Sasamón, Spain features a magnificent “little” cathedral that you would not expect in this location. The town is quite small but on the Road to Santiago and therefore a stopover for pilgrims both presently and in days gone by. I call this a “little” cathedral because it has all the features of larger examples. The correct name is Santa María la Real.
The scene above gives a sweeping introduction to both the town and the church. You see the fountain there and if you were able to turn around, you’d be looking at the ayuntamiento, or government house. The gateway and yard beyond beckons the traveler to the church in the background. The church went through several iterations as it grew or was remodeled. You can see remnants of the different styles as you amble about the grounds.
In the cloister, you’ll find examples of cut stone artistry, still standing centuries after it was put in place. Inside are tableaus like this one.
A dramatic altar piece…
…and in the choir loft a well-played organ.
…and a baptismal font with fine carvings, too…
In particular, note the sleeping dogs around the base. Then have a gander at the pulpit, also of carved stone.
Again, there must have been hundreds of masons and no shortage of master craftsman pounding hammers and chisels all day long to build structures like this. It wasn’t the only church in town either, there were three, two of which survive. While walking through this church, we were the only ones present. Having a site like this to yourself is another honor. Enjoy it and be respectful.