The 10 most beautiful Romanesque churches in Spain

When touring Spain, you can count on the possibility of enjoying the local artistic and architectural heritage. Many of them are romantic buildings dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries. Among some of the most outstanding places we can visit are the historic churches or temples. Therefore, you should know some of them, below we will be analyzing which are the 10 most romantic churches in Spain.

1. Church of San Clemente de Tahull

This church is located in the Lleida valley of Bohí, and has been consolidated as a small Romanesque chapel. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. It could be said that one of the most characteristic things it features it is the bell tower that is located next to the apse, in a large tower and has five floors high on a base.

During 1931 it was declared a historic-artistic monument, and today it is one of the group of Catalan Romanesque churches that belong to the Bohí valley. This church is located in the province of Lérida, and although it belongs to the Romanesque style, it still has great Lombard influence. At the beginning, its interior was decorated with some valuable mural paintings, which are nowadays in the National Museum of Art of Catalonia. 

2. Church of San Martín de Tours

In this case, the church of San Martín de Tours is located on one of the stretches of the Camino de Santiago. Although it is one of the most Romanesque churches in Spain, many also consider it one of the first buildings that paved the way for European Romanesque architecture.

The whole complex clearly reflects the characteristics that define the artistic Romanesque period. The most outstanding decorative element that can be seen from the outside are the corbels that have been given human, flower or animal shapes.

3. Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos

One of the most famous in Spain is the cloister of the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos. Basically, it is a Benedictine abbey located in the eastern part of a small valley. Its history dates back to the Visigothic period, approximately during the 7th century. The cloister of Silos is a double floor, where the lower floor is much older and has a greater recognition. Even the exterior aspect marks a contrast with the beauty of the columns of the courtyard, which are decorated with biblical themes.

4. Church of San Lorenzo de Sahagún

Being an asset of cultural interest and heritage of humanity, it is one of the best known monumental landmarks of art in Spain. Through the Camino de Santiago, in the province of León, we can find this popular Romanesque church.

The oldest known reference to the building dates back to 1253. It was made of brick and has a basilica floor plan with 3 naves. It could be said that its peculiarity is due to the fact that it mixes Muslim, Gothic and Romanesque elements.

5. Church of Nuestra Señora de la Anunciada

Within the region of Urueña, we can not only know it as the first village of the book in Spain; but it is also the area where the Romanesque church of Nuestra Señora de la Anunciada is located. This is a temple whose origin dates back to the 11th century and is located outside the walls of Urueña. It stands out thanks to the peculiar architecture that characterizes it, especially the overlapping of the apse chapels and blind arches.

6. Zamora Cathedral

Located in Zamora, Spain, it is dedicated to the Savior, and stands out because it is much smaller and older than the others found in the community of Castilla y León. It was declared a National Monument in September 1889 by the Royal Order. 

This cathedral stands out for two facts: One is the dome of gallons that are covered with stone scales and is supported with pendentives of Byzantine influence; and the other is the Portada del Obispo, which is the most valuable piece of all the Romanesque found in the building.

7. Church of Santa María de Eunate

It has an octagonal plan that remains surrounded by a gallery that generates the form of an exterior cloister. In the Spanish territory we can only find two churches with an eight-sided plant. For this reason, many theories are made as to the origin of this hermitage. One of them is that the Templar order used this type of construction to imitate the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

8. Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana

Located in Santillana del Mar, this church is located in one of the most beautiful villages in Spain, and the building has a uniqueness that makes it striking to any visitor. This architectural complex has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is one of the stops along the French Way of St. James and in northern Spain.

9. Monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll 

During the years of the Middle Ages, this was one of the most important religious centers. For example, it was used as a burial place for Catalan nobles; it was also used as one of the places where copies of manuscripts were made. It has been rebuilt on several occasions and still retains many original elements.

10. Church of Santo Domingo de Soria

Finally, among the 10 most Romanesque churches in Spain, we find the church of Santo Domingo de Soria, which dates back to the 12th century. To build it, it was based on the facade of Notre Dame La Grande. Many experts have considered the church of Santo Domingo de Soria as a very outstanding achievement within the Spanish Romanesque. No person is able to remain indifferent when seeing its facade, its galleries of blind arches and its rose window.

Posted in Europe, Spain.