Ponferrada is a municipality and city in Spain, capital of the region of Bierzo, the town is located in the province of León, in the autonomous region of Castilla y León. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Sil River and Boeza. It has a population of 68,121 inhabitants and is the second most important city in the province with a metropolitan area of 88,975 inhabitants.
Although there is evidence of settlement in the Neolithic (on the banks of the Sil), the Iron Age and the Roman period, it is not until the XI century when we have documentary evidence. It was at the end of that century when bishop Osmundo de Astorga ordered the construction of a bridge in the year 1082 for pilgrims from the Camino de Santiago, the difficulties involved in the passage of the río Sil at the previous pass, at the height of the current district of Compostilla. It was reinforced with iron, and this later gave its name to the town that grew up around it, on the banks of the river. Sil River. Another theory about the name of Ponferrada also comes from Pons Ferrata but with the translation of fortified bridge.
Soon the Church of San Pedro was founded in the year 1086 and around it arose "La Puebla de San Pedro", which is what Ponferrada was first called, to be called shortly after. Ponte Ferrato. It passed through several hands, first it was owned by the Order of the Temple, they were in charge of defending the road.
In 1180 the Leonese king Ferdinand II of León granted the town its first charters. During the 13th and 14th centuries, already walled in, the town began to grow and develop, as peasants, merchants and craftsmen appeared both inside the walls and in the surrounding area, in the shadow of the camino and which led to rapid and sustained growth. The wall has four entrance gates: El cristo, Paraisín, Las nieves and Las eras. On the outskirts of the town there is a Jewish community.
When the order disappeared in 1312, they passed through the families of Osorio, or of the Count of Lemos among others, until the Catholic Monarchs claimed it as their own, following a dispute between the Count of Lemos and his son in the 16th century, which led to several battles in the castle, and the successive seizure and recovery of the square by each of them. Finally, the Catholic Monarchs decided that the castle and the town were their property, an act that put an end to the skirmishes. From then until the end of the Ancien Régime, they proceeded to appoint a corregidor in the town; the first of these was Don Juan de Torres.
In 2008, the centenary of the granting of the title of city to Ponferrada was celebrated, coinciding with the centenary of the coronation of the Virgen de la Encina as patron saint of the region. The granting of the title of city was as follows:
On 4 September 1908 the King of Spain Alfonso XIII granted Ponferrada the title of City.
The then Villa de Ponferrada had made the request because it believed that its prestige, growth and strength deserved the title, and taking advantage of the Coronation of the Virgin of Ponferrada, the Villa de Ponferrada was awarded the title. Virgen de la Encina (which was to be held that same year to coincide with the main festival), the young king took time out of his holidays in San Sebastián to agree to the request.
Two days later, the letter arrived in our city and on 7 September it was published in La Gaceta de Madrid, the former Official State Gazette.