EL PREROMANICO EN EL CONDADO DE CASTILLA
In the X century and the first part of the XI the County of Castilla was the spearhead of the Reconquest; its territory was practically extended to the Central System and, thanks to the policies that favored the repopulation, new population centers and many monasteries were created.
Of everything built in that period and of what existed before the Arab conquest, although much was destroyed in the razias of Almanzor we have remained monuments of great interest, in general very little known and very different from each other, some Visigoth period like the cruciform church of Quintanilla de las Viñas, which may have been a Visigoth palace of San Vicente del Valle and the great basilica of Santa María de los Arcos; others Mozarabs as the exceptional hermitage of San Baudelio de Berlanga, San Miguel de Gormaz, Mozarabic church covered with Romanesque paintings very well preserved, the Torreón de Doña Urraca, the only remaining mulitar building of that time, built by Fernán Gonzalez, in whose visit we can know the weapons and military techniques of a thousand years ago, and San Millán de Suso, the great sanctuary and desk origin of the first texts in Spanish.
In this trip we propose to visit them in three days, with a journey of 340 kms, in which we will also visit the Caliphal Fortress of Gormaz, the largest in Europe in its time. and the Hermitage of the Virgen del Cerro with an interesting influence of the Asturian Pre-romanesque Art.
Mapa del viaje
Guía del viaje
It is the most extraordinary building in all Mozarabic. Its outside is very simple, its inside, amazing: a nave with a central palm tree from which eight arches stem out that support the vault, the apse on the eastern side and a “small mosque” on the western half with five vaulted naves upon horseshoe arches that support the choir with another small apse in it; all decorated with a magnificent set of paintings.
Fort of the 10th century raised in the high of a hill, it is the Arabic strength of Europa’s major importance with his 450 meters of length for 60 of width, and a few his walls reach a height of 10 meters. Arabic construction in his origin, also was repaired and reconstructed throughout the centuries by the successive Christian inhabitants who occupied her. Ashlars to rope and blight in the base and masonry to top height.
Although this hermitage, that consists of a single nave and a square apse, is considered as Romanesque from the beginnings of the 12th century, we include it in our study because, besides having Visigothic elements and a horseshoe arch that was blocked, 186 m of wall paintings have been discovered, with religious motifs, many of them related with Apocalypsis, considered to belong to the same school as St. Baudelio de Berlanga’s.
This tower is located in Covarrubias. It is the only military stronghold preserved from that period. It is so called after Doña Urraca, grand daughter of Fernán González, who was sovereign abbess of the Monastery of St. Cosme and St. Damián in Covarrubias. Formed by three bodies, the first one possibly of Roman origin, with walls up to 3 m wide. The second one has a horseshoe door at many metres from the floor, and the last one, rebuilt in a later period, with windows and buttresses.
It is possibly the last Visigothic monument we know. With cruciform plan with three naves, the lateral one with chambers, crossing nave and an apse, is similar to St. Pedro de la Nave, although here the crossing is next to the apse. Only the chevet has survived with an excellent decoration in the main arch and three friezes along its outside.
To 20km of Burgos we find this hermitage which origin seems to be early Christian, reconstructed possibly in the first repopulation of this zone, in times of Alfonso III the Great one, since in spite of a series of important modificacines that suffered in the first times of Romanesque art in Spain and in the 18th century it preserves multiple details that demonstrate his great relation with the Asturian architecture.
Building with a single nave with a narrower square apse that was later replaced by the present one. It amazes for its two high twin windows with horseshoe arches upon imposts and also for some no less surprising capitals preserved inside, bevelled, properly included in Visigothic sculpture, but also containing some heads with more relief. It was possibly a civil building turned later into a church.
This small monastic church, protecting a cave monastery of the 6th century, is formed by two naves, something quite unique in Spain; two apses and a portico attached to the mountain. Due to several setbacks we find in it Visigothic, Mozarabic and Early Romanesque remnants. This monastery, declared World Heritage, was the see of an important scriptorium, origin of the first very early writings in Spanish in the 10th century.
It is a three nave basilic with a complex rectangular chevet, built in the 6th century upon a Roman mausoleum of the old metropolis of Tricio the Great, therefore the chevet is facing west. Fragments of huge Corynthian columns were used, upon which Visigothic horseshoe arches in sinter were added.