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Ponferrada: Museum of El Bierzo

It is worth a visit to the Museum of El Bierzo, situated in Calle del Reloj. The museum is located in the building which was the former prison. Its facilities provide an introduction to the historic legacy of Ponferrada and the surrounding area displaying objects, tools and various works of art. The ground floor of the museum which is dedicated to primitive settlements from the Lower Paleolithic age to the end of the Roman period, has a collection of ceramics, stone tools and other pieces. Relevant from this period is a room devoted to the hill-forts, small pre-Roman settlements which were established in large numbers all over the area.

From the Middle Ages, the Museum preserves a valuable collection of sculpture, paintings and precious metalwork. The socio-economic changes experienced in El Bierzo in recent centuries are also featured in this exhibition, especially the development of the mining industry. The tour of the museum ends in rooms relating to different aspects of the region such as the landscape, the fauna and the flora.

On the outskirts of Ponferrada are another of its architectural jewels. One of them is the Church of Santo Tomás de las Ollas, a Mozarab temple built in the 10th century, rectangular in shape and with a Romanesque main front (12th century). Particularly interesting inside is the Main Chapel, an original work formed by nine horseshoe arches crowned by an irregular polygon of eleven sides.

Source: Web server of Instituto de Turismo de España, TURESPAÑA.

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