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27 fascinating photos of Romanesque art in Catalonia

A collection of photos that allows you to wander around different places in Catalonia to enjoy the best Romanesque art

Besalú
Inmedia / Agència Catalana de Turisme Besalú
By Time Out in collaboration with Generalitat de Catalunya |
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Here’s a selection of the best photographs to enjoy details of Catalan Romanesque art… Mural paintings, wood and stone sculptures, churches, architectural sites, bridges, castles... A journey that will encourage you to discover each place in situ. Don’t miss it!

1
Tossa de Mar Photo Guide - Photo Spot 11
Photo: Hecktic Travels / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Protection from pirates

The seaside town of Tossa is still guarded by the 12th century castle and the walls with round towers built to protect the town from pirate attacks

2
STA MARIA TAULL
Photo: I. MAS / Agència Catalana de Turisme

The throne of the Virgin Mary

One of the most complete sets of Romanesque mural paintings that survives is that of the Church of Santa Maria de Taüll, in Vall de Boí, featuring the Virgin Mary with Child in the apse

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3
FORALLAC, EMPORDÀ
Photo: J. Bat / Agència Catalana de Turisme

Streets with history

The village of Forallac, in the Empordà region (Girona), still has streets and several churches from the Romanesque period

4
Beget
Photo: Maria Geli & Pilar Planagum / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Millenary bell tower

The medieval village of Beget, in the Girona Pyrenees, still has the Romanesque Church of Sant Cristòfol

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5
Besalú
Inmedia / Agència Catalana de Turisme

The town gateway

A Romanesque bridge with eight arches takes you into the fortified town of Besalú (Girona)

6
Besalú
Photo: Maria Geli & Pilar Planagum / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Carved capitals

Arcade of the 12th century Church of Sant Vicenç de Besalú

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7
Camprodon
Photo: Francesc Tur / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

An arch over the river

Built in the late 12th century, Camprodon's Pont Nou is a stone bridge with a single arch

8
Camprodon, detall
Photo: Consorci Ripollès Desenvolupament / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

The art of the forge

In Camprodon you can still appreciate the importance of iron work in the Middle Ages

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9
Àger
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

A shrine in rock

The Shrine of Mare de Déu de Pedra is located in the foothills of the Montsec d'Ares mountain range, in the village of Àger (Lleida)

10
Castell de Tamarit
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

With sea views

Tamarit Castle, in Altafulla (Tarragona) stands on a promontory overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

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11
ERILL-LA-VALL-VALL-BOÍ-DEVALLAMENT-S-XII-
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

Wood scenes

The Romanesque sculptures that have survived include this outstanding 12th century Descent from the Cross in the Church of Santa Eulàlia d’Erill-la Vall.

12
 LLEIDA, SEU VELLA, PORTA DE FILLOLS
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

Vegetation in stone

The Porta de Fillols in the Seu Vella (Lleida) dates from the first Romanesque building and has many archivolts, abacuses and capitals decorated with vegetal motifs

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13
MONESTIR DE RIPOLL, CLAUSTRE, NAU LATERAL
Photo: Danierl Julian / Agència Catalana de Turisme

In the silence of the cloister

Aisle in the cloister of the Monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll, one of the most impressive buildings of the Catalan Romanesque period

14
MONESTIR DE SANT CUGAT-CLAUSTRE
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

Sculpted stories

In the cloister of the Monastery of Sant Cugat there are 144 capitals, many of which show figurative scenes from the story of Christianity

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15
MONESTIR DE SANT CUGAT, CAPITELL CLAUSTRE, S. XII
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

A Benedictine garden

Built between the 9th and 14th centuries, the Benedictine Monastery of Sant Cugat is noted for its impressive cloister

16
SANT CLIMENT TAULL, Vall de Boí
Photo: I. Mas / Agència Catalana de Turisme

Romanesque icon

Among the purest examples of European Romanesque art are the paintings that decorate the Church of Sant Climent de Taüll, in Vall de Boí, with the Pantocrator as its symbol

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17
Montblanc, PORTALET DEL FORADOT
Photo: Inmedia / Agència Catalana de Turisme

Walls of legend

The medieval walls of the town of Montblanc (Tarragona) bear a set of Romanesque elements that have given rise to many legends

18
PERATALLADA
Photo: Inmedia / Agència Catalana de Turisme

A Medieval atmosphere

A stroll through the streets of Peratallada (Girona) takes you back to medieval times

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19
Poblet, VISTA GENERAL
Photo: Josep M. Palau Riberaygua / Agència Catalana de Turisme

Monastic site

Founded by the Order of Cistercians in 1150, the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Poblet is one of the most important monastic sites in Europe

20
Iglesia de Sant  Andreu.Salardœ.(Vall d«Ar‡n).LLEIDA.
Foto: JJ. PASCUAL / Agència Catalana de Turisme

A polychrome carving

The main altar of the Church of Sant Andreu de Salardú, in Val d'Aran, has a wood carving of Christ, one of the best preserved sculptures of the Romanesque period

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21
MONTSONÍS-CASTELL
Photo: Inmedia / Agència Catalana de Turisme

A family seat

The old Romanesque Montsonís Castle, renovated over the years, was built in 1024 and is still inhabited today

22
Sant Pau del Camp, Barcelona

An urban monastery

In the heart of Barcelona, in the midst of the Raval neighbourhood, you'll find the Benedictine monastery of Sant Pau del Camp, with the oldest church in the city

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23
Sant Joan de les Abadesses
Photo: Consorci Ripoll / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Sculpted relics

The Monastery of Sant Joan de les Abadesses houses a set of sculptures known as the Holy Mystery, from the 13th century, with a small reliquary in the head of Christ

24
SANT PERE RODES CLAUSTRE
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

Barrel vaults

Located in an exceptional setting, on a mountain open to the sea, the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes has a basement cloister with portico galleries

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25
JordI Gallego i Caldas
Photo: JordI Gallego i Caldas / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

A circular tower

Located at the top of a small mountain, the old town of Pals (Girona) retains the magnificent circular Torre de les Hores, in Romanesque style

26
SANT VICENÇ CARDONA-CRIPTA-ESGLESIA-COL-LEGIATA
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

The crypt of the collegiate church

Built in the mid-11th century, the Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç de Cardona, with its crypt, is one of the most emblematic examples of Catalan Romanesque architecture

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27
SANT QUIRZE de PEDRET
Photo: Imagen M.A.S. / JJ. Pascual / Agència Catalana de Turisme

Italian influences

The mural paintings of the Church of Sant Quirze de Pedret, dating back to 1100, have a style that reminds us of the Italian art of the time and Byzantine iconography

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