León is located in the northern plateau of the Iberian Peninsula, surrounded by north and west by a mountain range (the Montes de León). Its position is not far from the border between the Kingdom of Leon and the Kingdom of Castille.
León produces large quantities of iron and hides, significative amounts of velvet, butter and ale, and other valuables depending on its nearby villages.
León was originally a roman military camp, built in the late I century BC by Legio VI Victrix and later occupied by Legio VII Gemina (the term "León" derives from Legio), playing a "military capital" role in Hispania. When the Western Roman Empire crumbled in the V century AD, Legio was sacked by the barbarian tribes who invaded the Peninsula and left fairly unpopulated. It subsequently became part of the Swabian Kingdom of Gallaecia, and later of the Visigothic Kingdom of Toledo.
During the islamic invasion of Hispania and its aftermath, León was left in a border position which seriously hampered its development (a mozarabic repopulation attemp ended in failure due to a muslim attack from the south). In 856, the town was conquered by Ordoño I of Asturias and incorporated into his kingdom, and its recovery was strenghtened when it was made capital of the new Kingdom of Leon in the early X century. Despite suffering a setback with Almanzor's campaign in the north of Iberia in 987, León recovered again and entered a new 'boom phase' with the reign of Alfonso V in the first half of the XI century.
In 1188, Alfonso IX was crowned in León and summoned its Cortes (medieval parliament) for the first time, becoming one of the first medieval european kingdoms in doing so.