Andorra stands beautifully preserved amidst the stunning backdrop of its mountain slopes. Our journey through the steep mountain climbs and roadways this past summer revealed layers of history, culture, cuisine, and outdoors sports tourism. One of the real cultural gems of Andorra is its collection of churches.
Sitting at a high crossroads in Europe many great cultural movements, architectural styles and designs have passed through and taken on a life of their own in the semi-isolated reaches. Andorra may be one of the best places to observe the life and flourishing of the Romanesque era. It lasted longer here than in other places a unique level of expression.
Sant Joan de Caselles
This church is an original structure from the 12th century that has been preserved and updated over the centuries. While the architecture is unique it is the interior that houses stucco works from the 12th century. It has artwork and collections from the Renaissance and the Baroque as well. Entry is free and a motorcycle museum is just next door as well.
Nostra Senyora de Meritxell
This sanctuary is home to the Andorran people’s patron saint and September 8th is a day of celebration and culture at the site. It is a large complex that tells a detailed story but the most ancient chapel has origins in the Romanesque style and period. This is certainly one of the best religious and cultural sites in the city.
Sant Roma at Les Bons Historical complex
This church has the single square nave style with a semicircular apse which tells the story of a Romanesque origin and 12th century painting detailing scenes from the apocalypse. Entry is free.
The striking Lombardy style Romanesque bell tower is the tallest in the region and only the floor and a font are the remnants of the 11th century Romanesque structure, however it is a composite of many different styles and movements in church design all in one combination.
Sant Marti de la Cortinada
This church originates from the 12th century expression of the Romanesque era and the walls of the church dating from this time are covered with murals which display the masterwork of the best painters in the history of Cortinada. Entry is free and regular tours are available in summer months.
Sant Clement de Pal
Pal is one of the best preserved rural villages of Andorra and the church is the best preserved building. The romanesque architecture is very attractive here. Entry costs 5 Euros and the church has many decorative features such as a bell tower and a granite font.
Sant Serni de Nagol
This church has origins from 1055 and some of the interior artwork shows the very birth of the Romanesque era with crossover from previous artistic styles. It has one of the most scenic situations of any of the churches in Andorra and here that is saying a lot. Entry is free and guided tours are available on a regular basis between July and September.