Spanish little churches in the middle of nowhere

Most of the little churches you are about to see belong to the Romanesque style, and were built between the late 10th and the 12th century.

Some of them are even older (Pre-Romanesque style, 8th-10th centuries)

A few of them are inscribed in the United Nations list of World Heritage Sites.

They are spread through the deep Spain (Europe), in distant locations, far away from the beaten path and, in a few cases, they’re pretty difficult to reach if you didn’t have a big breakfast before hiking to them.

They may seem old, unpretentious and solitary … But make no mistake: God lives very happy in them.

Romanesque in Burgos

medieval church on rock

La Rioja church

Soria romanesque

preromanesque spain

Preromanesque Asturias

Palencia romanesque

romanesque church

Romanesque in Segovia

romanesque in Galicia

church siones

Pyrenees romanesque

Church canyon

Absis romanesque in Spain

romanesque in Castille

preromanesque spanish church

Pyrenees Romanesque

Romanesque in Burgos

Suso Monastery

Romanesque jewel



About Covetotop

A Mediterranean blogger
This entry was posted in Art and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

171 Responses to Spanish little churches in the middle of nowhere

  1. These are stunning Romanesque churches. Thanks so much for posting.

  2. trishworth says:

    I’m wondering if you’ve hiked up to these churches. If so, which ones would you recommend visiting? I like the look of the Church by the river, Pyrenees, and the church by the beach.

    • Covetotop says:

      Yes, I took all the pictures above. But actually you don’t need to have a big breakfast in order to visiting most of them. Those that you mention are:

      (i) The church by the river is “Sant Joan de Isil”, in the province of Lleida (Catalonia, Northeastern Spain). The river’s name is Noguera Pallaresa, and it is born not far away from this beautiful church. You don’t have to hike to get there, as it’s very close to a little road. But drive carefully, these are the Pyrenees Mountains …

      (ii) The church by the beach is a little hermitage known as “Our Lady of La Lanzada”. It’s by an extraordinary beach in the Atlantic coast of Spain (province of Pontevedra, Galicia, Northwestern Spain)

      Visiting any of them is a great experience.

      Thanks for visiting Covetotop!

  3. alundeberg says:

    Beautiful pictures! The churches seem to blend into the landscape.

  4. augusta says:

    Wow, thank you.

  5. Raina says:

    So pretty, I love old buildings and churches like these. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This is absolutely fascinating. Thank you for this post.

  7. Dounia says:

    These churches are so beautiful. They look so peaceful and serene; Romanesque churches are the most beautiful, in my opinion, and Europe has so many of them. Thank you for sharing these and congratulations on being freshly pressed!

  8. wonderful finds. I love their subtle, simple beauty.

  9. journalplace says:

    Wonderful. Do you find them to be furnished?

  10. I am really drawn to the photo of the church in the snow with the four bells. These images took me back in time for a ride of what life could have been like when they were built. Great captures and well worth the effort! Congrats from a fellow freshly pressed alum! Good luck with the hundreds of emails you get in the next few days!

  11. aviatrixkim says:

    These are delightful! Are any of these near the Camino de Santiago route? I’m planning to have a long walk next spring…

    • Covetotop says:

      Yes, the last one. It’s San Martín de Frómista, an important stop in the Camino de Santiago. You’ll find quite a few Romanesque churches in that wonderful path …

  12. trinachka says:

    Reblogged this on Under an Artichoke and commented:
    More reasons to spend a month or so wandering around Spain… 🙂

  13. Absolutely spectacular! I can understand why these were build where they were built — and HOW they were built…


  14. pezcita says:

    Love these pictures! They remind me of Don Quixote. Some of these churches are probably older than the book, right? It’s incredible how long they’ve lasted.

  15. markalan says:

    I love this post! I so much want to go there and see these beauties myself. Thanks for sharing!

  16. segmation says:

    What an awesome blog and pictures. I need to explore some of these churches! Do you have a recommendation on which one to do first?

