ASTORGA, a city of N.W. Spain, in the province of Leon; situated near the right bank of the river Tuerto, and at the junction of the Salamanca-Corunna and Leon-Astorga railways. Pop. (1900) 5573. Astorga was the Roman Asturica Augusta, a provincial capital, and the meeting-place of four military roads. Though sacked by the Goths in the 5th century, and later by the Moors, it is still surrounded by massive walls of Roman origin. A ruined castle, near the city, recalls its strategic importance in the 8th century, when Asturias, Galicia and Leon were the headquarters of resistance to the Moors. Astorga has been the see of a bishop since the 3rd century, and was formerly known as the City of Priests, from the number of ecclesiastics resident within its walls. Its Gothic cathedral dates from the 15th century. The city confers the title of marquis on the Osorio family, the ruins of whose palace, sacked in 1810 by the French, are still an object of interest.
For the history, especially the ecclesiastical history, of Astorga, see the anonymous Historia de la ciudad de Astorga (Valladolid, 1840); with Fundación de la ... iglesia ... de Astorga, by P.A. Ezpeleta (Madrid, 1634); and Fundación, nombre y armas de ... Astorga, by P. Junco (Pamplona, 1635).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)