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Cultural tourism Romanesque style architecture in Cerdanya

The Romanesque in Cerdanya: proposals for a fascinating cultural route

When talking about the life experience in Cerdanya, it is usual to refer to the beauty of its landscape, the peaceful atmosphere that is breathed in its picturesque towns and the many leisure options with nature as the backdrop. Without detracting from all of the above, having a house in Cerdanya also opens the door to a type of tourism closely related to culture and history. Not surprisingly, Cerdanya houses authentic Romanesque jewels that are worth visiting without haste through different routes through the most representative municipalities.

Origin and development of the Romanesque style in Cerdanya

The Romanesque style started in the region in parallel with its development in the north of the current provinces of Girona and Lleida. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, the diocese of Urgell promoted the construction of numerous religious buildings that followed the canons of the Lombard Romanesque style, although with the same formal characteristics that can be observed in other parts of Catalonia.

As a general rule, they are rather austere constructions from an ornamental point of view and with a great importance of painting both inside and outside. Most of the examples have small dimensions and a remarkable stylistic homogeneity, which is not an obstacle for many of the churches that are still preserved today to present certain particularities that do not go unnoticed by visitors. Dating to the S. XIII and coinciding with the destruction of some buildings by the Cathars, the Gothic begins to become visible in ancient Romanesque buildings.

Bellver de Cerdanya: Talló, the Cathedral of the region

Bellver de Cerdanya is, without a doubt, the municipality that houses some of the most representative samples of the Romanesque architectural style. The church of Santa María de Talló, initially conceived as a monastery, is popularly known as the "Cathedral of La Cerdanya", in reference to its large dimensions. Despite the changes introduced over the centuries, the temple preserves interesting original details such as the ironwork of the main gate. Also, in Bellver de Cerdanya you can visit the unique church of Sant Julià de la Pedra, in pre-Romanesque style, amongst others.

Isòvol, Ger and Meranges, three churches with different charms

The municipality of Isòvol can also boast of having two interesting Romanesque monuments. The church of Santa María d’All has a varied sculptural decoration with human and animal figures, while presenting a particular wooden ceiling. Then the church of Sant Pere d’Olopte is located right on top of a small elevation of land from which you can enjoy excellent views of the surroundings. To the north of Isòvol is the small town of Meranges, with one of the temples, the church of Sant Serní de Meranges, which was looted by the Cathars. Fortunately, the church has been successfully restored. And the church of Santa Coloma de Ger originally dates back to 1740 but was rebuilt in the 18th century, then suffered a fire in 1936 and was rebuilt again.

The art of the northeast: Alp and Fontanals de Cerdanya

The eastern most section of the region offers an interesting route through three small towns that house many Romanesque buildings. We are talking about the churches of Sant Pere de Alp, Sant Cosme i Sant Damià de Queixans and Sant Esteve de Les Pereres, the latter two belonging to the municipality of Fontanals de Cerdanya. The listed buildings are small in size and with the incentive of being able to be visited in different itineraries by car or even on foot (between Queixans and Les Pereres).

Other essential visits: Prullans and Prats i Sansor

The church of Sant Esteve de Prullans is another of the visits that cannot be missed. To the artistic attractions of the temple - including an interior as sober as it is overwhelming - we must add the impressive views that await visitors at the very doors of the church. Another way to combine heritage tourism and hiking is to visit the Church of Sant Salvador de Predanies, in the municipality of Prats i Sansor.

Take advantage of all the benefits of Cerdanya from your own home: nature, mountains, ski, golf, gastronomy and cultural tourism with the Romanesque route. Talk with Engel & Völkers Cerdanya Real Estate advisors and find your dream house.

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