It is located in the central-southern area of Asturias, in the central Asturian mountain. It is the largest parish of the council of Lena in addition to being the capital of the same and forced passage of the Way of the Savior. La Pola, better known as Pola de Lena, was founded in 1266 by Alfonso X the Wise, on another existing village, San Martín de Parajes, as one of the favoured villages and benefited from the holding of a weekly market. A century later, Henry II granted it the privilege of not paying a toll. But in the Lenense area the presence of man goes back to the Neolithic, as attested by the megalithic necropolis of L'Altu la Cobertoria.
In a land rich in mining sites could not miss the Roman presence, of which there are remains in the ancient Roman road of La Carisa, a camp called Castiel, some tombs found in Campomanes or the Villa Mamorana to which belongs an impressive mosaic of the fourth and fifth centuries which is currently on display in the Archaeological Museum of Asturias. Pola de Lena is the only Asturian town in which vestiges of the Visigothic existence have been found, surely they arrived also attracted by the communication routes and the coal mines. Pola de Lena did not go unnoticed by the Asturian monarchy either, as the Ramirez era left its mark on Santa Cristina de Lena and this time corresponds, likewise, the foundation of five monastic nuclei in the area, and although there are not many historical data of the High Middle Ages in the council, we know of the great feudalization of the place, as they were not few privileges and favors granted by the monarchs to the monasteries and the nobility..
At this time, the communication route between León and Oviedo became important again due to the transit of pilgrims on their way to Santiago in order to make good the saying "who goes to Santiago and does not go to the Savior, visits the servant and not the Lord", but also merchants and goods from the Asturian coast to the plateau. The disputes and tensions, in the place, between the administrative powers have been constant due to its strategic situation in the commercial routes and the natural wealth of its surroundings. In 1809 the French troops entered Asturias through the port of Pajares and the acts of confrontation resulted in the burning of the town hall, its archives and the church. The final years of the nineteenth century are for the area the beginning of intense steel and mining activity with airs of progress and industrialization strengthened by the inauguration of the railroad that opened another way of communication with the center of the peninsula.
Pola de Lena has a marked character as a transit street on the Pilgrim's Way, its urban structure is linear and its noble past can be seen in it, with numerous houses bearing coats of arms of unquestionable Asturian mountain style. The House Benavides, known as the "Palace of the Marquises of Regueral", is located opposite the town hall. In addition to its dimensions, it has a beautiful French-style garden. The town hall building, inaugurated in 1945, is the second to be built in the town, its façade is framed by two towers in the purest Asturian palace style. The Birthplace of Vital Aza, poet and playwright, built in the late eighteenth century and was declared a Property of Cultural Interest in 1980, was part of the auxiliary rooms of the Palace of the Marquises of Regueral.
The parish church of San Martín El Real, dedicated to San Martin de Tours, is located in the square Alfonso X El Sabio, was built in the twentieth century in the place occupied by the old town hall, is the third building that rises, the first was from the seventeenth century, the second began its reconstruction in the year 1916 and in 1926 it was not yet finished, during the Civil War, it served as a jail and then it was demolished, then lacking a church and until the construction of the new one, religious offices were held in the chapel of the Palace of Regueral. What is known today as the Square Primero de Mayo, which has the only hórreo still standing in the locality, was once the nerve centre of the populous and important district of La Caleya. The activities in the natural surroundings of La Pola, fishing, skiing, hunting, hiking... together with its rich gastronomy complete an attractive visit.
Pola de Lena celebrates its patron saint festivities, which is also the big festival of the council, on 12 October in honour of Nuestra Señora del Rosario. On the weekend following Easter week, the festivals of the Flower and the Traditional Mercaú are celebrated.
In November the traditional Amagüestu is celebrated in Pola de Lena, a Celtic festival in which chestnuts and sweet cider are the protagonists, within the Castaño de Lena Gastronomic Days, where an ancestral and traditional dish is tasted, the chestnut pot.
As it has a very rugged relief, with peaks of more than 2,000 metres, such as the Ceyón or Peña Ubiña, and rivers that are born in them and that run through green valleys lending them the name such as the Huerna, Pajares or Naredo, which yield their waters to the river Lena, Pola de Lena was formerly given two names, Lena de Arriba for the mountainous area and Lena de Abajo for the population settled in the valley. In the high mountain area of Lena are the Protected Spaces of Las Ubiñas and El Aramo, in addition the beech forests of the council were named by Alfonso X El Sabio as "Real Sitio de los Osos".
In the past, the festivities in Pola de Lena were celebrated in honour of San Martín de Tours, who is its patron saint, but as this saint was of French origin, after the War of Independence against the Napoleonic troops it was agreed that the festivities would become in honour of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, for which there was great devotion in the place.
Pola de Lena is located in the middle of the A-66, the old N-630, which links Oviedo with León. The locality is also reached by different roads that connect it with nearby localities.
Pola de Lena has daily bus services that connect it with Mieres and Oviedo as well as with other towns and provincial capitals. The bus station is located in the district of Santa Cristina and the telephone number for further information is 985 493 750
Pola de Lena has long and medium distance rail services and is part of the suburban line of Asturias, Gijón/Oviedo - Puente de los Fierros. The telephone numbers for further information are 985 250 202 and 985 981 441
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