San Martín de Frómista, the best Romanesque church of Palencia



Text and photo: Antonio Colmenar.


If one dares to do the Way of Saint James, they will see how the monotony of Palencia’s landscape turns into torture for the walking pilgrim, but the view of the Romanesque church of Saint Martin of Tours in Frómista (Palencia) surpasses the walker’s expectations.


This preserved beautiful temple was built in the second half of the 11th century by order of Ms Mayor de Castillo as part of a monastery of San Martín, which is not there anymore. The church is full of allegoric images and apocalyptic scenes that make the visit very entertaining. Among them, it is worth observing with attention those dedicated to the history of Adam and Eve, or those corresponding to the fable of ‘The Fox and the Crow’.


Of its interior, the perfection of its shapes, volumes, its exact and perfect construction, its architectural beauty and its ornamental richness are surprising. The doors and large windows with archivolts on columns include a total of 300 corbels that get those present dizzy with a play of shapes.


Corbels motifs include heads of dogs and other animals, such as bovids. There are also numerous full-body animals, such as monkeys, in different postures, as well as humans and other characters, some of them vegetables.



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