MOZÁRABE, TEMPLARS AND MINIED CODES IN THE BIERZO
El Bierzo is an exceptional region both for its history and its natural wealth. We propose to visit you in this trip of two days and with a route of only 41 kms. five churches, four of them Mozarabic and the magnificent Templar castle of Ponferrada.
You can plan the trip to visit late in the morning of the first day, already in Ponferrada, the small church of Santo Tomas de las Ollas, located in a district of Ponferrada, of which only an interesting apse is preserved from its original structure Elliptical which is accessed by a bent horseshoe arch, something unusual at that time. After lunch you can visit the Castle of Ponferrada, recently restored, and its Templun Libri Museum of facsimiles of miniature codices, and then get closer to know the remains of San Salvador de Tomás de Merayo at 7.5 km.
We dedicate the second day to the exceptional environment of Valle del Silencio, with a visit to Montes de Valdueza to get to know Santa Cruz and San Pedro de Montes and finish in Peñalba de Santiago, an amazing little village in which the church of a Mozarabic monastery founded by San Genadio in this hidden place of the mountains of León, where you can also visit the grotto where the saint lived, to start the trip back after lunch.
Other recommended visits in the surroundings: Las Médulas, about 40Kms from Ponferrada, Cathedral and Episcopal Palace of Astorga, …
Mapa del viaje
Guía del viaje
This small church is located at the entrance of Ponferrada. It has a single nave with a magnificent oval apse that consists of nine horseshoe arches attached to the wall, upon columns and capitals with access through a triumphal arch, also horseshoe, covered with a magnificent groin vault of eleven edges that lean upon the centre of each arch dividing it in other eleven segments of clear Cordovan descent.
Built by the Templars in 1187, it seems that on a Celtic fort occupied later by Romans and Visigoths. It suffered multiple avatars over several centuries, being the object of royal donations to military orders and noblemen until it was taken to Rodigo Osorio militarily by the Catholic Monarchs in 1486. ??Polygonally, it preserves constructions of the 12th century along with other which belong to the reform of the Catholic Monarchs, as the magnificent gateway between two towers. At present in its new rooms it offers the exhibition “Templum Libri”, large collection of facsimiles of illuminated codices.
Discovered a few years ago and excavated recently, it is a church formed by a single nave and an apse with a horseshoe shaped plan, separated by a main arch, also hoseshoe, atypically oriented to the south east. It is located a bit farther than 1Km from St. Tomás de las Ollas, of the same period and with a similar structure.
This centre of hermitage life lies in the surroundings of the Valley of Silence, where St. Fructuoso retired to pray in the 7th century. It was built during that century, destroyed after with the Arab invasion and rebuilt at the beginnings of the 9th century and of which, after the reconstruction in the 18th century, only remain embedded in the small rural church, three Visigothic pieces of great interest: a foundational inscription -stolen in 2007-, a window with drip cap and a piece of an inner door.
Close to the former one and built also in Visigothic style in the 7th century, rebuilt by St. Genadio in the 9th century in Mozarabic style, and again by the Benedictine monks in 1243 in Romanesque style; after its collapse , it is practically abandoned since Mendizabal’s disentailment. Among the rests that correspond to the Romanesque structure, only prevail in the tower a few capitals and windows in Visigothic style.
This monastery is located in the Valley of Silence; built in the beginnings of the 10th century bt St. Genadio. It is a single nave church, divided in two stretches, with two small sort of crossing naves attached to the former one, with two superimposed apses. Wholly vaulted so that each of the six modules that conform it has a different type of vault, except those of the crossing that must have been alike