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Transromanica - The Romanesque Route in Castile-León

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  • Cloister in the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos. Burgos © Turespaña

    Cloister in the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos. Burgos © Turespaña

  • Church of San Martín de Frómista. Palencia © Junta de Castilla y León

    Church of San Martín de Frómista. Palencia © Junta de Castilla y León

  • Church of San Esteban in Cuéllar. Segovia © Turespaña

    Church of San Esteban in Cuéllar. Segovia © Turespaña

  • Church of San Miguel. San Esteban de Gormaz, Soria © Turespaña

    Church of San Miguel. San Esteban de Gormaz, Soria © Turespaña

  • Church of Santa Marta de Tera. Zamora © Turespaña

    Church of Santa Marta de Tera. Zamora © Turespaña


The first common artistic style in Europe

Did you know that Castile-León is the region with the largest amount of Romanesque sites in Europe? This region in Spain boasts some 2,000 examples of this artistic style. It is also part of the Transromanica route, which includes Romanesque routes in seven European countries. In Castile-León you can find some of the best monuments with the first art that spread over Europe.

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Let's go back in time - specifically, to the year 1000. Artists from all over Europe erect buildings, paint or sculpt, inspired by the Romans and the early Christian tradition. This is how a new artistic style - Romanesque - appeared, and later spread all over medieval Europe. Thanks to pilgrims' paths and routes like the Way of Saint James, this style can be made known and enriched all over the world.

Monasteries, cathedrals, churches, abbeys… In Castile-León the principles of this common style are followed, but with their own particular features. The Romanesque style becomes exceptionally relevant and leads to the construction of important examples of this style. Transromanica will take us to five of these amazing monuments. It is just a brief idea of the wealth of Romanesque examples you'll find in Castile-León.

History set in stone

Let's start by visiting a real icon of Spanish Romanesque: the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, in the province of Burgos. The cloister is a unique gem in Europe, especially because of its stunning capitals. The sculptures that adorn them were not only placed for aesthetic reasons, but also educational, as they depict different scenes from the Bible. After admiring their exquisite beauty, we can take a walk through the gardens, discover the works of art exhibited in the monastery's museum or listen to the monks' Gregorian chant.

The next stop, just over 100 kilometres away by car, is in the province of Palencia. It is the Church of San Martín de Frómista, considered one of the purest and most representative monuments of the Romanesque style, both because of its architectural structure and its decoration. The perfection of its elements and the richness of its capitals are astounding.

Paint the sky

The journey continues towards the province of Zamora. However, it is worth taking a small detour to discover the Royal Collegiate Church of San Isidoro, in León. Did you know this church is known as the "Sistine Chapel of Romanesque art"? You only need to gaze at the beautiful fresco paintings on the vaults to realise why.

From León you need to travel 95 kilometres by road to get to the next stop - the Church of Santa Marta de Tera, in the province of Zamora. It is another paradigmatic model of Romanesque art in Castile-León. Outside there is one of the earliest known sculptures of the apostle St James dressed as a pilgrim, dating from the 12th century.

Evolving art

Before continuing the route, travel 70 kilometres to see Zamora Cathedral which provides us with another important example of Romanesque architecture, with its fantastic dome and the sculptures on the façade. Leave Zamora and after 150 kilometres you will get to the town of Cuéllar, in the province of Segovia. Walk down its streets towards the Church of San Esteban - one of the best examples of Mudejar art, the so-called "brick Romanesque".

Our last stop, just over 45 kilometres away, is in the province of Soria. It is the Church of San Miguel, in the town of San Esteban de Gormaz. Built in the late 11th century, according to the inscription on the front arch, it is one of the first Romanesque churches built with a porticoed gallery.

You'll also be able to find more Romanesque monuments in many places along this route through Castile-León. Don't forget to pay a visit to the tourist offices in each town so you don't miss a thing.


What to see on the route

Otras rutas de interés

What to do

Cycle touring

Cycle touring


More information

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