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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

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!

Protection from pirates
Photo: Hecktic Travels / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

1. 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

The throne of the Virgin Mary
Photo: I. MAS / Agència Catalana de Turisme

2. 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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Streets with history
Photo: J. Bat / Agència Catalana de Turisme

3. Streets with history

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

Millenary bell tower
Photo: Maria Geli & Pilar Planagum / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

4. Millenary bell tower

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

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The town gateway
Inmedia / Agència Catalana de Turisme

5. The town gateway

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

Carved capitals
Photo: Maria Geli & Pilar Planagum / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

6. Carved capitals

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

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An arch over the river
Photo: Francesc Tur / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

7. An arch over the river

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

The art of the forge
Photo: Consorci Ripollès Desenvolupament / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

8. The art of the forge

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

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A shrine in rock
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

9. 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)

With sea views
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

10. With sea views

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

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Wood scenes
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

11. 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.

Vegetation in stone
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

12. 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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In the silence of the cloister
Photo: Danierl Julian / Agència Catalana de Turisme

13. 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

Sculpted stories
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

14. 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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A Benedictine garden
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

15. A Benedictine garden

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

Romanesque icon
Photo: I. Mas / Agència Catalana de Turisme

16. 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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Walls of legend
Photo: Inmedia / Agència Catalana de Turisme

17. 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

A Medieval atmosphere
Photo: Inmedia / Agència Catalana de Turisme

18. A Medieval atmosphere

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

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Monastic site
Photo: Josep M. Palau Riberaygua / Agència Catalana de Turisme

19. 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

A polychrome carving
Foto: JJ. PASCUAL / Agència Catalana de Turisme

20. 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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A family seat
Photo: Inmedia / Agència Catalana de Turisme

21. A family seat

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

An urban monastery

22. 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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Sculpted relics
Photo: Consorci Ripoll / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

23. 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

Barrel vaults
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

24. 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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A circular tower
Photo: JordI Gallego i Caldas / Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

25. 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

The crypt of the collegiate church
Photo: Agència Catalana de Turisme

26. 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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Italian influences
Photo: Imagen M.A.S. / JJ. Pascual / Agència Catalana de Turisme

27. 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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