3166-2 : ES-LE
Website :
Location of the province of León
Provinz Santa Cruz de Tenerife Provinz Las Palmas Portugal Andorra Frankreich Vereinigtes Königreich Marokko Algerien Ceuta Melilla Provinz Cádiz Provinz Huelva Provinz Sevilla Provinz Málaga Provinz Granada Provinz Almería Murcia (Region) Provinz Alicante Balearische Inseln Provinz Córdoba Provinz Jaén Provinz Albacete Provinz Valencia Provinz Castellón Provinz Tarragona Provinz Barcelona Provinz Girona Provinz Lleida Provinz Badajoz Provinz Ciudad Real Provinz Huesca Provinz Cáceres Provinz Toledo Provinz Cuenca Provinz Teruel Provinz Saragossa Navarra Provinz Guadalajara Autonome Gemeinschaft Madrid Provinz Ávila Provinz Salamanca Provinz Soria Provinz Segovia Provinz Valladolid Provinz Zamora Gipuzkoa Bizkaia Álava Provinz Burgos La Rioja (spanische Region) Kantabrien Provinz Palencia Provinz León Asturien Provinz Lugo Provinz A Coruña Provinz Ourense Provinz Pontevedramap
About this picture
Panorama of the Las Médulas Natural Park

The province of León ( leonesisch : Llion ) is a province in the northwest of Spain . It has 460,001 inhabitants (2019) and belongs to the autonomous region of Castile-León . The capital and largest city is León , the second largest city is Ponferrada .

In the north the province borders on Asturias and Cantabria , in the west on the Galicia region , in the south on Zamora and Valladolid and in the east on Palencia . It has an area of ​​15,581.81 km². In the very scenic province, located between the mountains of northern Spain and the plateau, there are various natural parks ( Parque nacional de los Picos de Europa , Los Ancares , the area around the former open-cast mine Las Médulas and the Cueva de Valporquero cave ).

Valporquero cave


The province of León was created in 1833 as part of the territorial reform initiated by Francisco Javier de Burgos . It was made up of the regions of León, Salamanca and Zamora . Until 1933, the independently administered Kingdom of Leon , which stretched over the northwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula, retained the status of a kingdom, although it was already subject to the Crown of Castile. The kingdom of Leon was founded in 910 AD when the Christian rulers of Asturias moved their capital from Oviedeo to León . The Atlantic provinces declared themselves independent in 1139. The Kingdom of Portugal emerged from them . In 1188, the Kingdom of Leon developed a parliament, which UNESCO describes as the first parliament in Europe.


In some areas of Léon, Leonese is spoken, an ancient dialect which, together with Asturian, forms a transition between Galician - Portuguese and actual Castilian (Spanish).

Population development of the province

When the Moors withdrew in the 9th century, the region was largely depopulated and only gradually repopulated. Since the 1960s, the mechanization and loss of importance of agriculture have again led to a population decline. With that, many regional traditions disappeared.

Largest cities and towns

(As of January 1, 2019)

local community Residents
Leon 124.303
Ponferrada 64,674
San Andrés del Rabanedo 30,615
Villaquilambre 18,638
La Bañeza 10,338
Astorga 10,867
Villablino 8,620
Bembibre 8,705
Valverde de la Virgen 7,328
Fabero 4,493
Cacabelos 5.118


The Ruta de la Plata (Silver Road, an old Roman road) leads through the province in north-south direction and the Way of St. James (Spanish Camino de Santiago ) in east-west direction . The cathedral of Léon was a highlight of the Camino de Santiago. From a culinary point of view, air-dried sausage specialties ( embutidos ) and the wines of Bierzo and Valdevimbre-Los Oteros should be mentioned.

The regional political and cultural movement of Leonesismo , which demands more autonomy within the borders of the old kingdom of Léon, but also supports folklore, Leonese courses and regional gastronomy, has an impact beyond the province of Léon .

See also

Web links

Commons : Province of León  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Cifras oficiales de población resultantes de la revisión del Padrón municipal a 1 de enero . Population statistics from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (population update).
  2. ^ Blaug, Ricardo ,, Schwarzmantel, JJ (John J.), 1947-: Democracy: a reader . Second ed. New York 2016, ISBN 978-0-231-53950-0 .
  3. ^ The Decreta of León of 1188 - The oldest documentary manifestation of the European parliamentary system | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved February 10, 2019 .