What to do Fromista - Carrion de los Condes
Today’s monotonous path passes through many towns that will help us to cope with its monotony, and ends up in Carrión de los Condes, a town with many different cultural attractions. Below you can find more details on these sites of interest.
Población de Campos
Población de Campos is a municipality in Palencia, with an area of 23 square kilometres and a population of 123 inhabitants.
The etymology of “Población” comes from the Latin word “Populatio”. The origin of the town dates back to the end of the 9th century, although it is very likely that there were already settlements here, such as a population of the Vaccaei or a Roman village, as evidenced by archaeological findings.
In the town you can visit the hermitage of El Socorro, the church of San Miguel and the church of La Magdalena. Another interesting site is the 17th-century bridge that crosses the Ucieza River.
Hermitage of El Socorro
The hermitage of El Socorro is located in the town of Población de Campos. The temple dates back to the 12th century and is built in a Late-Romanesque style. This hermitage was originally attached to the church of San Pedro, but the church disappeared and the hermitage miraculously remained standing, being left as an independent building, as you can see today.
Inside, the hermitage houses the image of Our Lady of El Socorro, a representation from the 13th century that is currently still worshipped.
Church of La Magdalena
The church of La Magdalena is located in the municipality of Población de Campos. There has been evidence of its existence since the 14th century.
It structure is divided into three naves separated by cylindrical pilasters. Inside the church there are two baptismal fonts, one from the end of the 13th century and another dating back to the 15th century.
What grabs our attention are the images of Christ Crucified, Saint Mary Magdalene and the Virgin of Candelaria. Different carvings of various sizes can also be found on its walls, as well as an attractive altarpiece and an organ, which was badly damaged by a fire in the temple in 1985.
Hours: Closed on Mondays. From Tuesday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
Hermitage of San Miguel
The hermitage of San Miguel is located at the foot of the Camino de Santiago as it passes through the town of Población de Campos. The structure is in a Romanesque-Gothic style and the exact date on which the temple was built is unknown.
However, it is very likely that it comes from before the 13th century, which is made clear in donation documents, which highlight the existence of facilities for lepers next to the temple.
Its structure is formed by a rectangular nave. In the temple, we can point out the windows in a Gothic style, the pointed steeple on the western gable and the cross placed on the eastern gable.
The environment where the hermitage is located is also worth mentioning, since it is surrounded by a green meadow in which poplar trees provide shade to tables and stone ovens.
Revenga de Campos
Revenga de Campos is a municipality with an area of 22 square kilometres and 148 inhabitants. In the town, you can visit the church of San Lorenzo, built in the 13th century and restored in the 16th century. Inside, the temple preserves altarpieces from the 17th and 18th century, along with a carving of Our Lady of the Pilgrim, made during the 15th century.
Its architecture is characterised by the presence of homes with coats of arms, which were erected throughout the 16th century. One of them served as the accommodations for Emperor Charles V when he visited the town. Another interesting attraction is the Monolith of General Amor, a famous military figure during the War of Independence.
Villarmentero de Campos
The small town of Villarmentero de Campos has an area of just 8 square kilometres and a population that doesn’t reach 25 people. The main architectural attraction in the town is an octagonal Múdejar temple with a coffered ceiling from the 15th century, which was made with unpainted wood.
There are also old legends in the town surrounding the relics of Saint Martin of Tours, a Catholic bishop, according to which his relics reached the town on a large mule.
Villalcázar de Sirga
Villalcázar de Sirga, popularly known as Villasirga, has an area of 25 square kilometres and a population of 170 inhabitants. The town belonged to the order of the Temple, an important part of the Knights Templar.
Its most famous temple is the Santa María la Blanca church, patron saint to whom numerous miracles are attributed during the Middle Ages.
In the town you can also visit the Palace of the Counts of Villasirga, whose construction dates back to the 18th century. It now houses the Town Hall and several Gothic heads can be seen on its façade.
One kilometre from the town centre is the hermitage of Nuestra Señora del Río, from the 17th century, where it is believed that the town was founded.
Santa María la Blanca
The church of Santa María la Blanca is located in the village of Villacázar de Sirga. The building dates back to the late 12th and early 13th century, and is in a Romano-Gothic style. It is one of the most interesting medieval temples on the entire French Way as it passes through Castile and León.
On the outside of the building, we can point out its southern façade, on which there is a portico of pointed arches and ribbed vaults.
