The Monastery of San Juan de Duero is situated just outside the walls of Soria. It is a ruined Mediaeval monastery founded by the Knights Templar in 1134 on the banks of the River Duero and finally abandoned in the 18th century.
The Knights Templar added the Cloisters to an already existing church, and created a magical sight. Oddly enough these Cloisters were more atmospheric than the church.
The walls enclosing the cloisters are built in various styles, over time, showing Romanesque and Arab influences.
The Church dates from the 12th century. There are two interesting ‘chapels’ at the high altar, with their own altars and carved capital. They are dedicated to St John and the Virgin Mary.
The decorations are very fine and I really needed more time to look more closely – next year!
And across the road and just up the hill from the monastery is a recreated Templar Cemetery – nothing further on the internet, which is odd.
San Juan de Duero is a very magical and unusual site on the River Duero and a must-visit in Soria. Perhaps it will feel different when I return next year.
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