  17. inukshuk says:

    This is maybe why I keep being attracted to Europe. These out of the way places, unassuming and in perfect harmony with their surroundings, as they have been for hundreds and hundreds of years… Every single time, it blows my mind.

    Great pictures – and thanks to Freshly Pressed for sharing this beautiful blog !

  18. jimceastman says:

    Isn’t it amazing to know that those churches still existed, I really enjoyed your photos, fantastic! Thanks for sharing by the way!

  19. iRuniBreathe says:

    Beautiful pictures. Each church has such a quaint and unique feel to it. Thanks for making the hike(s) to photograph these and sharing.

  20. Rohini says:

    Gorgeous pictures!

  21. These are absolutely gorgeous and remarkable! They have aged well.

  22. pryan51 says:

    So beautiful, and amazing that they are almost/over a thousand years old! Are any of them still in use? Is it possible to go inside some or all of them? Were they attached to towns, or private chapels on estates? Thank you for sharing them.

  23. how awesome! i’m envious that you got to take these pictures up close! thanks so much for sharing them — took me back in time, and strangely, reaffirmed my faith!

  24. Superb! The ones by the water’s edge as well as the solitary one in Castilla and pre-Romanque Spain impressed me the most.

  25. Absolutely stunning! I especially love the one with the bells high up in the arches. Wish I were there.

  26. says:

    A wonderful collection of images .

  27. Michele LMS says:

    Love these shots and the picturesque settings! . . . Thank you for sharing!

  28. shelconnors says:

    Those are some amazing and gorgeous pictures. I love the simplicity and beauty. Great post 🙂

  29. Glorious. They are each very different: some looking as though they were monastic, some almost grown to the size of a small cathedral. Where is the one built with huge blocks located? (I think it’s church 16) It is very different to the others; much simpler but looks as though it has patterns carved onto some of the stone blocks. Thanks so much for sharing these, I must get moving and try to visit them sometime. 🙂

  30. Pamela says:

    Breathtaking shots.

  31. Marianne says:

    Absolutely beautiful churches which would have been made all the sweeter if you had said where they were, so we could visit them.

  32. ifightforgod says:

    These are great! It would be amazing to see all these churches! God bless!

  33. odiousghost says:

    Beautiful!! I love a nice church!!

  34. Jenny says:

    So glad you enlightened me to these beautiful places! Think I’ve added yet another thing to my life to-do list….exploring medieval spanish churches!

  35. Wow, beautiful pictures! Spain is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited (especially Barcelona) and hope to make it back soon =)

  36. I thoroughly enjoyed this unique post. It is beautiful on many levels. +++ 🙂
    Peace! ~Beth

  37. S.C. says:

    These churches are truly beautiful, as are the countryside around them. If I ever get back to Spain, I’ll definitely make it to one or two of them.

  38. What a superb collection! You are so lucky to have seen these in person. I can only imagine what the insides must look like. Would love to sit in one or two and imagine……

  39. james herbertson says:

    great pics. love europe and the wealth of cultural heritage.

  40. mamacormier says:

    I love that you covered all 4 seasons and a variety of landscapes to highlight these magnificent churches. The setting for the church in Segovia, sitting on the top of a cliff, looks surreal.

  41. Excellent post! Reminds me of being on holiday with my parents when I was younger, might have been Tenerife or somewhere similar. We left the main resort place to go exploring and on our journey passed loads of churches, some tiny and others larger, some close to villages and some completely on their own. Utterly fascinating and with architecture that you knew had stories to tell.

    Thanks for your posting 🙂

  42. Shtina says:

    What an amazing collection of images! I love these churches, thanks for sharing.

  43. Oh I love these! Makes me long to return to Spain with a camera!

  44. amelie88 says:

    Oh that is the essence of Spain right there. Little churches that pop up in the most random places. 😀 All these pictures are beautiful!

