Romanesque Church near Potes in the Picos

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Santa Maria Real de Piasca is a Romanesque Church near Potes in the Picos de Europa. There seemed to be many churches, monasteries, and hermitages in the area around Potes and we had time to visit three.

Santa Maria Real de Piasca

Santa Maria Real de Piasca was a Monastery founded in the 8C-9C and by the 11C was apparently equal in importance to Santa Toribio, with many possessions. Today all that remains is the church, halfway up a mountainside, and absolutely gorgeous, and the foundations of its cloister. The remarkable fact about this ‘monastery’ was that it was mixed – it included both monks and nuns – but eventually the monks took over – nothing new here! The current church dates from the 12C. 

View from the Church
View from the Church
The entrance to Santa Maria de Piasca
The entrance to Santa Maria de Piasca
Santa Maria de Piasca from the remains of the Cloister
Santa Maria de Piasca from the remains of the Cloister

Carvings on a Romanesque Church

The main doorway is extraordinarily ornate and I could have spent a long time looking at the carvings.

The main doorway of Santa Maria de Piasca
Main doorway of Santa Maria de Piasca
The main doorway of Santa Maria de Piasca
The main doorway of Santa Maria de Piasca
The triumvirate above the main doorway
SAnta Maria da Chiesca
The main doorway
Carvings on a Romanesque Church doorway
Musicians over the main doorway

The side door, slightly hidden away, is also ornate, with carvings of fantastical birds, strange figures, and a boar hunt.

Romanesque Church doorway
The side door of Santa Maria de Piasca
Birds on the side door of Santa Maria de Piasca
Birds on the side door of Santa Maria de Piasca
A fantastical figure and phoenix? on the side door of Santa Maria de Piasca
A fantastical figure and phoenix? on the side door of Santa Maria de Piasca
A boar hunt?
A boar hunt?

There are more carvings on the frieze at the top of the walls, underneath the roof, and around the windows

Romanesque Church apse
The Apse of the Romanesque Church near Potes
Two figures under the eaves
Two figures under the eaves
A phoenix? at Santa Maria de Piasca
Carvings at Santa Maria de Piasca
Carvings at Santa Maria de Piasca

Flowers at the Church

The flowers at the entrance to the buildings were just lovely – dahlias, hostas, geraniums, lavatera, impatiens, and large bunches of grapes.

Romanesque Church near Potes
Flowers at the entrance to Santa Maria de Piasca
Geraniums at Santa Maria de Piasca
Geraniums
Grapes at the Church
Grapes!

This is a magical spot – a must-visit if you are in this area. On both occasions we went to this Romanesque Church near Potes we were alone with the silence…

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