It is situated to the southeast of the province of León, on a gentle esplanade between the rivers Cea and Valderaduey, in the region Tierra de Sahagún. The village of Sahagún is full of history from its beginnings. Already in Roman times there was a city in the place called Camata that reached great vitality and importance to be a crossroads of roads and causeways, here, among others, passed the Roman road linking León with Italy and the Trajana that linked Astorga with Zaragoza and Tarragona. This city, after the Muslim invasion, was destroyed back in the 9th century.
The current location and name of Sahagún has its origin in the veneration that the people of the area had for the Facundo and Primitive Saints, martyrs for their faith and whose bodies were thrown into the river Cea, later recovered by their devotees and buried in the place where a sanctuary was later built. Years later, this primitive church became a flourishing monastery that became, in the eleventh century, the most powerful Cluny abbey in the kingdom as well as an important pilgrim hospital. This abbey and the village that originated at its vera, received the name of these saints and this nickname evolved to the current name, Sahagún. From its foundation by impulse of the king Alfonso III, Sahagún was receiving the favor and protection of the princes of the epoch, but it was Alfonso VI the one that was more involved with the town revitalizing the route jacobea and with it the commerce. It granted him privileges and laws as well as exemptions for anyone who wanted to come and live there. This king, and by his express wish, is buried in Sahagún.
But despite the you send of the times and the typical ups and downs of each era in history, whoever had retained and Sahagún is not left behind. Today it has the title of Very Exemplary City because it is, together with the cities of Jaca and Éibar, one of the first towns that proclaimed the Republic in the early morning of April 14, 1931. This shows once again the tolerant, open and adaptable to the circumstances of its people.
In Sahagún its rich history has left its mark on a no less extensive and important artistic heritage, where Mudejar architecture has left us true jewels that today can be visited and admired as the Monastery of San Benito, from which the Chapel of San Mancio has come to our days, which was reformed in the twelfth century and should not be confused with the Chapel of San Benito that still stands very close to the Clock Tower.
Strolling through its streets is to find beautiful corners and discover its emblematic churches, which seem to compete with each other by bidding to be the first to attract the attention of the visitor. That of San Tirso, from the first half of the 12th century, with a beautiful brick tower that rises above the central apse. The one of San Lorenzo, of the Romanesque facundino, century XIII, constructed entirely of brick and shining also an interesting tower troncopiramidal, attached it has the Chapel of Jesus, today museum of the Holy Week. The church of San Juan de Sahagún, whose construction, on what was the birthplace of San Juan de Sahagún, began in 1627 but was not completed until the middle of that century, inside there is a chest with the relics of the Facundo and Primitive Saints. Converted into a hostel and auditorium and built inside one of the gates of the medieval wall back in the thirteenth century, the church of the Trinity shows us its square and rotund construction. The old layout of the N-120, in its journey through Sahagún, forces us to pass under the Arch of San Benito, as if it were a true triumphal arch, is the southern front of the missing church of the Monastery, in the upper area, the royal coat of arms and sculptures of the main benefactors of the town, Alfonso III and Alfonso VI, are still vigilant the future of the people.
Next to the old Monastery of San Benito is the Benedictine Monastery, built in the sixteenth century, inside you can visit the museum of Sacred Art of Sahagún and at the entrance of the monastery is the beautiful carving of the patron saint of the villa, the Pilgrim Virgin, work of sculptor Luisa Roldán. The former convent of San Francisco, today Santuario de la Peregrina, whose temple was built under Mudejar influence, has recently been restored and houses the Centre for Interpretation and Documentation of the Way of Saint James, where pilgrims can acquire the document accrediting their pilgrimage and passage through Sahagún called La Peregrina. The hermitage of the Virgen del Puente, barely three kilometres from Sahagún and located on the edge of the Camino invites us to rest and tranquillity, and over the river Cea, a true historic pass, the Puente Canto, bids us farewell when we leave this beautiful town.
The patron saint festivities of Sahagún are celebrated on 12 and 13 June in honour of San Juan de Sahagún. The locality also celebrates the Virgen Peregrina, patron saint of the town, on 2 July and the day of Our Lady on 15 August, as well as on 25 April the typical Pilgrimage of San Marcos, also called bread and cheese, together with the Chapel of the Virgen del Puente, celebrates the arrival of spring. Another pilgrimage, that of the Pastor Bono, in which farmers and shepherds offer each other the best of their products, invites himself to meetings and festivities. Sahagún completes its offer of traditions and cultural events with various fairs and meetings such as the Juglares or the Jacobea Route motorbike rally.
The Holy Week of Sahagún, declared of Regional Tourist Interest, is one of the most important religious celebrations of the town as well as being full of traditional acts. The Sunday before Palm Sunday, it is known as Tortilla Sunday, as it is customary to go out for a picnic and eat tortilla. Another curiosity is the Auction of the Processional Steps in which a bid with money is carried out to obtain the permission to be able to take the steps in procession. On the night of Maundy Thursday the Toque de la Trompa, in which the assistants are invited to pan bregado wet in orujo. And La Isa, in the early morning of Good Friday, makes us witnesses of how the boys catch anyone from outside the village in flight to knock with their feet the doors behind which the steps are kept, thus trying to demonstrate their desire for the liturgical acts to begin.
The typical vegetable of the village is the leek, being cultivated in the orchards located next to the river Cea from as it is believed it was brought to the zone by the cluniacense monks. Today its production is regulated by the Leek of Sahagún Guarantee Mark.
San Juan de Sahagún, patron saint of the town since 1868, was born in Sahagún in 1419 and died in Salamanca on 11 June 1479, his first name, Juan González del Castrillo, son of Sancha Martín and Juan González de Castrillo. In 1.457 he moved to Salamanca to study theology and was admitted to the Colegio de San Bartolomé, today the Palacio de Anaya. Very soon he stands out as an orator. When he is afflicted by a serious illness he makes the promise that if he is cured he will put a friar into the order of the Augustinians. His countrymen saw him as a true knight errant or super hero of the Middle Ages who comes to be the same, because he lent his help to everyone who might need it and the fame he achieved in the city was so great that the superior of his order appealing to discretion, perhaps moved by a glimmer of envy, ordered him to limit his spectacular performances. One day when Fray Juan was walking through the city, he saw a scaffold give way and the bricklayer working on it fell, shouting: Fray Juan, assist me! The friar, of course, ran to help him and said to him: "Wait a minute, I'm going to ask for a license! Legend has it that the time it took for the friar to return, the bricklayer remained floating in the air. When Friar John returned, the bricklayer landed softly on the ground.
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You can get to Sahagún by following the A-231, the dual carriageway of the Way between Burgos and León. You can also get there by the old N-120 between Logroño and Vigo. The LE-232 joins it with Puente Almuhey and Cistierna to the north and the LE-941 to the south joins it with Mayorga. From Palencia we can reach Sahagún by the CL-613 that communicates both localities.
The different bus services connect it with many other Spanish cities and capitals. The Sahagún bus stop is located on Avenida de la Constitución, next to the roundabout.
Sahagún has a railway service through Sahagún Station, located in Constitución Avenue, S/N and its service is mainly the Palencia-La Coruña line, but it maintains connections with the main Spanish capitals.
León's airport is the only one located in the province and the closest to the municipality, being between Valverde de la Virgen and San Andrés del Rabanedo.
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