This morning I woke up to blue skies after last night’s thunderstorm and took two tours of the Basilica de San Isidore – the hotel I am staying in is part of the original complex the oldest sections of which are over 1,000 years old and incorporate the original Roman wall in this part of the city. There are three sections: the still functioning Basilica, the Hotel, and a wonderful Panteon Museum of Romanesque religious fresco painting and treasures (I could not take pictures here, but the frescos are truly remarkable – in the original mausoleum of the kings of León, original, unrestored and unable to be restored but mostly in amazing condition for paintings over 1,000 years old.
The museum also contains an amazing onyx and gold chalice that originated in Persia in the 7th Century and made its way to León via Egypt and a small Moorish kingdom in Spain and then as a gift (peace offering) to a Christian king, Ferdinand.
Some claim that the original onyx pieces are in fact the Holy Grail.
This building was originally built as a palace for the Kings of Leon, then when the seat of power moved, it became a monastery (the guest rooms are the 31 monks’ rooms, and then became the complex it is today with only 8 religious people remaining.
This post is mainly photos and a couple of internet images of the frescoes if I can find them.