The town of Carrión de los Condes
The town of Carrión de los Condes consists of the main population center of Carrión de los Condes and the small town of Torre de los Molinos. Its 40 kms from the city of Palencia, 80 km from Burgos, 93 km from Valladolid, 84 km from León and 275 km from Madrid. The town, located on the Camino de Santiago, is known for its Romanesque and Gothic monuments; one of the masterpieces of Romanesque sculpture is the Pantocrátor in the church of Santiago. The route known as North Camino de Santiago: the route of Besaya comes together in Carrión with the Camino Frances (the French Way).
Several archaeological findings show that the place was already inhabited in pre-Roman times. It seems that the upper part of the city, where the Nuestra Señora de Belen’s church is now, was the city of Lacobriga, later romanized and an important point in the Aquitania roman road that ran from Burdeos to Astorga.
Carrión de los Condes is known for its historical importance as a political, religious, cultural and socio-economic meeting point of the medieval Spain and also, mandatory stop in the Camino de Santiago. During the High Middle Ages, Carrión de los Condes was one of the most important cities of the christian kingdoms and courts, synods and councils took place here.
The author of the Calixtinus Codex says Carrión is “rich in bread and wine.” The cover of the Romanesque church of Santiago shows twenty craftsmen, who had a lot of work because of the abundance of pilgrims. At the time this text was written, half the town was in the hands of Gutierre Fernández de Castro together with the neighboring fortress of Castrojeriz. In the following years it was shared with other families (especially the Girón family). In 1165 it was Diego Girón’s and two years later it belonged to the powerful Nuño Pérez de Lara.
In 1209 Gonzalo Rodríguez Girón and his wife founded the Herrada’s Hospital that provided assistance to the pilgrims.
The Gothic cloister, transition to the revival of the San Zoilo monastery is worthy of admiration; built between 1537 and 1604 under the direction of Juan de Badajoz, highlighting decorators Miguel de Espinosa, Antonio Morante, Juan de Celaya, etc., decorated with lots of statues representing prophets and patriarchs of the Old Testament, characters from the benedictine family and on the east and south naves, the genealogy of Christ.
Worth visiting inthe town of Carrión, is the tower of San Andrés ‘s church, from the sixteenth century, which has an altarpiece of the Adoration of the Magi. In the district of Castillería the Nuestra Señora de Belén’s church stands on the old castle’s building site, controlling the Mayor Bridge over the Carrión river. There’s a gothic sculpture of the “patrona” and a major retable from the sixteenth century in this church.
In Carrión, the church of San Julián, the monastery of Santa Clara with a great major altarpiece, the tomb of the Candela de Castañeda (XVI century), a crucified Christ and a Piety, both attributed to Gregorio Fernández. The Romanesque church of Santa María, with the famous tribute of the 100 maidens, besides the chapels of the Virgen de la Piedad, la Cruz and of San Juan de Cestillos.