The ulimate expression of Catalan Romanesque art can be found in Lleida
Romanesque art lives in Lleida. Time passes slowly in the valleys of the Lleida province, which has managed to maintain the identity of its Romanesque churches, the enjoyment of its crystal clear waters and its gastronomic delights.
Among our jewels, the Romanesque art of Vall de Boí is exceptional due to the concentration of such a large number of churches of the same architectural style in the valley. This fact may be surprising at first glance, but when the temples were built in the XI – XII century, they fulfilled a role far beyond being just prayer places, and also where people met and shelter.
These churches have been preserved over time with little modification thanks to the isolation of the Valley until well into the last century. Therefore, a visit to this space constitutes a journey back in time towards the Romanesque ensemble in its initial conception.
What to see?
Romanesque art in all its dimension is found at Boí Valley, one of the most interesting remains in Europe, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The visit to the valley has as some mandatory stops its eight churches and a hermitage that awarded such distinction: the churches of Sant Climent and Santa Maria de Taüll, Sant Joan de Boí, Santa Eulàlia d’Erill la Vall, Sant Feliu de Barruera, Nativitat de Durro, Santa Maria de Cardet, Assumpció de Cóll and the hermitage of Sant Quirc de Durro.
One of its main features is the unity of architectural style. The integration, in an environment of great beauty, of these simple and sober constructions complements and enhances the landscape. You will see with your own eyes the careful stonework, the slender bell tower and the exterior decoration of blind arches and Lombard bands.
This cultural adventure can be done on your own but if you prefer, the Centro del Románico de la Vall de Boí also offers the service of guided tours for groups and individuals practically all year round, by appointment and in different languages.
You will find churches or Romanesque chapels in many other towns of the Pyrenees, among which we highlight the Monumental Complex of Son del Pi and the Seu d’Urgell Cathedral .
The Pantocrator or Apse of San Climent de Tahüll is one of the masterpieces of the European Romanesque art. It is painting belonging to the set of wall decoration in the church of San Clemente de Tahull within the Boí Valley. Currently, it is exhibited at the National Art Museum of Catalonia.
One of the activities for families, to dig into the heritage of this land, is letting the little ones become authentic painters by drawing and coloring the Romanesque churches of the Vall de Boí. There is also a family activity as a clue game to discover the treasures of the Romanesque complex. Fun is assured!