The Romanesque Catalan churches of Vall de Boi are set in a yet to be disturbed rural setting. The churches are a good representative sample of Romanesque religious buildings as well as some secular aspects and as such have been inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage Site to preserve their outstanding universal value.
The churches were built at the instigation of a single family during the Middle Ages to symbolize the settlement in Catalonia since its formation.
The Vall de Boi landscape is characterized with the high peaks of Beciberri/Punta Alta massif of the Pyrenees. The scenery is decorated by woodlands and meadows that are interrupted by idyllic mountain villages.
The Arab invaders that conquered the Iberian Peninsula never penetrated into Vall de Boi. However, the area was exposed to cultural influences from 2nd millennium especially by Christian pilgrims headed to Jerusalem and Santiago de Compostela.
In the 11th century, new cultural styles were imported from Italy to Catalonia when the Catholic kings started taking over the areas held by the Moorish. Although the cultures were late in entering Vall de Boi, the Romanesque churches in the valley are enough testament to its reaching the area.
The Churches of Vall de Boi
The religious history in Spain is more elaborate and interesting than in other European countries. Spain saw several centuries of Islamic rulers, catholic kings and finally the Spanish royal families. All these left their imprints in the religious edifices that were built during their reign. The churches of Vall de Boi are a representative sample of the Romanesque religious edifices that were built during the Catholic king’s rule and also during the Spanish feudal era. You will rue your chances if you do not slot in this destination in your Spanish tour itinerary.