C A N T A B R I A   U N I V E R S I T Y
  CAMPOO-VALDERREDIBLE   Reinosa and Alto Campoo
Valdeprado del Río
    Santa María (St Mary)
  From Cervatos, along the same road to Palencia, after crossing the district of Valdeolea and reaching Quintanilla de las Torres in the territory of Palencia, one must take the turning to the left to start the visit to Valderredible valley. This land, located in the southernmost Cantabria, occupies almost the whole depression formed by the eastern flow of the Ebro. The particularity of this area is the link between the ways of life of the Castilian Meseta and of the mountain of Cantabria. This is at present scarcely a polluted or inhabited area, as reflected by its amazing state of preservation and environmental richness.

Artistically, this area is remarkable for its popular Romanesque and Rupestrian churches, the latter being a typical manifestation of the Christian communities in the period of settlement, showing the influence of the Asturian and Mozarabic styles in the horseshoe plan and arch. Before reaching Santa María de Valverde, one passes by the Romanesque churches of San Andrés and San Martín de Valdeomar, small examples of popular Romanesque in the area. Santa María de Valverde, dug out of sandstone and with a Romanesque bell gable on it, is the biggest of all the Rupestrian churches. Driving along this road, the church of San Juan Bautista (St John the Baptist) en Villanueva de la Nía appears on a left hill, in which one Romanesque part and another from a much later period can be appreciated. Immediately, one can find the small village of Campo de Ebro, with a very interesting popular architecture and where one third of the Rupestrian churches can be found. Past Polientes, the capital village of the district where a square in the Castilian style seen in the centre of the village, one arrives at Ruerrero, where the ruins of the Ruerrero Tower can be seen high on the left. Afterwards, the Rupestrian church of Cadalso, located on the left side of the road, can be found and opposite there is a medieval tower with a construction attached later. Driving up to the end of the route, San Martín de Elines, there is a crossroads after a few kilometres, and, taking the left turning, the road goes directly to the last Rupestrian church, the church of Arroyuelos. Returning from here to the crossroads and going straight over it, taking what was the right fork, now opposite, the magnificent collegiate church of San Martín is found in San Martín de Elines, one of the most Romanesque buildings in Cantabria where the sculptural work both in capitals and corbels is remarkable. The Mozarabic remains of the cloister and graveyard, as well as the Rupestrian churches nearby, give evidence of the early inhabitants in Valderredible. Little is known of the history of this old Benedictine convent turned into a collegiate church. It must have become significant from the 10th century. It is known that in 1102, the old church was ruined, and in the second half of the 12th, the Romanesque work which can be seen now was built.

In the rest of the district, in every village or spot, one may find small Romanesque churches of the above-mentioned characteristics along with an interesting popular architecture.

San Juan Bautista (St John the Baptist)
(Villanueva de la Nía)
Rupestrian church of Campo de Ebro
Tower of Ruerrero
Rupestrian church of Cadalso
Rupestrian church of Arroyuelos
Collegiate church of San Martín
San Martín de Elines
Collegiate church of San Martín de Elines (Obra románica)
  A R T I S T I C   R O U T E S