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Boasting one of Spain’s finest cathedrals and a selection of magnificent monuments, the city of Leon exudes an audacious charm that makes it an irresistible tourist destination. Ecclesiastical extravagance intermingles with the youthful buzz of the bustling bars, creating a delightful dichotomy. Like the fiery and ferocious animal the city takes its name from, the thriving cultural scene roars with energy and passion; contemporary painting is the city’s principal artistic expression, stunning examples of which can be enjoyed in many museums.
With its skyward spires, dizzying entrance portals and embellished extravagance, Leon’s Catedral is an arresting vision of grandiose Gothic glory. Filigreed spires and vicious arches culminate to create a picture of ecclesiastical extravagance; inside, the aesthetic delights continue with a glittering silver urn, an all-encompassing altar and a gorgeous gallery of glimmering stained glass windows. The incandescent quality of the cathedral’s luminous lighting means visitors will enjoy a remarkably religious experience.
The kaleidoscopic façade of MUSAC, Leon’s colourful and cacophonous contemporary art museum is reminiscent of an avant-garde hallucination. The creative collections have won international prestige for their innovative display and revolutionary style. Hailed as one of the city’s modern landmarks, the museum is undoubtedly the city’s cultural catharsis that cannot be omitted from any Leon itinerary.
Occupying a prime location on Leon’s atmospheric riverbanks, the Parador Hostal San Marcos offers diners an ambient terrace upon which to enjoy fine wine and regional specialities. Housed in one of Europe’s most exquisite hotels, the restaurant’s sublime signature dishes include stuffed leg of goat, poached egg with asparagus sauce and aniseed flavoured almond tarts. (Plaza de San Marcos, 7, 24001 León, Spain)