León is the capital of the province of León in the autonomous community of Castile and León, situated in the northwest of Spain. Its city population of 136,985 (2006) makes it the largest municipality in the province, accounting for more than one quarter of the province's population. Including the metropolitan area, the population is calculated at 337,740 (2009).
Founded as the Roman military encampment of the Legio VI Victrix around 29 BC, its standing as an encampment city was consolidated with the definitive settlement of the Legio VII Gemina from 74 AD. Following its partial depopulation due to the Umayyad conquest of the peninsula, León received a fresh impulse as part of the Kingdom of Asturias. 910 saw the beginning of one its most prominent historical periods, when it became the capital of the Kingdom of León, which took active part in the Reconquista against the Moors, and came to be one of the fundamental kingdoms of medieval Spain. In 1188, the city hosted the firstParliament in European history under the reign of Alfonso IX, due to which it was named in 2010, by the professor John Keane, the King of Spain and the Junta of Castile and León, as the cradle of Parliamentarism. The city's prominence began to decline in the early Middle Ages, partly due to the loss of independence after the union of the Leonese kingdom to the Crown of Castile, consolidated in 1301.
After a period of stagnation during the early modern age, it was one of the first cities to hold an uprising in the Spanish War of Independence, and some years later, in 1833 acquired the status of provincial capital. The 20th century saw a significant acceleration in the rate of urban expansion which had been observed since the end of the 19th century, when the city became an important communications hub of the northwest due to the rise of the coal mining industry and the arrival of the railroad.
Leon's historical and architectural