The entrance to the temple has five archivolts, decorated with numerous sculptures of angels, saints and musicians, who are arranged following the orientation of the archivolts. The columns have capitals decorated with plant themes.
The inside of the church consists of three naves, covered with simple ribbed vaults. The chevet has three rectangular apses, with pointed arches and cruciform pillars.
Hours: From July to September it closes on Mondays and opens from Tuesday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm). The rest of the year it only opens on Saturdays and Sundays (from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm, and from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm).
Mass hours: Weekdays (10:00 am) and holidays (12:30 pm).
Admission: General (€1.50), pilgrims with a pilgrim passport (€1).
Carrión de los Condes
The municipality of Carrión de los Condes covers an area of 63 square kilometres and is home to just over 2,000 inhabitants.
The name of the town makes reference to the Counts who ruled in the city when they were Christian kingdoms. In the town, the Beni-Gómez family had their feudal seat, who were historical enemies of El Cid.
In the past, Carrión de los Condes was the place of residence for kings and played a fundamental role in the founding of Castile. During the Middle Ages, it was a prosperous city that came to have a population of 12,000 inhabitants, as well as numerous religious buildings and hospitals for pilgrims.
Among the religious buildings in the town, there are several monasteries such as the royal monastery of San Zoilo, the monastery of San Francisco, the royal monastery of Santa Clara, the convent of Las Hijas de la Caridad and the convent of La Santísima Trinidad.
Among the more than 12 churches that were built in the town, today you can visit the churches of Santiago, Santa María del Camino, Santa Clara, San Julián, Nuestra Señora del Belém and San Andrés Apostle, as well as the hermitages of La Piedad and San Julián de Cestillos.
Among its civil architecture, we can highlight the house of Girón, the house of the Marquis of Santillana, the house of culture, the house of Ánguila and the Calle Padre Gil house, in addition to the sculpture of the Immaculate Conception and the Mayor bridge.
The town has several museums, many of which are located within religious buildings. These include: the Santiago Museum and the Santa Clara Museum.
Royal Monastery San Zoilo
The royal monastery of San Zoilo is located in Carrión de los Condes and was declared a Spanish BIC (“Good of Cultural Interest”) in 2003. The building dates back to the 16th and 17th century.
Throughout history, the monastery has had various uses. First it was used as a religious and political centre, and later as a residence for kings, also being used during the Middle Ages as a centre of pilgrimage.
At the start of the 19th century, the temple suffered through various processes of confiscation and exclaustration, which led to it becoming a Diocesan Minor Seminary in 1954, up until 1986.
In 1992, the diocese ceded the use of the building, while retaining ownership of its monumental part. Its facilities then began to be used as a hotel complex.
During the restoration to adapt the building to the hotel’s requirements, a Romanesque-style doorway was discovered in the Galileo room, dating back to the 11th and 12th century. This doorway had remained hidden during the construction of the current temple.
Hours: From April to October, from Monday to Sunday (from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm, and from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
From October to December, from Monday to Saturday and holidays (from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm, and from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm), Sundays (from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm).
Mass hours: Every day (8:30 am).
Admission: General (€2), groups of more than 20 people (€1.50), students and pilgrims (€1), children under 12 (free).
Church of Santiago
The church of Santiago in Carrión de los Condes dates back to the 12th century and has been declared a Spanish “Good of Cultural Interest”.
On the temple, we can highlight the western façade, which is formed by a rounded arched portal with an archivolt that is decorated with medieval crafts that were typical in the town. There are 22 human figures and two lions that appear on the façade, represented from left to right.
The Museum of Sacred Art, or the Santiago Museum, was installed in the temple in 1993.
Hours: From May to September, from Monday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm). From September to April, it closes on Mondays and opens from Tuesday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm).
Admission: 1 euro.
The Museum of Sacred Art in Carrión de los Condes is also known as the Santiago Museum, seeing how it has been located inside the church of Santiago since 1993. It exhibits pieces from the church of Santa María la Blanca, the church of Santiago itself, and from the hermitages of La Piedad and San Julián de Cestillos.
The museum also houses relics from extinct temples such as the church of San Juan del Mercado or the monasteries of San Francisco and Santa Isabel. There are also pieces of metalwork, choir lecterns, choirbooks, paintings, sculptures, etc., all of which have been donated by residents from the area.
Hours: From July to September it closes on Mondays and opens from Tuesday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm). From April to June and during October, it only opens from Friday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
Admission: 1 euro.
