A town situated in the far north-west of the province of Zamora, on a plateau overlooking the valley and the Cabrera and Segundera mountains, snow-capped practically all year round, close to the Sierra de la Atalaya mountain range.

This is a strategic point, connecting Castile and Galicia. Nearby is Lake Sanabria, the largest glacial lake in Spain, 3,158 metres long and more than 50 metres deep. It was declared a site of natural interest back in 1946, due to the breathtaking landscape of valleys, canyons, waterfalls and granite rocks, dotted with villages and wooded areas. Over the centuries the lake has been the object of fierce disputes.

In the 12th century Puebla was repopulated and became the administrative centre for the surrounding area. In 1220 it was fortified in order to defend León against Portugal, and by the 13th century it had become of one of the most important defensive sites in the kingdom. The castle was built by the Counts of Benavente, who for four centuries ruled over the land. As in other towns where the defense wall limited expansion, the quarter of San Francisco sprang up outside the wall.