It is located on the right bank of the river Porma that receives, in the area, the waters of the river Moro. Puente Villarente, whose origin and development revolves around the bridge over Porma, is a reminiscence of medieval times. Next to the bridge, the canon of the Cathedral of León and archdeacon of Triacastela, Andrés Pérez de Capillas, founded a pilgrims' hospital called Virgen Blanca in the 16th century. In the years 1720-1730 the hospital still worked but, according to document of the year 1756, this one was closed and it only remained open an inn that was next door and that served as lodging to the travellers. Historically the term is linked to the Brotherhood of La Sobarriba, which was a popular movement to unite rural villages to strengthen their rights against urban centers.
In Puente Villarente, as soon as you pass the bridge, you can still see, reconverted but preserving structures and architecture, the old house-meson that was next to the hospital, of noble aspect and with a wide door of arch lowered in stone and a beautiful balcony. The new parish church of San Pelayo conserves in its interior numerous works of art, of different centuries, of the disappeared, by ruin, previous church. In the Museum of León there is a table of the martyrdom of San Pelayo of the XV century that belonged to an altarpiece of the disappeared church. Puente Villarente is also an important point in the area as it is a crossroads of roads, including those that lead to the ski slopes of San Isidro.
Puente Villarente celebrates its patron saint festivities in honour of San Pelayo at the end of June at the beginning of July.
A donkey transported the sick pilgrims from the pilgrims' hospital in Villarente to León, which could be considered the first ambulance on the Jacobean route.
Legend has it that a Navarrese pilgrim named Pedro came to Puente Villarente sick and in very poor condition and the people of the place lodged him in the hospital doubting that his cure was possible. He was treated with great care, especially by a girl from Sahagún, Isabel's name, who was visiting relatives before leaving for Andalusia. Little by little, as if it were a miracle, Pedro recovered his health under the continuous care of the girl who had become his nurse. In the long days of convalescence Pedro and Isabel took walks and enjoyed nature on the banks of the river Porma and talking and walking, walking and talking, they fell in love. After their recovery, the day came when the boy had to continue with the pilgrimage. The day before, while sitting under one of the arches of the bridge, Isabel took Peter's hand and with a razor engraved its contour on the stone, then put her own on top of the footprint and asked the boy to do the same, leaving the outline of the girl's hand inside the boy's, then Isabel engraved in the center a cross and said "Peter, if you swear by God, Our Lord, that on your return from Santiago, in thirty-five days therefore, the fourteenth of March you will be right here, I, in turn, I swear to you that I will not go to Andalusia. We will get married and go together to your Navarre". The pilgrim swore it and she added "When you return put your hand on this cross and say "Isabel, come" and I will return and putting my hand also on it we will never ever separate, but it has to be that day and no other, otherwise I will think that you have forgotten me and I will go with my parents to Andalusia. On Pedro's return trip after arriving in Santiago it rained torrentially, which did not prevent him from being on the eve of the day agreed in the surroundings of Puente Villarente, but it did not stop raining and Porma descended brave and flooding everything in its path what made Pedro fear the worst and that he could not be reunited with his beloved losing her forever. With these fears and nightmares he began to pray, entrusting himself to Santiago and begging him for a miracle. The next morning, after a night in which the roar of the river did not presage anything good, he saw how the bridge had been damaged but its debris had rolled dragging with them gravel and boulders that had formed a kind of dike giving rise to a corridor that allowed him to reach his hands with the cross engraved inside and when he put his hand and called his beloved saw how it was approaching running along the road that had miraculously been made. The great flood was in the year 1396, so the hands and the cross were engraved by this couple of lovers a month and a half before and if you look for them today perhaps you will find them in one of the first eyes of the bridge.
Puente Villarente is a few kilometres from León along the N-601, between Valladolid and León. It can also be reached from Burgos via the A-231, taking the N-601 detour towards León.
Puente Villarente has a daily bus service, with different timetables, which link it with León.
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