Carrión de los Condes was occupied by Romans, Visigoths, and Muslims and became a bustling town during the medieval pilgrimage. It had a significant Jewish population and was the home of 14th century rabbi and poet, Sem Tob ben Ishaq ibn Ardutiel de Carrión. His most famous work is Moral Proverbs, Proverbios morales, offering guidance for striving to live in harmony during dangerous times. Here’s why.
After reasonable tolerance in prior centuries, the 14th century became among the most perilous centuries for Iberian Jews in Christian territories (they fared far better in Muslim Spain). The Christian reconquest of Muslim territories was almost complete and with this came a confidence in the Christian world to make Christianity the religion of the entire Peninsula.
Where in prior centuries the norm was religious and cultural tolerance, convivencia, no longer having a competitor to keep religious and imperialistic tendencies in check led to less
tolerance of those outside this exclusive faith. By this century, the tiny Islamic Kingdom of Granada was the only non-Christian kingdom left in Iberia and it persisted only because it paid tribute to Castile and León.
Carrión de los Condes’ 12th century church, Iglesia de Santa María del Camino, contains some of the most finely carved Romanesque sculptures. Take note of the detail that goes into such things as the garments worn by the people engraved in stone. The folds and drape are so intricately carved that they flow as if wind is passing through the rock, a remarkable feat. You can see that same minute detail in the facial features of the humans and animals alike. The work is of such complexity, it conveys the stories and emotions behind each carved gesture.
The Camino continues to Sahagún.