It is located right on the Way of Saint James, on a hill where the waters of the stream of the Valley of the Virgin flow, a tributary of the stream of Oncina, which pours its waters into the river Esla. The village was born and grew from the 16th century around a hermitage and religious nucleus that existed there; before that the place was an unpopulated hill to which shepherds used to go with their flocks. At the beginning of the twentieth century the town was separated from Fresno del Camino and became an independent village with its own neighbourhood council and forming part of the municipality of Valverde de la Virgen.
The town revolves around the emblematic Sanctuary of the Virgen del Camino. But this is the fourth of the sanctuaries that have existed here, the first chapel was built between the years 1514 and 1516, was demolished in 1644 and began to build the second temple, but before it was completed in 1662, collapsed and built the third that remained until 1958 the works of the present Marian sanctuary are begun in whose main cover thirteen sculptures can be contemplated that represent the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the Cenacle and Mary is seen, and to each side of Her, six apostles.958 the works of the present Marian sanctuary are begun in whose main cover thirteen sculptures can be contemplated that represent the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the Cenacle and Mary is seen, and to each side of Her, six apostles. Inside the temple there is a beautiful chapel with the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Way, which is believed to have been made, by an anonymous author, immediately after the apparition to the shepherd. Across the street, just in front of the sanctuary, in the school of the Dominican Fathers, is a museum of Natural Sciences.
La Virgen del Camino celebrates its patron saint festivities on 15 September in honour of Nuestra Señora del Camino. The traditional pilgrimage of the Apparition of the Virgin takes place on 7 July.
On 5 October, the traditional San Froilán pilgrimage is held, attended by people from all over the province and even from Asturias. The image of the Saint is brought in procession from León to the Basilica of La Virgen del Camino. Once there, at the Puerta de San Froilán, which is on one of the sides of the Basilica, the tradition of throwing the Saint with the nose is fulfilled and after entering the temple and kissing the Manto de la Virgen del Camino the fiesta continues between music and typical dances and a stroll through the market where you can taste the products of the area, chestnuts from Bierzo, garlic, blood sausages, mantecados and buy the obligatory perdones avellaneros. In the past, the waiters would buy bags of hazelnuts for the brides so that they would forgive them for not going with them to the fiesta.
In a place known as El Montico, belonging to the locality of La Virgen del Camino, is located the archaeological site of one of the lower Palaeolithic settlements in the Peninsula Ibérica, but if we want to see the remains found there we must go to the Provincial Museum of Leon.
Legend has it that back in the sixteenth century a Christian character born in Villamañan was held captive by a Muslim who, to prevent him from escaping, every night locked him in a wooden chest to which he fastened him with thick chains and, for greater security, slept on top of him. Such was the hardship that the poor slave passed by that one night he vehemently implored the Virgin of the Way, of whom he was fervent devotee, and She, hearing his prayers, transported to his sanctuary, the chest with the captive and its owner. Upon awakening and realizing the miracle, the Muslim converted to Christianity, freed the slave and both in gratitude remained there, in the service of the Virgin, the rest of their lives. The chest and chains are still preserved and a stained-glass window in the cathedral of León reflects this prodigy.
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La Virgen del Camino is on the N-120 that from the nearby León goes towards Astorga, the locality being in the vicinity of the junction formed by the AP-71, the LE-30 and the AP-66.
La Virgen del Camino has a metropolitan bus service that connects it with the capital. The León bus station is located on Avenida Ingeniero Sáenz de Miera S/N telephone 987 211 000.
The closest train stations to La Virgen del Camino are the two that León has. León station, which is managed by Adif, best known for Renfe station, which hosts trains that run long-distance and high-speed lines, is located in Avenida de Palencia, telephone 902 240 202 and Matallana station, Feve, in Avenida Padre Isla, 48, telephone 987 225 919, which provides regional services to Bilbao and Transcantábrico.
León Airport is located in the surroundings of La Virgen del Camino and has daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona expanding its offer in summer.
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