Tella - Rutas de las Ermitas
Here we will describe the Hermitages route, the dolmen and the village of Tella.
Before reaching the village of Tella to the left we find a majestic dolmen that opens towards the east. It is reached by a short path just off the road.
From the village we have two options: visit the village or look for the hermitages path….Both are inviting. Hermitages are small churches or chapels usually built away from populated areas, in the middle of nature and normally the fit right in with the scenery.
On the corner of the San Martín Parish Church (1335 m) you Hill see a sign to ¨The Hermitages Circuit¨ indicating a path. As you head up the path fantastic views of The Añisclo mountains, Las Tres Marías and The Revilla Sierra surrounding the Escuain Valley come into view.
The route has three hermitages from different chronological eras. The first, Saint John and Paul is pre-romanic and has all the characteristics of a hermitage: Small, rounded canyon ceiling, an apsidal altar space, and simple, unornamented. There is and underground crypt following some stairs down.
Nuestra Señora de Fajanillas has a small porticoed entrance with a central layout used much more than the previous hermitage ( i.e. the walls are painted). It has a semi-circular apse, and the altar is in the center of the construction.
The last is the most modern. The Virgen de la Peña is XVI century but it is thought that before this, there was a Romanic one. It is the largest of the three and the same characteristics as the others.
All of them, surrounded by natural beauty, are worth visiting because of their conservation. Some are still used today as a place of worship (some with offerings of crudely put together crosses). And they are found on a moorland where witches used to gather, according to legend….
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