The “almost hidden” Romanesque in Navarra, Spain

When thinking about Romanesque art in the region of Navarra (Spain) we think of the superb monastery of Leyre, the capitals from the lost Romanesque cathedral of Pamplona (nowadays these capitals can be visited at the Museum of Navarra) the monastery of Fitero and so on. But there are also some little churches in more small villages, almost hidden. Not with a great art, but with the charming lovely atmosphere of the old and unknown.


Larraya Coro

This is for example the church of Saint Roman of Larraya, 20 minutes driving from Pamplona, the main city in Navarra. We have just few details from its history. It’s known that there was a monastery at the end of the XI century or perhaps at the beginning of XII and due to an old document we know the abbot donated this monastery to the cathedral of Pamplona. “Igitur ego supradictus Abbas Fortunius dono post mortem mean ad locum illum meum monasterium Larraya…..” So a place that can inspire a novel, a tale, something great and beautiful, nice , funny or terrifying, as you prefer. In any case we had fun the morning we went to visit this place. A sunny winter day, friendly people, we were attended, helped and  very welcomed by the parish and the sacristan who were waiting for us when we arrived.

Larraya entrada con scrtan

St. Roman has the beauty of the different colors with pinkish tones and the gray at buttresses and roof, with the curious structural deformation and inclination that everybody perceives when looking (look at the faces of the boys in the photos!!) Inside it has a peaceful atmosphere and we had time enough to experience it. Then we went to the nearby village of Echauri where we could see traditional and typical architecture as well as very modern, like the restaurant El Sarbil, from whose balcony, like a great and funny cube over the Otazy Winery, we enjoyed the landscape and we had the typical “tapas” (corquetas this time) .

Larraya Sarbil

A nice Christmas morning, free time, no exams, no duties, just a day for having fun and meeting new people.


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