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LA RIOJA

 

SAN MILLÁN DE LA COGOLLA

MONASTERIES OF SUSO (TOP OF HILL) & YUSO (BOTTOM)

MONASTERY OF VALVANERA

SIERRA DE LA DEMANDA

 

Return to Camino de Santiago / Camino Frances Photo and History Galleries

 

Map of the Camino de Compostela / Camino Frances - from the excellent MSM book "The Roads to Santiago de Compostella" 

 

Yuso & Suso are near San Millán de la Cogolla

Valverna and the Sierra are to the south

Much repaired old bridge over the Rio Oja at Santo Domingo de la Calzada - gateway to San Millan de la Cogolla and Canas

Link to photos of the Cistercian Nunnery of Santa Maria del Salvador at Cañas, and the famous Tomb of Abbess La Beata Urraca Lopez de Haro

 

The recently restored Mozarabic church of the monastery of Suso - located in the wooded hills where San Millán de la Cogolla (473 -  574 (101)), aka San Emilianus, set up monastic shop.  In the late 900s the awful Al-Mansur fired the lot (even though the monastery had lived peacefully within the earlier Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsular), but it was rebuilt.  In 1067 the hillside monastery was superseded by another bigger one (Yuso) built on the orders of King García at the bottom of the hill.  The area got fired again by the equally awful Black Prince of England, briefly distracted from burning down France in the 1360s.  By the end of the 1600s, Romanesque Yuso had disappeared and been replaced by the present baroque structure (photo below below below).  The wooden Saint Emilianus reliquary chest dating from 1067, covered with exquisite narrative ivory panels and precious stones eventually fell victim to Napoleon's sackers in 1809.  The chest itself still exists and the monastery has some of the panels, with others appropriated by the Met in New York, and museums in Washington, St-Petersburg, Berlin, and Florence.       

 

 

Pilgrims were flocking to the tomb of San Millán de la Cogolla long before the name "Santiago de Compostela" had been invented in the late 800s, and it was also at Suso in the mid 1000s that the Castillian language (later to morph into Spanish) first appeared in written form.

 

UNESCO listing as a world cultural heritage site has led to the inevitable larger parking area for coaches etc, but we were clever enough to go there on a Monday, when everything is closed, and when it is possible to drive up to Suso (normally you have to get the inadequate small shuttle bus) and wander around outside - though the cost is missing the Mozarabic interior (but then Dom P had previously spent two hours as the only visitor to the other Mozarabic masterpiece, San Miguel de Escalada ).

 

 

 

 

Yuso rebuild - 1600s

 

With no cloister or museum photography or book purchases in prospect, we headed off south into the spectacular Sierra de la Demanda ......

The Monastery of Valverna is tucked high in  the hills just to the left of the cross above, but it was Monday there as well and the hotel, restaurant and gift shop were all closed and deserted.

Just after this the road quality deteriorated dramatically = no pics, but if this was the main park drag one could see how a donkey could be helpful

Church tower with offset clock - Barbadillo

 

 

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