  45. freetobreatheandunashamed says:


  46. GalonTrip says:

    stunning! those churches still have a very good condition. are some of them reconstructed or still original? can anyone visit the interior of each church, or the doors are always closed for public?

  47. hemadamani says:

    beautiful pictures. seeing them one can easily believe that God lives happily in these churches..:)

  48. I was so blown away by these beautiful churches and your amazing photographs catching them. Very inspiring. I think I might try to paint the first one, if that’s OK. Looking at your photos was yummy! Thank you

  49. A great list. If you are in the Costa Blanca South anytime look up the Santuary of Santa Maria Magdalena near Novelda. – It’s alike a something out of a Fairy Tale! (Guadi inspired) It’s on a hill in the middle of nowhere and overlooks the main town.

    The interior is immaculate and very interesting too. And nearby is an architectural masterpiece, Castillo de la Mola with the unusual triangular watch tower. Well worth a visit and would make great photos.

  50. Jessica says:

    Gorgeous photos! Spain certainly has some beautiful churches and countryside. Where is the first one?

  51. pobrian says:

    Reblogged this on Simple! and commented:
    Here is a neet blog about Spain. Great photos of places that I’ll never get to see with my own eyes.

  52. ÒscarAzAl says:

    You’d make good friends with my father. When I was a kid he used to take us around Spain at the end of the summer and take pictures of every single stone (as we called them) in the way.

  53. Vincent Mars says:

    I’d like to live in that church under snow. 🙂

  54. NiinaMaria says:

    The churches, and the pictures of course, are amazing!

  55. thanks for sharing these amazing pictures. Going through your post was like going on a virtual mini vacation at my desk this morning. Cheers, Rita

  56. abdul1983 says:

    love the pictures!

  57. Ahhh…Back when things were built to last! haha these are great! It makes me want to go there and see them for myself! They are all so pretty! Maybe someday there will by masses offered in them once again!

  58. jgmtheo says:

    Lovely photos, It would have been good if you had placed the name and location under each of them.
    Just a thought on you comment…. “But make no mistake: God lives very happy in them”
    Acts 17:24 would seem to contradict your suggestion.

    24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; Acts 17:24-25

    • Covetotop says:

      … but St. John seems to support my suggestion:

      John 2:13-16. Jesus Cleanses the Temple

      13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple He found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And He poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And He told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

      Anyway, biblical texts apart, my feeling when I wrote this post was that in such humble, quiet and beautiful places God would feel very happy.

      If you ever want to visit any of those little gems, please do not hesitate contacting me. I would be very glad to inform you about its exact location.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  59. Ana VFCH says:

    There is still so much unknown beauty in Spain… I hope it’s never discovered so it can keep this magical serenity. Thank you for sharing. I love it!

  60. joeynavarrete says:

    Reblogged this on A Global Nomad.

  61. Lu says:

    Wow! Amazing! I wish I was there!

  62. James Austin says:

    Such a rich history, and beautiful photos, what a rewarding experience I am sure. I wish I had access to such a deep history

  63. Sarah says:

    These are phenomenal churches! I definitely prefer them over the modern mega church style. I wonder if God has a preference…
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. The beautiful photos are quite deserving of it.

  64. windowtoindia75 says:

    Those churches seem to have an aura of mystery and most likely a long historical record associated with them. WOnder what stories they would tell, could they speak!

  65. These are so beautiful… 🙂

  66. The Old Wolf says:

    I love tiny churches,and these are some gorgeous examples. Seven thumbs up! 😀

  67. You say god lives in these churches, but I ask you where does god not live?

  68. longtallyarn says:

    Very inspirational locations. I can see why churches were constructed there. Nice photos as well.

  69. Amazing pictures, but … “God lives happy in them?” … Really? I wish you just posted the pictures without your comments.