Monastery of San Francisco
The monastery of San Francisco is located in the town of Carrión de los Condes. The monastic complex was founded at the beginning of the 13th century.
After the effects of the War of Independence in 1811, and the Confiscation, the monastery was abandoned due to its poor condition. In 1971, Daniel Álvarez de Bobadilla acquired what was left of the monastery.
Today, what little has been preserved of this site can be found in the museum in the monastery of Santa Clara, such as the artwork of Saint Anthony of Padua, the Virgen of the Angels, Saint Pedro Regalado, Saint Luis Obispo and Saint Christopher.
The baptismal font and a few coats of arms have also been preserved, which can be found in the gardens of the Conde de Garay square, in front of the monastery itself.
There are currently plans to restore this site, but for now, and after many negotiations, the city has only managed to gain ownership of the church, with the monastery continuing to remain in private hands.
The Immaculate Conception
The statue of the Immaculate Conception is located in the Santa María square and dates back to 1905. The image is made of iron, imitating the statue that is found in the Piazza di Spagna in Rome.
Its placement in the square represented the end of the restorations carried out between 1971 and 1972. Recently, maintenance work has been done in the square and the sculpture was restored, cleaned and treated for oxidation, in order to protect it from moisture.
Church of Santa María del Camino
The church of Santa María del Camino is located in Carrión de los Condes. It was built in the middle of the 12th century in a Romanesque style.
In the past, the temple was known as Santa María de las Victorias, in memory of the defeat suffered by the Muslims. According to the story, the Muslims came to Carrión de los Condes to collect the “Tribute of the Hundred Maidens”, imposed by Miramamolin on King Mauregato, for which the town had to provide four young women.
The four girls to be handed over by Carrión de los Condes begged to say goodbye to the Virgin before leaving the town, who upon hearing their cries, made four bulls appear that caused the Muslims to flee, leaving the maidens free.
However, it’s possible that its name does not come from this legend, but instead from the victories won by Bermudo I over the Muslims, or that of Alfonso III, who celebrated in Carrión de los Condes his defeat of the Moors in Zamora.
Later on, the church was renamed Santa María del Camino, given its proximity to the Camino de Santiago. Since then, it has been known by both names.
The temple is made of ashlar masonry and has an impressive size, if compared to other Romanesque churches in Spain. Its structure is formed by three naves with four sections, with their respective apses and transept. The central nave is the widest.
The main chapel was destroyed in the 17th century, by order of Bishop Juan del Molino Navarrete, in order to build a large presbytery. However, you can still see remains of the original apse in a Romanesque style, with its columns and capitals. The presbytery is in a Baroque style, with pointed arches and vaults, and a hefty dome.
At the foot of the church there is a steeple belfry and, on the west side, a portal with a brick wall that was reopened at the end of the 20th century. This one has rounded archivolts, while the central portal rests on capitals depicting different scenes and simple columns.
The portal that is on the southern façade has some of the most interesting decoration of the entire temple, even though it was roughly executed and is considerably deteriorated.
Over the portal there is a niche that once housed the image of Mary. It is currently located inside the temple, and on the outside there is a stone replica. In 2001, this portal was restored and the original columns were replaced by new ones.
Hours: From July to September it closes on Mondays and opens from Tuesday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm). From October to June, it only opens from Friday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm).
Mass hours: From May to November, on weekdays (8:00 pm) and holidays (7:00 pm). From December to April, only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (7:00 pm).
Iglesia de Santa Clara
The church of Santa Clara in Carrión de los Condes arose from the union of one of the monastery’s old churches with the church of El Espíritu Santo de las Agustinos Regulares, between 1614 and 1621. The resulting temple had a classic Renaissance style.
The work done to join both temples was completed under the mandate of the Abbess Sister Luisa de la Ascensión Colmenares, thanks to the donations by Felipe III (1598-1621) and Felipe V (1621-1665), as well as by their wives, as a show of gratitude for their prayers and advice.
The temple is made of ashlar masonry and consists of a single nave with a barrel vault with lunettes. The dome of the transept is made of flat plasterwork. The temple has several small chapels in which niches have been placed.
The portal is made in stonework and is located next to the Gospel, on the north side, which is divided into two bodies with Doric pilasters on the lower part, and Corinthians on the upper part.
The most remarkable thing inside the temple is the Crucified Christ and the Our Lady of Sorrows, both the work of the sculptor Gregorio, in a Baroque style. The two sculptures are incredibly realistic and expressive, highlighting the delicacy of their expressions and the folds of their clothes.
The main altarpiece dates back to 1620 and is Baroque. The work is formed by three bodies with Solomonic columns, with paintings and sculptures arranged in perfect symmetry. The image of the Immaculate Conception presides over the altarpiece, which is from the 15th century in a Gothic style.
Next to it, the image of Santa Clara appears along with four huge canvases, dating back to the first third of the 17th century. The paintings belong to the Italian Mannerist school and represent scenes such as the Prayer in the Garden, the Eleven Thousand Virgins and the Ascension of Jesus Christ, among others.
In one of the arms of the transept is the sepulchre that preserves the remains of the Countess of Castañeda, Doña Aldonza Manrique, who made several donations to the temple.
Mass hours: Every day (9:00 am).
Museum of Santa Clara
The museum of Santa Clara is located in Carrión de los Condes and was inaugurated in 1987. Shortly afterwards, in 1993, its facilities were expanded and another room was added. In 2002, a new extension was added on and new sculptures and paintings were brought, as well as a collection of coins and nativity scenes from all over the world.
In the exhibition, you can see pieces from the Santa Clara monastery itself and other ancient monasteries that were left to be abandoned, such as the Santa Isabel or San Francisco monasteries. Pieces donated or acquired by the community are also on display.
Hours: Closed on Mondays. From May to October (from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm) and from November to April (from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm, and from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm).
Admission: General (€2), groups of more than 15 people (€1.20).
Church of San Julián
The church of San Julián is located in the town of Carrión de los Condes. It was completely restored during the 16th and 17th century, which allowed it to preserve its façade, on which there are two coats of arms and a niche that houses the wood carving of Saint Julian. There is the following inscription on the pedestal: “Ángel de Berrio, Patron Saint of San Julián”.
The temple has a barrel vault with lunettes and a dome. On the sides of the transept, you can see the weapons that belonged to the Marquis of Villasante. Inside, we can also find the best Baroque altarpieces in the town, with sculptures made by Pedro del Mazo Vélez, in 1706.
On the main altarpiece are the images of the Assumption of Mary, John the Baptist, Saint Julian, Saint Ferdinand, and several angels. The images of Saint Joseph and Saint Jerome are represented on one side of the lateral altarpieces, with Saint Anthony and Saint Antony next to the Gospel.
Inside it houses more sculptures such as that of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Peter and the Infant Jesus of Prague, among others. There is also the sculptural work of Saint Zoilus, which was replaced by a larger one in 1896. This is the image that is used in the procession during the Saint’s festival.
Hours: From June to October (from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm). From November to May (from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
Mass Hours: Every day, except Sundays. From Monday to Friday (10:00 am and 7:00 pm), and Saturdays (10:00 am).
House of Los Girón
The house of Los Girón, in Carrión de los Condes, is a spectacular 18th-century building. One of the few that survived the fire in 1811. Its façade is made of ashlar masonry and brick, on which there are carved coats of arms along with a few windows with magnificent grillwork.
Inside, behind the portal, there is a small entrance hall that leads to a beautiful courtyard, formed by Doric columns. From the courtyard there is a beautiful staircase decorated with the portraits of kings and queens, the image of the Immaculate Conception, and the family’s coat of arms.
House of the Marquis of Santillana
The house of the Marquis of Santillana is located in the town of Carrión de los Condes. It was restored to commemorate the 6th centennial anniversary of the birth of this illustrious politician and poet. The building is made of stone and its façade displays a coat of arms of the Mendoza family, on which you can read “Ave María, gratia plena”.
Throughout history, the inside of the house has been subjected to various modifications in order to make it suitable as a family home. Seeing how Iñigo López Mendoza was born within its walls, the home is a place that now awakens people’s love for literature and philosophy.
Church of Nuestra Señora del Belén
The church of Nuestra Señora del Belén stands at the top of Carrión de los Condes, overlooking a part of the Carrión River, from where you can see the entire riverbank. The temple was built between 1552 and 1579, on the site of a medieval temple from the late-15th century.
In the 17th century, a restoration was carried out that changed the orientation of the church, a new nave was erected and the tower was completed. Inside, we can point out the main altarpiece from the beginning of the 16th century, in a Plataresque-Renaissance style.
Hours: From June to September it closes on Mondays. From Tuesday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
Mass hours: From May to October, every weekday (10:00 am).
House of Culture
The House of Culture building in Carrión de los Condes is located behind the Town Hall and was built in 1568. It has served various functions throughout history, including its use as a prison and as a court.
At the end of the 20th century, it was restored and converted into a house of culture and a municipal library. However, its current appearance is due to a restoration carried out in 2005.
What remains of its original structure is the main body of the façade, made of stone, on which there are two coats of arms: the city’s and the royal coat of arms. The ground floor was where the dungeons and cells were located, during the time when it was used as a prison. Currently, these spaces serve as offices and meeting rooms.
In 2012, the building was renamed the Fray Migues de Benvides Library (1552-1605), in honour of the founder of the University of Manila.
Hours: From Monday to Friday (from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm). Open in the morning on Thursdays (from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm).
Calle Padre Gil House
The Calle Padre Gil house is the oldest in Carrión de los Condes. It was built during the late 15th century.
Currently, we can still see a coat of arms and the top end of what could have been an alfiz (rectangular panel that encloses the outward side of an arch). On the façade, we can see a coat of arms with a vase full of lilies in a Marian style, which symbolises the purity of Mary.
Church of San Andrés Apóstol
The church of San Andrés Apóstol is located north of Carrión de los Condes, in a square that bears the same name. It is usually referred to as a cathedral.
The building was erected on the site of a previous church, and the construction finished in 1574. The structure is made of ashlar stone. During the War of Independence, the primitive tower caught fire and was restored in brick and stone, with an octagonal dome topped with a roof lantern and a stone cross.
It was restored in 2003 by Pedro de Castrillo, master stonemason and a resident of the town. During this work, the cracks were closed, the floor of the tower and the cornice were repaired, and a decaying staircase was replaced by a metal one, which serves as a support for the walls of the tower. The dome was also repaired, consolidating its structure and reinforcing its foundations with a base of concrete slab and steel plates.
The inside of the temple has cylindrical columns in a Renaissance style, over which there are three naves with five sections of equal height. The choir stalls date back to the 16th century and come from the monastery of Benevívere, which no longer exists. A wide staircase allows you to go to the presbytery, on whose sides you can find the lecterns for the Epistle and the Gospel.
The main altarpiece belongs to the first half of the 17th century. The work was brought form the church of Santa María del Camino. In the central part, we are drawn to the sculpture of St. Andrew the Apostle, surrounded by three other images representing the theological virtues.
On the sides of the altarpiece, you can see paintings that represent the Four Evangelists. Higher up, you can find the painting of the Assumption of Mary.
On the left side of the temple there is a magnificent altarpiece of the Holy Kings, on which you can see a huge canvas with the Adoration of the Magi, a replica of a piece of art done by Peter Rubens.
Other elements in the church the stand out are the Churrigueresque altar of Our Lady of the Rosary, the sepulchre of Don Melchor Álvarez de Vozmediano, from 1630 in an Ionic style, and the niche of Don Pedro Cantero, from 1978.
We can also highlight the altarpiece that was brought here from the now disappeared Hospital de la Herrada, and its Virgin. On the altarpiece you can see an urn that, according to legend, stores one of the nails used on Jesus Christ.
Also of interest are the stained glass windows depicting the martyrdom of Saint Andrew, a painting of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, which is the work of Ramon Canedo from the 18th century, and an Ecce Homo, from the Italian school.
Hours: From June to September it closes on Mondays. It opens from Tuesday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm). The rest of the year it only opens on Sundays (from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm).
Mass hours: From May to November, weekdays (10:00 am), and holidays (12:00 pm). The rest of the year there is only mass on holidays (12:00 pm).
Hijas de la Caridad Convent
The Hijas de la Claridad convent is located to the rear of where the Palace of the Counts of Salinas de Pisuerga was located, and was used to educate girls from Carrión de los Condes.
In 1957, after a fire, it was rebuilt and continued to perform its function as a school until 2002. From that year on, part of the building was refurbished and it began to operate as a pilgrim shelter, which can be accessed through the central courtyard.
Another part of the site has been refurbished to welcome retired nuns, who manage the shelter and collaborate in the town’s pastoral activities.
The convent is composed of an oratory that is open to the community and a Neo-Gothic church in which no worship currently takes place. The presbytery houses the remains of the benefactors who donated their inheritance to the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vicent de Paul.
The Águila house in Carrión de los Condes is considered a palace. The building belonged to the Velasco family, and it was here where Don Luis de Velasco was born, second viceroy of New Spain, and his son, who was also the viceroy of New Spain and Peru.
It is one of the oldest representations of civil architecture in the town. Unfortunately, it remained abandoned for many years, and in 1999 the building was destroyed except for its façade, to be completely rebuilt.
