Picture: Fran Benito. Text: Antonio Colmenar.
The chapel of Saint Saturio is in the city of Soria next to the river Douro and on top of the cave of Peñalba. Tradition tells that the anchorite Visigoth Saturio (beatified and proclaimed Soria’s Patron Saint) lived in this cave. He was the son of a noble family of the 5th century, although he gave all his possessions to those in need and left to live as a hermit in that cave.
The current cave was built at the end of the 17th century and is hanging on the rocks, rather holding on to them as if it wanted to get inside them. The remains of the Saint are there and now it is a place for Soria’s pilgrims to go to. The way to get there has been glossed by poets.
“These river poplars, accompanying the sound of water with the sound of their leaves, when the wind blows, have their bark…” Antonio Machado said. “River Duoro, river Duoro, nobody goes down with you, nobody stops to listen to your forgotten, indifferent or coward verse…” Gerardo Diego wrote.
Although the snows have left the autumn behind, one always imagines Machado reciting the following verses to his young wife Leonor: “I have seen the golden poplars again, poplars on the riverside of the Duoro, between Saint Polo and Saint Saturio, behind the old walls of Soria”.