  70. Honey says:

    I have family in Bilbao, Spain and during one of my visits I had the opportunity to hike up Gaztelugatxeko Doniene or San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. It’s a small island and has a narrow path that is accessible only by foot. Once you reach the island you have to climb 200+ winding steps to the top where you discover a magnificent church and breathtaking views. I’m not too well informed of its history but I do know that it dates back to the 10th century. I’ll have to ask my mom for the pictures she took back in 2001. All these pictures brought back beautiful memories, it’s time for another trip 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  71. rodalena says:

    These photos are just lovely. Thanks you for posting them.

  72. Splendid! Especially one by the stream!

  73. Rose says:

    You are right, God lives happily in all fo them, they are so beautiful! Wonderful images!

  74. Gosh! The photos are amazing! I swear to visit them… after I graduate college of course. ^^

  75. Lori Lipsky says:

    Fascinating. I enjoyed tagging along with you as you took these shots. Thanks for sharing your finds.

  76. Great photos of such picturesques places! Good work!

  77. Wonderful, wonderful images! Many thanks! I invite you to visit my blog/world.

  78. onestreetshy says:

    Amazing photographs. Love the blog site too. Bravo bravo

  79. Beautiful! Can’t wait to visit at least one of these locations on my next trip to Spain! Thanks.

  80. catcristy says:

    Stunning photographs. Thank you for sharing! – CAT

  81. Lovely churches. And it always amazes me how many of them there are, and sometimes like these, in the middle of nowhere.

  82. Wow! they are in some random and beautiful places !

  83. Joycelyn says:

    Lovely lovely lovely, all the photos are! I love them, thank you for sharing! ♥

  84. Cool post. I´ve seen a few since I´ve been living in Spain. Very impressive photography too.

  85. Fantastic shots of these churches – congrats on being Freshly Pressed

  86. Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!

  87. Chéri Marie says:

    Thank you for sharing!! These are beautiful treasures that I hope stay around forever!

  88. I love Old Churches! I’m going to the Philippines in Jan/Feb. There is supposed to be a lot of old Spanish Churches in Illocos Norte.

  89. Some beauties of nature are magnified by Man’s innocence… These churches were built with that touch of innocence. Loved the snaps.. 🙂

  90. Nic Freeman says:

    Such a lovely collection of church photos! I really loved finding the humble, unannounced gems in the middle of Spanish countryside as I walked along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, visiting churches along the way. This is such a nice reminder.

    Congratulations of being Freshly Pressed too – it’s such a thrill.

  91. gealach says:

    Reblogged this on Gealachs Blogg and commented:
    Ett blogginlägg som jag hittade nu på morgonen, med några riktigt vackra bilder på spanska kyrkor! In och titta, tycker jag!

  92. Alexandra says:

    That’s a nice collection of photos, very informative! 🙂

  93. Eri Berry says:

    I love these quaint little churches you have found. We all visit those big, popular churches but these small, isolated ones have a special charm of their own.

  94. ellalaughs says:

    Such adorable little churches! Thanks for the pictures! 🙂

  95. great pictures!
    there are similar churches in Croatia

  96. romronda says:

    Great photos! Thank you for sharing.

  97. Sweet pictures. Love the lake shot. Thanks for posting. Looking forward to more.

  98. llerosablog says:

    Nice pictures, but can you post where are them?

  99. These churches are so beautiful. excellent article thank you,

  100. great pics! thanks for sharing!

  101. I passed, photographed and visited many small Churches and old isolated Templar dwellings when I walked the Camino de Santiago in 2003. Starting from St Jean in France and then walking over the Pyrenees was an amazing experience and there are many valleys that possess little treasures such as those photographed above. Many of the small Medieval towns in Spain feel as though they are still existing in the 15th century – some places were very heavy in atmosphere indeed.

    Regards, The Tartan Trouvere.

  102. As Spain is one of my ancestral homelands, I’d relish the opportunity to visit and see some of these structures. I’ve always found ancient architecture in any place fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

  103. Pingback: 09: Paper Sculpture, Art Nouveau, Social Media and More. | Almofate's Likes

  104. jtuckerdunn says:

    Reminds me of churches I saw along the camino de santago

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