Iglesia Rupestre de Santa María de Valverde

Top choice in Cantabria

Dating back to the 10th century or earlier, Santa María de Valverde is the Ebro Valley's largest iglesia rupestre (rock-cut church). The church retains a magical, rustic beauty, with irregular stone arches and rough-cut stone floors suffused in ghostly subterranean light. Visits are in conjunction with visits to interpretation centre next door, which gives an excellent introduction to this and the other rock-cut churches of the Ebro Valley.

Written accounts from 978 AD describe the church as a simple one-nave affair; a 12th-century Romanesque expansion added the rooftop bell-gable and widened the interior into its present three-nave form.

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