Their overwhelming monumentality is probably the main factor in attracting visitors. Do not neglect lt. The eight cities are home to architectural treasures of great importance. The vestige of time and the excelent eclectic capacity of all of them enable us today to attend the surprising spectacle of their squares and strecets, where highly contrasting styles join hands together, while maintaining a unique harmony. Nevertheless, the visitors must approach them with a predisposed soul in order to discover their nature, their daily secrets, their changing flavours, smells and colours. Their types, their sayings. Their mysteries.
However, the itineraries may be drawn up in many days. Each one of the eight cities should be the starting and finishing point at the same time, the beginning and end, resting point and destination. The Romanesque lover will come and be received by Compostela's Porch of the Glory, which will indicate to him that a little further down, in the Salamanca of initiation, the surprise of the old Cathedral, discrete and wise, still survives under the new one's shadow.
|And that from there he should pass on to Ávila,
through 97 km of plains, in order to encounter the grandiosity of the Church of San
Vicente, so close to the concepts of Mateo's porch In Santiago.
Then Segovia, a stone's throw away, where the Romanesque
lover becomes a collector, since 18 churches of that style crowd its streets -who dares
point out an example?
Then Toledo, where the traveller will find no further traces except that of the sanctuary of the Christ of Light, but may savour other contemporary styles, because Hispanic history is so rich and diverse. Also in Cuenca, where it is possible to spend delicious moments searching for the Romanasque rests in its Cathedral or even in its hermitage of Saint Pantaleon, with its mythic seniority: the oldest church in the city. Toledo and Cáceres are already very close to the south and the Roman plans finish up sustaining monuments wlth Gothic inclinations. That is what tbe visitor surmises in front of Cáceres' enigmatic and surprising church of James of the Knights. But still in Córdoba you are able to find some Romanesque traces in the churches of Santa Marina, San Lorenzo, San Miguel or San Nicolás.
However, before Romanesque times, which the Cluny order brought along the Way of Santiago through the drive of Christianity, these places were already populated or cohabited by the Celts, lberian tribes, Romans, Visigoths and Arabs -did you know in Córdoba is still possible to visit its Mosque, considered to be the best Islamic chruch in the world? And it comes from the VII century!... The memory and remains of all of these continue on in the public works and constructions that came to shape the present-day cities.