Name: Castillo Templario de Ponferrada
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Alfredo Garcia-Simon, 36, from Spain, wrote:
Roman foundation near de village of “Interarmnio Flavio”, in the via Romania between “Asturica Augusta” (Astorga, Spain) and “Barcara Augusta” (Braga, Portugal).
Overtaken by the barbarian invasion after the Roman empire's fall and probable place of Childhood of San Fructuoso, eremite and early fundator of European Monastery's (First in Spain - Compludo - in the VII century AC). Destroyed by the Muslim invasion of Almondir and Rebuilt By Alfonso III, “El Magno”, King of León in 884 AC. In 1088 the Bishop Osmundo of Astorga builds a bridge for El Camino de Santigo, to secure Pilgrims cross of river Sil in their way To Santiago de Compostela. “Pont Ferrum”, (Iron Bridge), in the actual city of Ponferrada, province of León, in the Northwest of Spain. In the XII (1185 AC) Century, The Castle is Granted by the King of León to the Temple Knights Order, It was a “bailia”, governed by a “Comendator” named by private grace of the Maestre of León y Castilla… The legend says that The Templars found the image of the Virgin “de la Encina” hidden in a tree while cutting wood for reforms in the Castle. This image was venerated in Palestine and was brought to “El Bierzo” (name region in the province of León) by Santo Torivio in the V AC (442) when it was sent to Hispania after being “Custos” of the Holy Houses in Jerusalem. The image was hidden in a tree holm oak (“Encina”) to prevent it to by profaned by the Muslims in VII AC. The presence of the Templar Knights in Ponferrada as guardians of the Way of Saint James, finding an old virgin venerated in Palestine, near by the first monastic foundations in Spain and eremitic caves, in a green and prosperous valley, good wine, (“Bergidum = green paradise”) and an Impressive Castle, are good reasons to spend at least a weekend in the area