At the Monastery at San Toribio I saw a map with the names of monasteries and churches in the surrounding areas, and at seemed that at both Lebeña and Frama, near to where we were staying, there used to be important monasteries – so off we went to explore.
The Church of Santa Maria at Lebeña was built c.925 and is Mozarabic in style. This is particularly apparent in the interior, but sadly the church was closed when we visited. If you are in the area and plan to visit do try and see the interior which in photographs appears to look like a mosque! The church is separate from the tower which, oddly, was added in the 19C. The setting, in a small amphitheatre in the mountains, is quite magical.
Frama is situated on the River Bullón and is one of the oldest settlements in the valley. It is mentioned at the Monastery of San Toribio and also at Santa Maria de Piasca as early at the 10C as a Monastery of significance. Today only the church remains. Sadly the church was again closed, and sadly too I can find no further information about this monastery on the internet.
It had been a wonderful day, our last in the area before travelling to Leon, and we ended by driving high into the mountains above Cambarco for a final view over the valleys and mountains of the eastern Picos de Europa.