Province of León
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The municipality of Boñar ([boˈɲar]) is located in the province of León, Castile and León, Spain. According to the 2010 census (INE), the municipality has a population of 2,085 inhabitants with almost all of the residents living in the main town of Boñar. In addition to Boñar, the municipality includes the villages of Adrados, Barrio de las Ollas, Las Bodas, Cerecedo, Llama de Colle, Felechas, Grandoso, Orones, Oville, Poblado del Pantano, Rucayo, Valdecastillo, Valdehuesa, La Vega de Boñar, Veneros, Vozmediano, and Voznuevo. Most surrounding villages in the municipality of Boñar have between 10 and 30 permanent residents. A few larger villages may have as many as 250 villagers.
For most of the year, the town of Boñar can be characterized as a sleepy town. Each summer however, the population of Boñar surges because it is a popular vacation destination for people from northern Spain seeking to escape the crowded coastal cities in the north. Many vacationers in Boñar own summer homes there and return year after year for their summer holiday. The rural setting is ideal for enjoying outdoor activities.
A popular way to spend daytime hours in Boñar is at El Soto. El Soto is a large municipal park with a snack bar, swimming pool, camping, ball fields, tennis courts and the river Porma for boating and fishing. The nature preserve the Parque Regional de los Picos de Europa is also a popular destination for enjoying outdoor activities. In spring and summer, the pine and deciduous forests in the mountains throughout the region are destinations for hiking and exploring. In winter, skiing and other winter sports are popular activities.
Enjoyed by locals and tourists is the beautiful reservoir the Pantano de Vegamián. The creation of the reservoir in 1968 necessitated the submersion of six small villages with dwindling populations. The towns were disincorporated and evacuated. Visitors to the Pantano de Vegamián go not only to observe the natural beauty of the reservoir, but also to catch a glimpse of the villages below the surface which can be discerned due to the water's clarity. In addition to offering a beautiful and interesting panorama, the reservoir is now an important source of water and electricity for much of León province. For some locals, however, it is a painful reminder of a lost past which will never be reclaimed.
Socializing, eating and drinking are a major part of daily life in Boñar. The evening stroll, the paseo is also a compenent of social life in Boñar.
Young and old stroll around the town square, the Plaza del Negrillon or down the main street, the Avenida de la Constitución and surrounding streets exchanging greetings, light conversation, and stopping for a snack or drink before continuing on. The approximately 15 bars, cafes and restaurants in Boñar function as the arena for most of the community activities in the village. In typical Spanish fashion, restaurants and bars serve a dual purpose. By day restaurants offer patrons a quiet place to enjoy local cuisine, board and card games, and free cable television. By night restaurants in Boñar transform into discos crammed with young people enjoying music, dancing and drinking.
The most important social events in Boñar are the three festivals in honor of Catholic saints. These festivals function as both religious and social events. All three events are centered on the Catholic Church, the Iglesia Parroquial de San Pedro de Boñar situated in the Plaza del Negrillon. Activities include religious services, parades, and an evening carnival with games, food vendors, a beer garden and live music. The festivals celebrated in Boñar are: June 29 – the Festival of Apostle Saint Peter, August 16 the Festival Saint Roch, and October 12 – the Festival of the Patron Saint Pilar which is also Hispanic Day the día de la Hispanidad.