Hostal San Marcos – Leon

Seriously, this is called a ‘hostal’. Well, the left two-thirds as it is attached to a church. But the hostal got the cloister in between. I had to stand on the other side of the street to get the whole thing in the picture..

Like the one I stayed in Santillana del Mar, Paradores are state owned and are in historical buildings.

The origin of the San Marcos building is in the 12th century, with the purpose to shelter the pilgrims on the ‘Road to Santiago’. Hostals were called hospitals. Later in the 16th century, in the times of Ferdinand the Catholic, it was converted into a Monastery. In the 17th century it was used a prison, and then a barracks.

There are many ‘routes’ to Santiago, including the northern route I saw in San Sebastián and Llanes. Pilgrims have been going to Santiago since the 9th century, and they just took any route from their home. They range from 100 to 900 km, and Leon the 2nd most popular at 300 km, just under half of the French way.

Let me show you around my temporary home, starting with the front reception hall.

But I have to say, it wasn’t the most expensive hotel I’ve stayed in, but I’ve never felt like I’ve snuck into a museum with my suitcase and spent the night!

And then some of many sitting areas. The first was the chapter room, at the front of the building, which was used as a stable.

San Marco church next door

A special thank you to my friend Veronica, who suggested I check out the Paradores. I signed up for their free ‘Amigos’ program, and received an email about their winter promotions. So it fit in beautifully with my planning, and I got 20% off. Bonus!

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