Sunday, February 11, 2007

Vall de Boí (Valle de Bohí), Catalonia

Sant Climent de Taüll, Vall de Bohí

Master of Taüll
Majestas Domini from the Apse of San Clemente de Taüll, Detail (1123)
770 x 420 x 590 cm
Catalonian National Museum of Art, Barcelona

One of the first types of Romanesque architecture in Europe in the end of 10th century and the beginning of 11th century is called First Romanesque or Lombard Romanesque. It took place in the Lombardy (Northern Italy), in the regions of Girona, Lleida and Huesca (the Spanish Mark), and in the south of France.

Its principal decoration for the exterior, bands of ornamental blind arches are called lombard bands. It was characterised by thick walls and lack of sculpture in facades, the presence of rhythmic ornamental arches, and with interiors profusely painted with frescoes.

The Vall de Boí is a narrow, steep-sided valley and a small municipality in the Spanish province of Lleida, in the autonomous community of Catalonia (also known in Spanish as Valle de Bohí). It lies on the edges of the Pyrenees. The main town is Barruera.

The valley is best known for nine Early Romanesque churches, making it the site of the densest concentration of Romanesque architecture in Europe.

The Moorish conquest of Spain did not penetrate the high valleys of the Pyrenees.

Many of the churches have remained in use for religious worship since they were constructed and consecrated in the 11th and 12th centuries.

Nine churches are included in the World Heritage Site. There are other churches of the same period in the area which are not on the list.

Most of the important works of art which were in the Churches have been transferred to the Catalonian National Museum of Art (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya) in Barcelona for safekeeping.


UNESCO-Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí
Advisory Body Evaluation:

Vall de Boi Official Website

Catalonian National Museum of Art/Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya