Alt Urgell, centre of Christianity | Cultural Heritage. Goverment of Catalonia.


Cathedral cloister, La Seu d'Urgell. Josep Giribet / Departament de Cultura. CC BY-NC 2.0
Church of Sant Vicenç. Josep Giribet/ Departament de Cultura. CC BY – NC 2.0

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Alt Urgell, centre of Christianity

Visit Catalonia's only remaining Romanesque cathedral
As winter approaches it is always a delight to go walking in the Catalan Pyrenees. Here you will find peace and quiet in the midst of nature, but there is a lot of culture and history too. What about getting away from it all in L'Alt Urgell and visiting some of the churches there? Amongst them is Santa Maria d’Urgell, one of Catalonia's great cathedrals.
Based in La Seu d’Urgell you will find one of Catalonia's great cathedrals, Santa Maria d’Urgell. Dating from the 12th century, it is the only one that is entirely Romanesque in style. Built in the Llombard style it is a robust structure and has, since medieval times, been the episcopal see of Urgell.
Fifteen-minutes' drive away, just outside the village of Estamariu on the road to Bescaran, is the Romanesque church of Sant Vicenç. The most recent restoration work has revealed the paintings that had been plastered over: a magnificent Romanesque mural in the apse, and the Gothic decorations in the apsidiole. It is one of the most important examples of mural art to be conserved in situ in Catalonia.
Another fifteen-minute drive from La Seu d’Urgell takes you to the monastery of Sant Sadurní de Tavèrnoles in Les Valls de Valira, Anserall. The origins of this Benedictine monastery are unclear, but it is thought that, being close to the royal road from La Seu d’Urgell to Andorra, it could have been equipped to accommodate travellers. The name Tavèrnoles comes from the Latin, taverna.
Andorra is close by. You could visit the tiny church of Sant Miquel d'Engolasters and the interesting pre-Romanesque church of Santa Coloma. 
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