Rural Romanesque churches with porticoed galleries in the Province of Segovia (Spain)

A few days ago I did something wacky: I turned my TV on. I force myself to do this from time to time, let’s say once every three or four months, just to get an updated idea about how my fellow human beings are behaving.

I could watch the TV news for barely fifteen minutes before falling into a deep depression: politics, crimes, financial crisis, daunting perspectives … The “good news” were, according to the host’s opinion, the following:

1. – A Mayans’ prediction apparently was wrong, because our planet did not perish on December the 21th, 2012 (!)

2. – Last December, something called “Gangnam Style” became the first video in the history of the Internet to be viewed more than a billion times. The TV host said that this thing topped the music charts of more than 30 countries and that its dance moves were attempted by many notable political leaders such as the British Prime Minister and the U.S. President; and the U.N. Secretary-General hailed it as a “force for world peace” (sic).

Then, I turned my TV off and felt compelled to visit urgently some rural Romanesque churches with porticoed galleries in the Province of Segovia.

And I did it.

And I feel much better now.

All the humble, little, isolated and immensely awe-inspiring rural churches that you are about to see in this post were built between the 11th and 12th centuries.

All of them are located off the beaten path, in tiny villages or in the middle of the countryside, in the old Kingdom of Castile, the heart of Spain.

In Segovia there is amazing Medieval Art almost everywhere. I am posting only about Romanesque churches with a porticoed gallery or porch. The galleries were originally designed as part of their façades; normally, the South façade, as Segovia is a very cold land in winter and villagers of all times love to feel the sun upon them.

1.- San Juan Bautista Hermitage (Revilla de la Orejana)

This little hermitage is really far away from it all. Entering in its porticoed gallery is like stepping back in time; moreover, it is like stepping to another dimension …


If you are a lonely traveler, once you are within the portico, you can do as I do: talk to the stones. Don’t be afraid if any of them respond to your musings. They were designed nine hundred years ago to narrate amazing stories to our ancestors …


It is difficult to say good-bye to this sacred space.


2.- San Miguel Arcángel Parish Church (Sotosalbos)

Just another charming rural Romanesque church with a porticoed gallery …

Segovia Sotosalbos

The porticoed gallery protect the main façade, comprising seven semicircular arches in addition to the central arch supported on plain columns and capitals carved with a wide variety of mysterious motifs.

Sotosalbos portico

Actually, there are mysterious motifs everywhere in this church.

Romanesque gallery Seg8

The portico was the meeting point of medieval villagers. This is the gathering place where they would make plans for an always-difficult future.

Sotosalbos interior

Sotosalbos is a charming little village.

3.- San Miguel Arcángel Parish Church (Tenzuela)

Tenzuela, a tiny village with a tiny church …

awesome church

In Tenzuela you always can keep very interesting conversations with these medieval people …

romanesque canecillos Seg13

And you can feel the utmost peace …

Romanesque in Segovia Seg15 Seg16

4.- Virgen de la Vega Hermitage (Val de San Pedro)

In the middle of a valley you’ll find this nice hermitage.


5.- San Pedro Apóstol Parish Church (San Pedro de Gaillos)

A serious church in a serious village.

romanesque art

And a wonderful capital.

capital romanesque

6.- La Asunción Parish Church (Duratón)

Nice churches are easy to photograph …

medieval church

… but capturing an image of your own feelings when you are inside one of these little medieval churches is impossible …

Gallery arches and countryside

7.- San Pedro Parish Church (Perorrubio)


A daunting gatekeeper was standing at San Pedro’s portico when I arrived …

daunting doorkeeper

… but he was very affable and let me visit the church …

Perorrubio portico

… and we became friends …

Romanesque dog

Epilogue: Pedraza

I was very tired and hungry after visiting so many medieval gems, so I decided to drive to the neighboring village of Pedraza …

It is a little tricky to drive through the only entrance gate of Pedraza, but it is well worth the effort …

medieval gate

Pedraza is one of the most beautiful medieval villages of Spain. Visiting it is the best culmination of an enchanting tour through the Romanesque Realm of Segovia.

In Pedraza there is an ancient castle:

medieval castle

In Pedraza there are ladies:

Ladies by the plaza

In Pedraza there are gentlemen:

Pedraza people

In Pedraza there are old houses:

Medieval building

In Pedraza you can enjoy some delightful moments at its Plaza Mayor:

Medieval square Seg34

In Pedraza you can eat like an authentic crusader:

Medieval food

It is time to say good-bye to Pedraza and to finish this post. But remember: in order to exit the village, you have to drive again through a very narrow gate, hence be careful …

Pedraza door

… be very careful …

Exit from Pedraza

That’s it! Free! Bye!

Countryside and SIerra



About Covetotop

A Mediterranean blogger
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18 Responses to Rural Romanesque churches with porticoed galleries in the Province of Segovia (Spain)

  1. Great post and beautiful images!

    I can totally relate to your feelings on television. I haven’t owned one in years and when I watch it, it brings kind of a sad reality that many people prefer this over exploring beautiful places like the churches in your pictures.

    I do have to make a confession though… I make the exception of watching football games with friends and family. I grew up watching games. Then we would head out afterward and play outside. haha

  2. a ferreira says:

    So very interesting, these churches and also Pedraza!
    But … talking to the stones? I prefer talking to the trees! 😉

  3. Sarah says:

    Ah, I know exactly how you feel about the news. I try to avoid as much news as possible so I don’t get depressed about it. The thought of taking one’s mind off the “going-ons” of the world and visiting nearby churches is delightful! Enjoyed the pics.

  4. Another informative post just oozing passion. One word of advice, if i may: please try to cut your tv time to no more than fifteen minutes once every six months, if you can… 😉

  5. oliviaobryon says:

    I had to laugh aloud. So perfectly true. TV does make me want to run and hide as well… Thanks for the escape. 🙂

  6. trishworth says:

    I totally enjoyed reading this and wish I was in these places right now. I have plans to see some Spanish churches this year, so you’ve reminded me how good it’s going to be.

  7. I see some familiar names on your comments, and it’s no surprise why. These are wonderful photographs of some lovely Spanish churches. Well done, as always.

  8. dianajhale says:

    Just seen this one – I love Spanish Romanesque but I don’t think I went to any of these. Segovia is lovely too. great set of images!

    • Covetotop says:

      Thank you for your comment. Rural Romanesque is very beautiful in Spain. The province of Segovia has quite a few little -almost unknown by general public- jewels like these ones.

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