The Santa María la Real Foundation has just published a new book on the “essential Romanesque” of Soria. It is the third title (the other two volumes were devoted to Cantabria and Palencia) of a collection destined to compile the best and most representative Romanesque testimonies of each province. After all, it is an excellent guide for fans of cultural tourism.
In this case, the person in charge of selecting the essential testimonies of Romanesque in Soria has been Pedro Luis Huerta, coordinator of courses and publications of the Fundación Santa María la Real, who decided to organize the tour in four routes, with twelve monuments that are considered “must-see”. “For this reason -explains Huerta- we have tried to offer a varied sample of monuments that includes monasteries, collegiate churches, arcaded churches, monumental facades, wall paintings, and picturesque locations.”
Twelve tracks for one route
Specifically, the guide stops at the monastery of San Juan de Duero, the co-cathedral of San Pedro and the churches of Santo Domingo and San Juan de Rabanera, in Soria; the hermitage of the Holy Martyrs in Garray; the church of San Miguel in Almazán and the monastery of Santa Maria de Huerta. The tour is completed by the hermitage of San Baudelio, in Casillas de Berlanga; the church of San Pedro in Caracena; San Miguel in San Esteban de Gormaz and the hermitages of Santa María de Tiermes and San Bartolomé de Ucero.
The choice, says its author, has been complex and is nothing more than an “absolutely personal bet” that will serve as an “aperitif” for all those interested in learning about the Romanesque art of this region. “We cannot forget that Soria is one of the provinces of Castilla y León that has the largest number of preserved Romanesque testimonies, more than four hundred, many of which can be considered masterpieces,” says Huerta.
The reasons for the choice
“The reasons why we have chosen these are various,” Huerta explains to ABC Viajar. San Juan de Duero It is an emblematic building, unique in the European Romanesque for that daring combination of interlocking arches whose breakdown deviates from the general rule. The exoticism that distills the layout of its cloister and the canopies of its church gives it a very special character. San Pedro de Soria We chose it for being one of the best-preserved Romanesque cloisters with figurative decoration in Castilla y León. San Juan de Rabanera, for having one of the very peculiar apses, also unique in the Romanesque of the region, not only the province. Santo Domingo, It has one of the best known Spanish Romanesque facades and one of the most complete from an iconographic point of view. San Pedro de Caracena, for being a good example of Romanesque porticoes, as well as San Miguel de San Esteban de Gormaz, which preserves the oldest arcaded gallery of the Hispanic Romanesque. Santa Maria de Tiermes was chosen for its unique character and location, as well as the hermitage of Garray and San Bartolomé de Ucero.