The construction was very simple, it only had a portal and a balcony on its main façade. In fact, the two coats of arms are the elements that stand out the most. One of which is the Velasco family coat of arms, with the outlines of four castles supported by an eagle.
And on the other you can read “Ave María Gratia Plena”, just like on the façade of the home of the Marquis of Santillana. This is due to the relationship between the two families that came about through a marriage.
Convent of la Santísima Trinidad
The convent of La Santísima Trinidad is the most modern convent in Carrión de los Condes. It was built in 1974, after a fire destroyed the previous building.
Carlos Rivera designed the current site, which is composed of a church, the locutory, the refectory, the infirmary, the chapterhouse, the choirs, the recreation room, and rooms where the nuns are housed.
The church is made of brick and is decorated by a crucifix and the image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, both made of wood and the work of Victor de los Ríos. Inside the church there are paintings from the 17th century, depicting scenes from the life of Saint Teresa.
The convent was founded by “the Saint” of Carrión, Francisca Javiera. The life of this illustrious woman in the town was characterised by its simplicity and her devotion to helping others, especially religious people and priests. In 1930, Francisca died at 73 years old, in the convent of Carmelitas, three days after commencing monastic life in the convent that she had founded.
Her work was so important in the life of the town and the convent, that it is here where her remains lie. A mural was placed on the main façade in her honour.
Likewise, in the old inn of the Jesuits, a cultural classroom was set up and named after her as a way of paying tribute, which includes an interesting literary production and some of her personal keepsakes.
Mass hours: Every day (8:30 am).
Originally, the Mayor bridge in Carrión de los Condes had a structure formed by seven arches and was made of ashlar stone and compact blocks of lime, sand and stone. According to available documentation, it is believed that the structure had fortified doors on its sides. In the second half of the 16th century, it was torn down.
Shortly after, restoration work began on the old bridge, which was the work of Juan de Aral. During this project, it was determined that five of the medieval bridge’s arches had to come down and be replaced by four new ones, in order to allow the weeds and mud from the floods to easily pass.
A twenty-food-wide road made of large stones, pebbles and hard slabs was placed over the arches. This design responded to the need to allow cars, horses and pedestrians to cross the bridge without the risk of slipping.
Hermitage of la Piedad
The hermitage of la Piedad is the first temple that pilgrims encounter at the entrance to Carrión de los Condes. The chapel was rebuilt in 1625 under the patronage of the abbess, Sister Luisa de la Ascensión, as can be read on an inscription that is found on the roof of the temple.
It was also renovated once more in the 19th century, however since 1993, everything that has been preserved from the chapel is now exhibited in the church of Santiago. The temple has a chevet made of stone, while the rest of the structure is made of brick.
Hermitage of San Julián de Cestillos
The hermitage of San Julián de Cestillos is located in the town of Carrión de los Condes. Its structure is formed by a nave, with a barrel vault roof to which a sacristy is attached, next to the Gospel. Under the sacristy, you can see the beginning of a low bell tower.
The last restoration dates back to 1740 and was carried out by the local builders, José Iglesias and Eugenio Rodríguez. Up until 1994, the hermitage housed an altarpiece from 1600 that is dedicated to John the Baptist. In that year, it was moved to the church of Santiago.
Royal Monastery of Santa Clara
The Royal Monastery of Santa Clara in Carrión de los Condes was founded in 1231 by two disciples of Saint Clare. It is one of the oldest monasteries of the Order of the Poor Clares in Spain, built in a Mudéjar style.
In the Middle Ages, the monastery was closely tied to the Castañeda family. This connection was so close that the abbess of the temple even received the name of Beatriz Manrique.
During the French invasion, the silver objects that were kept in the church were stolen. With the confiscation in 1835, the convent was expropriated and the nuns of the convent of Santa Isabel moved to its facilities. Later, in 1868, the nuns of Santa Clara were forced to leave the convent.
This looting and changes in monastic management are the reason why there are few aspects from its original structure that have been preserved. What we can see today is the result of a reconstruction carried out between the 15th and 16th century.
Today, the nuns still occupy the monastery, but only a part of it. The north area is open to the public and from there you can access the courtyard with arcades that connects with the other spaces, such as the museum, the hostelry and the locutory.
Hours: Closed on Mondays. From Tuesday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, and from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm). The hours vary slightly between March and September (30 minutes earlier or later).
Admission: 2 euros.