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One of the Most Lyrical Churches on the Camino

Frómista’s Iglesia de San Martín is one of the most beautifully decorated churches, inside and out, on the Camino. It has more corbels that are well preserved and rich in detail than anywhere else on the Camino. Its transept holds an elegant and simple octagonal dome.

Yes, eight again, the number in sacred geometry of rebirth, redemption, resurrection and beauty. The church also has some graphic erotic scenes carved in its beautiful yellow sandstone. You’ll have to work a bit more to find these.

San Martín was founded in CE 1066. Art historians consider it among the best example of pure French Romanesque along the Camino in Spain.

Part of this is because of its harmonious proportions exemplifying Romanesque ideals in architecture. And part is due to the surviving 11th century Romanesque carvings on the outside and interior of the building.

These carvings show in intimate detail Biblical stories, (such as Adam and Eve), plants, fantastical creatures, ogres (such as one with such a mouthful of jagged pointed teeth), humorous characters, and moral and allegorical tales.

There are many capitals with birds, including one where a parent bird feeds a baby bird with what looks like a communion wafer.

Birds in Romanesque can often mean the messengers from heaven, bringing down the word of God, as this seems, though taking it a step further and offering full communion to its own little one.

The Camino continues to Villalcázar de Sirga.

At A Glance


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