Villafranca del Bierzo

Villafranca del Bierzo is a city in the province of León Autonomous Community of Castile and León. It is located in the comarca of El Bierzo, the westernmost part of the province.

Geography and climate

Villafranca is located at the foot of the Sierra de Ancares at the confluence of the rivers Rio Burbia and Valcarce.

There, as elsewhere in the Bierzo in Villafranca microclimate resulting from the meeting of the north-western maritime climate of Galicia and Asturias to the continental climate of the Northern Meseta. That is, there are at much sun enough rain for agriculture, while the mountain ranges keep cold winds. It forms the foundation for excellent agricultural products, especially fruits, vegetables and wine. Villafranca is located in the appellation Bierzo.


Villafranca had as a stage stop between two high mountain ranges an important function for the pilgrims of the Camino. Since 1600 the sick and weak received in Holy Years after passing through the north portal of the Iglesia de Santiago the same drain as the grave of St. James. The reason was for the other elevations to the Galician passports O Cebreiro, Alto San Roque and the Alto do Poio. At times, the city had seven pilgrims' hostels. In the years 1822/1823 Villafranca was the administrative seat of the province of El Bierzo.


  • Enrique Gil y Carrasco, romantic poet and diplomat, was born in Villafranca and sat with his knight novel The Lord of the Bierzo Bembibre a literary monument
  • Cristóbal Halffter, Spanish composer the present, Halffter is an honorary citizen Villafranca and lives and works - if not in Madrid - in the palace of the Marquises of Villafranca