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Palencia

As we have already mentioned in other audio-guides, in the Middle Ages there was a real obsession with the bones of the saints. Wherever there was one, a building rapidly sprung up which, with luck, a few centuries later would be enlarged to become a grand church.

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As we have already mentioned in other audio-guides, in the Middle Ages there was a real obsession with the bones of the saints. Wherever there was one, a building rapidly sprung up which, with luck, a few centuries later would be enlarged to become a grand church.

This is the story of The Unknown Beauty of Palencia, erected over a crypt that kept the remains of Saint Antolin. How did those remains get here? Well, they were brought from France by King Wamba, more than one thousand three hundred years ago. Over time, the primitive temple would eventually become a vast Gothic cathedral which exterior, quite simple, doesn’t reflect the grandeur that awaits us inside. That’s why it is called, The Unknown Beauty.

In Palencia’s history, therefore, there is no lack of illustrious names and remarkable monuments from almost every era. Not only it has one of the three largest cathedrals in Spain but also had what is said to be the first university in the country. The Studium Generale, as it was called, was founded at the beginning of the thirteenth century and it thought the Trivium and Quadrivium, meaning, the most liberal new arts of the time (mathematics, language, grammar, astronomy …), far from the classic ones more related to the trades. But unfortunately, there is nothing left of the building that hosted it.

Churches, convents, hermitages and monasteries are joined by the Mayor Square, in the centre of the city, and Mayor Street, which shows the prosperity of the local bourgeoisie between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It contributed a lot to this that these lands became the breadbasket of Europe which was being shattered in the First World War.

When the digital era arrived, a mysterious element of the city made thousands of curious Internet users and of course, the conspiracy addicts, discuss and talk. The enigma was, of course, in the cathedral. It was discovered that on one of its doors there was, carved in stone, the figures of two aliens, identical to the ones that made life impossible for Sigourney Weaver in her spaceship, Nostromo.

There was no doubt that the resemblance could not be coincidental. And, in fact, it was not. The bugs had been included in 1995, during restoration work, imitating the medieval custom of carving monsters. But instead of gryphons, dragons or basilisks, a terrifying and current creature was chosen so that the era of the addition would stay clear. And, what better than an Alien, the eight-passenger.

So, the alien matter of the cathedral remained in one more curiosity and one less conspiracy…


Palencia

Plaza Mayor, 31 (Oficina de Turismo)
34001 Palencia
(+34) 979 70 65 23

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Tags: Gothic Art

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