The beautiful hermitage of the patron of Soria, at last, is a Site of Cultural Interest

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César Justel / ABC Travel

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The file had been open for 42 years, since 1979. And, finally, this Thursday the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Junta de Castilla y León granted the Hermitage of San Saturio, in Soria, the declaration of Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) in heritage category. This statement will contribute – according to the Ministry – to “monitor” the damage that affects the property to see the deterioration “in real time”, and therefore proceed to correct it.

The Department of Commerce and Tourism of the City of Soria announced at the beginning of July an extensive program of municipal guided tours. They take place from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 14:00. and from 16:30 to 19:00. Sundays: from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information: 975 180 703.

The Duero in autumn, and in the background, San Saturio

Between the poplars towards San Saturio

«I have seen again the golden poplars, / poplars on the road on the riverbank / of the Duero, between San Polo and San Saturio …». That is the romantic walk sung by Antonio Machado. In the Soria hermitage of San Saturio, hanging over the Duero, there is a stained glass window in which one of the miracles of the patron saint of Soria is represented. Tradition says that a child fell for her and his mother entrusted herself to the saint, leaving the little one supported by some branches.

Saturio was a Gothic nobleman who, back in the 6th century, distributed his wealth and he retired to live in a cave. In the 18th century, in the place where the hermitic cave was, the current temple was built (before there was an oratory dedicated to San Miguel). You can walk around the outside, although it is best to go up inside, passing through rooms and chapels.

San Saturio, between the rock
San Saturio, between the rock – César Minguela

Behind the first door there is a room from the 18th century, presided over by an image of San Saturio, with stone seats and a rock ceiling where farmers met to settle land disputes. To the right, a slab recalls the place where the saint’s bones were buried (now under the main altar of the hermitage). In a niche is the Virgin of Santa Ana, known as the ‘Virgin of the Pins’ because Soriana girls got a boyfriend if they first found three pins in their cloak. At the end, there are balconies from where you can see a splendid panorama: the Duero, the mountain of the souls of Bécquer …

Due to a successful prayer to the saint, in 1631, it was agreed that on October 1, the eve of San Saturio, he would leave. to the hermitage in procession with the image. And this can be a good excuse for, at the hands of Machado, to travel this path that, starting from Soria, reaches San Saturio.

Returning from the hermitage, you can see the poplars, on which generations of Sorians have left their names. Then, after going through the hermitage of San Polo, Templar place, you access the cloister of San Juan del Duero, former home of the San Juanistas Knights, and protectors of passengers and walkers. Next to it, the Monte de las Ánimas, of which the legends of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer speak.

Interior of the hermitage of San Saturio
Interior of the hermitage of San Saturio – César Minguela

Crossing the Duero you get to the co-cathedral of San Pedro with its Romanesque cloister. In a niche there is a mummy of the infant Don Juan de Castilla, the bastard of Don Pedro el Cruel, who was a prisoner in the castle of Soria and who is said to have died of grief for having fallen in love with a beautiful Soriana, the warden’s daughter. If we enter the city, we must bear in mind that the best views of it are seen going up to what was a castle, next to the Parador; and in the background, the majestic Moncayo.

6 kilometers away, along the Logroño road, are located on a hill the ruins of the Celtiberian Numantia. The city, which came to defeat the hitherto invincible Roman legions, ended up being razed in JC 133 (after 20 long years of siege) and has gone down in history for its heroic resistance. The ruins that are seen today belong to the Roman city that they rebuilt after conquering it.

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