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Did you know that... Hospital de Órbigo

It is located at a crossroads on a plain on the right bank of the river Órbigo. In the area, on the banks of the river, there was a Roman settlement. Being a very strategic place of the Roman road in the route that connected the silver mines of the Bierzo with Astorga and France, the history of the town can tell us many battles and contentions. In the 5th century the Suevi were measured here against the Visigoths and four centuries later it was Alfonso II, king of León, who reconquered Hospital de Órbigo from the Moors. In the 12th century, Doña Mencía had the church of San Juan Bautista built for the pilgrims and shortly afterwards it was ceded to the Knights of the Order of San Juan de Jerusalén who built a hospital and a house next to it. This led to the formation of a population nucleus around this, whose name, could not be otherwise, was Hospital de Órbigo.

Hospital de Órbigo

A little more history

Puente was added to this San Juan commission. In the 19th century, the inhabitants of Hospital destroyed the two ends of the bridge to prevent Napoleon's troops from passing. Today Puente and Hospital de Órbigo, are two different nuclei but forming a single municipality around its bridge, its river and its history.

To discover What to see in Hospital de Órbigo?

In Hospital de Órbigo the 13th century medieval bridge, although with Roman origins, has been restored at different times, the last restorations are from the 20th century. It has been a national monument since 1939. Its parish church of San Juan has been rebuilt in the eighteenth century, the altarpiece is plateresque style and above the front, the cross characteristic of the knights of the Order reminds us of its origins, as well as the cross of the pilgrim or the site of what was the hospital and was in operation until the year 1850.


Hospital de Órbigo celebrates its patron saint festivities in honour of San Juan Bautista on 24 June and San Blas is celebrated on 3 February. At the beginning of June the Medieval Justas de Passo Honroso are also celebrated.​

Medieval bridge in Hospital de Órbigo


The traditional event that is celebrated around the already legendary stories of the medieval fairs of the Passo Honroso reminds us, year after year, how it was that between July 10 and August 9, 1434, Don Suero, feeling himself a prisoner of a lady's love and as a sign of it, every Thursday an iron ring was hung around his neck. To get rid of this captivity it occurred to him that he and nine compadres would fight for 30 days against any gentleman who wanted to cross the bridge. At the end of the tournament and having won, Don Suero went on pilgrimage to Santiago, as he had promised, and when he arrived at the tomb of the Apostle, he left the ring and the blue ribbon symbolizing his love for the lady as an offering. At present, an image of Santiago Menor in the cathedral wears the ribbon around the neck, and the ring, which is a gold necklace, is found in the reliquary of the Apostle.


The trout caught in the river Órbigo has given this area great gastronomic fame. Although it is prepared in all forms and modalities, it is the trout soup that wins the awards. In the month of March the Trout Gastronomic Days are held every year at Hospital de Órbigo, where you can enjoy them both fried and pickled, smoked, in salpicón, laureadas...

Parish Church of San Juan in Hospital de Órbigo

The Legend

Legend or history but it is said that Almanzor passed through Hospital and crossed the old bridge on his way back from Córdova and with a precious cargo, the bells that were carried from Santiago de Compostela.

Get to Hospital de Órbigo by car

To Hospital de Órbigo we arrive following the motorway A-71 that communicates León with Astorga, or by the N-120 that joins it with these same cities. At the same time, the LE-420 serves as a link with the different towns in the Órbigo region.

By bus

Hospital de Órbigo has a bus service several times a day that connects it with Astorga.

SENDITUR is not responsible for any variation in the information described, as well as for the misuse of its guides and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. Likewise, we invite you to document yourself with books and specialized guides to complement the information described. From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to .

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List of Routes
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  • Duration
  • Assessment

8:20 h.35.7 km.

Stage 19 Hospital de Órbigo-Rabanal del Camino
Difficulty-RemarkableRed difficulty category, level 2. Stages with large slopes or important distances, which require good physical preparation.

5:55 h.27.8 km.

Stage 18b Variant of Villar de Mazarife
Difficulty-ModerateRed Difficult Category, level 1. More demanding stages, either because they are longer, with greater unevenness or present some particular difficulty.

6:45 h.32.1 km.

Stage 18 León-Hospital de Órbigo
Difficulty-ModerateRed difficulty category, level 1. More demanding stages, either because they are longer, more steep or have a specific difficulty.

7:40 h.32.3 km.

Stage 20 Rabanal del Camino-Ponferrada
Difficulty-RemarkableRed difficulty category, level 2. Stages with large slopes or important distances, which require good physical preparation.

5:40 h.24.8 km.

Stage 17 Reliegos-Leon
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Stages of moderate distance and slope, not overcoming great distances or slopes.
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