The Bierzo area lies on a geographic crossroad between the Meseta plateau and the Galician massif. It has also its importance as a cultural bridge.
The Bierzo has an extended cultural pattern as it was conquered by different people throughout history, as a lot of remnants can testify today, and it became an important crossing land.
The steady transit of passengers throughout history enriched the character of its people and broaden their minds, leading them to be truly welcoming with foreigners.
The Saint James Way also played an important part in shaping these people´s characters since this pilgrimage path turned into an open door towards the outer world, from where all kind of people from Europe were coming into Spain, bringing new ideas and populations.
The men from the mountains like “Fornelos” and “Ancareses” saved themselves from isolation by working as mule guides selling their own merchandise.
Throughout its history the earth´s riches too were the driving force of its development. The Roman people were aware of that and after conquering the territory they rushed to mine the gold and other minerals which were really important to support the roman empire. Afterward, during the Middle Age period, the importance of iron contributed to the increase of the number of blacksmiths along the banks of the rivers. Already in more recent times, coal, wolfram, limestone and slate modified the look of the places where they were extracted, generating new customs and consequently attracting a lot of people to work.
Today, going along this paths and contemplating some of the most interesting and amazing places of this fertile land, is an opportunity to value the unstoppable passing of the seasons and the countless efforts human being had to make in order to earn any fruit from the earth.
The unequal battle delivered throughout centuries led people to get used to trim the land, enabling today the Bierzo region to be a crib of a thriving food industry.
To this we shall add the importance of rural tourism which is developing firmly and helping to preserve the surroundings, keeping its inhabitants well-rooted in the traditional culture. Any season is good to visit the Bierzo region. In spring a varied vegetation blossoms with all possible colors. In summer, shade keeps us cool. In autumn, all possible bright color shades are gathered. In winter, its snowy mountains will beautify the all area. That is the reason why, whenever you come to the Bierzo region, you will be able to feel and value its amazing and breathtaking views.
Photo: Pedro Rubio.