A historical tour of Andorra’s Romanesque landmarks

A historical tour of Andorra’s Romanesque landmarks

Even though the snow season has ended, Andorra is still very vibrant. There is so much to do in the Principality throughout the year! Here is an idea how to enjoy your getaway to Andorra. If you haven’t followed a historical route discovering the small medieval villages full of charm and the charming and eye-catching Romanesque churches, you still don’t know Andorra. Most of the Andorran cultural heritage contains of Romanesque art, a sober style that has been adapted to the Pyrenean natural environment creating astonishing landscapes. On this route you can discover some of these precious treasures hidden away in the mountains.

Situated along the Carretera General 2 (CG-2) at 7 km from Andorra la Vella, Les Bons is a historical open-air museum with many medieval buildings. The bridge over the River Valira de Oriente, the Tower of the Moors, which was part of a 17th century fortification; the Bath of Reina Mora, an ancient Arab water tank dug into the rock; a few 16th century dovecotes; and remains of the medieval wall and the church of Sant Romà. In addition, a monastery that dates back to the 12th century rests on a rock and like most of these small Romanesque churches has a curved bell tower and a porch at the entrance

As with all of Andorra’s destinations, the village of Pal is located near the capital, just 12 km away and can be reached by taking the CG-4 which is accessed from the CG-3. For many it’s Andorra’s favourite village. Its stone houses with slate roofs contrast with the green bloom of spring creating breath-taking mountain views taken straight from a postcard. And if this weren’t enough, it boasts one of the oldest Romanesque churches in this area. The church of Sant Climent de Pal dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries and has not changed much since then. You can also enjoy some of the best local dishes in Pal’s restaurants.

Finally, don’t forget to visit the Church of Santa Coloma because it is the only one in Andorra with a Lombard bell tower. You can reach it by taking the CG-1, continue 1 km until you see the Margineda Bridge, a beautifully arched shape Romanesque structure across the Valira River.

These are just some ideas of all the things you can do on your discovery tour of the less well-known parts of Andorra.

*Photograph courtesy of J.Casanova. Fons PCA. 09

 

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