There have been numerous civilizations that have inhabited this area. In Teso, there was a Celtic settlement; It also had the layout of a Roman road and it was the first Roman camp that served for the conquest of Bierzo, under the command of General Carisio, conqueror of Lancia, La Cepeda and part of the province of León. It became part of the Encomienda de San Juan de Jerusalem, giving its name to the popular Romanesque monastery of San Juan.

During the last century it had its peak thanks to the coal mining when many Portuguese emigrated here, taking root in these lands, they are an important community of the current Montealegre. At the entrance of the town there is a Roman milestone converted into a source of crystal clear and fresh waters.

Strolling through El Castricho we will find the church and the square, with a garden dedicated to the emperor Caesar Augustus, where they have placed a granite milestone that was used by the Romans on the roads to indicate the distance in miles. In both milestone there are still blurred inscriptions.


The church houses works such as its altarpiece, which is said to have been brought from the monastery of San Juan de Montealegre; some images of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Michael the latter crushing a demon. Finally, the baptismal fonts also stand out, being a square one.

Nearby, on the banks of the ancient Roman road from Braga to Astorga (Vía Nova), are the ruins of the church of San Juan de Montealegre.

Its people were dedicated to agriculture, livestock and coal mining.


It is a district of the municipality of Villagatón in the province of León. It is located at 1,090 meters of altitude, at the top of the Manzanal port, halfway between Bierzo, Cepeda and Maragatería. It has access to the Madrid-A Coruña highway, which is only 6 km away, and can also be reached by train with wide availability of schedules.


67 inhabitants (INE 2020)


June 24 San Juan

Tourism in Montealegre



C.T.R. Montealegre Rural House

The Montealegre Rural Tourism Center is a rural tourism accommodation located on the border that separates the regions of Bierzo, Cepeda and Maragatería.



Restaurant Casa Manolo

Points of Interest


Roman Gallery of Barranco del Góngora

Curious set of Roman gold mines, carried out both in the open pit by hydraulic mining, and by underground work in a gold quartz deposit, probably throughout the first two centuries of our era.

Montealegre Visitor Center



Cylindrical stone block that was placed on Roman roads to indicate the distance to a certain point.
Later it was used as one of the pillars of the altar of the Monastery of San Juan.

Roman Medulas

Small mines that the Romans exploited in search of gold.

Monastery of San Juan

It was originally a monastery called San Martín de Montes, which already appears in documents in 946.

Church of San Juan

Some stones and bells were brought from the Monastery of San Juan, as well as the wood carving of the saint.

Hiking Trails

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