Frank and Mikey definitely took advantage of our close location to the old town while in Leon. We started off the day with coffee, juice, and some sub-par sandwiches. Still, the view was well worth the 3€ each for a Spanish breakfast.
(And just in case you’re reading this, here’s a shoutout to you: Mikey found your seats):
Names aside, the choir stalls were pretty rad.
The cathedral in Leon holds one of Europe’s finest treasure troves of medieval stained glass. In fact, they were careful enough to box everything up for the better part of 60 years while redoing the stone work (talk about a crazy jigsaw puzzle when they were reinstalled!)
Mikey had to pose with the (other) saints in the cathedral’s cloister.
This 14th century coat of arms shows the union of the kingdoms of Castile and Leon. The Spanish seal would later add the kingdom of Aragon (with the marriage of Isabelle & Ferdinand – hello, Columbus and stuff) and Navarra.
Following our tour of the cathedral, we wandered around the streets on a beautiful Sunday morning and happened upon this:
It was basically a folk procession leading to the Basilica of San Isidro. Cool thing was that we recognized one of the “fife” players – he was our server from the prior evening! And these were the big shots who participated in the ceremony. Notice the military guys’ funny hats.
There was a LOT to see in Leon. While we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside of the Basilica Museum, Frank and Mikey saw the Holy Grail and the Royal Pantheon where 23 kings and queens of Spain are burried. The celing was decorated in a kind of Romanesque version of the Sistine Chapel (only 300 years older!)
Later, we walked down to the former monastery of San Marcos.
Not sure if it’s true, but we think the church is raising funds by selling off half of the monastery to the Hotel Parador. This is the other wing of San Marcos. Kind of swanky for a former monastery-turned hotel!
After all that walking, Frank needed to relax and do some laundry. Let’s just say that there are two things Mikey can be sure of: 1) the sun will rise in the east and 2) if it exists, Mikey will find craft beer.
We definitely had a good stay in the city and got to see much more than time or Mikey’s patience allow us to post. Leon is the last city of size before we reach Santiago de Compestella in a couple of weeks. On the road again…