Belonging to the municipality of Valle de Manzanedo and bordering almost Palencia and Cantabria, Crespos is one of those charming villages, where it seems that time, tireless traveler, as a rule, has decided to stop incomprehensible to rest.
Such a feeling can be had by any traveler who arrives there one day, no matter what or what the reasons for their trip are.
In my case, I remember that I arrived in Crespos, together with a large group of friends, attracted not only by its picturesque situation, but also by that magnificent example of Romanesque art of the 12th century, which is its monumental church, dedicated to the figure of the Virgin of the Rosary.
At that time, we had taken advantage of our summer vacations, to stay in a rural house in Néstar (Palencia) and to pay special attention to the spectacular Palencian Romanesque and also to that of another one, bordering and not less relevant, which is located in the border with Cantabria and the North of Burgos, where it is worth noting the interesting area of Valderredible, famous, above all, for its beauty and its many impressive rock hermitages.
Located in a fertile valley, never losing sight of those legendary mountains, under which he found shelter in medieval times, a glimpse of Crespos's demography surprises and at the same time horrifies the thought of that terrible ghost, which ravages much of the Castilian rural area and that responds to the dreadful depopulation name.
There are barely half a dozen neighbors in Crespos, detail, however, that does not prevent them from receiving the visitor with meritorious kindness, especially if the intention of this one, is none other than to visit that authentic artistic jewel, that they are perfectly aware which is its church, the aforementioned of the Virgin of the Rosary, because it is not in vain considered, given its founding inscription in the year 1147, as the first church of Burgos dated in the twelfth century.
Even while preserving its typical cross-shaped plant and its traditional orientation towards the east, at sunrise and by default, towards the Holy City of Jerusalem, the church, after all, maintains an acceptable state of conservation, which does not it prevents, however, that the erosive action of the wind and frequent rainy precipitation have affected part of the original representations referring to its sculptural motifs, especially in the capitals and canecillos of the exterior.
As usual, also attached to the north side of the church, you can see the small cemetery, where generations of Crespos families have returned to the land where they were born.
With some wear also, the Romanesque sculptures of the interior, show extraordinary details, some of which, due to their technique, characteristics and execution, remind us of those others, impressive, that are located inside the fascinating church of Santa María de Siones , which is located in the Merindades, specifically in the Mena Valley and given its interest, I will talk about it in an upcoming article.
Among all the representations, one stands out, perhaps mistakenly regarded as an allusion to lust, which shows a naked woman who is bitten by breasts by snakes.
Representation that, in my view, could be compared to the famous 'Sheelah-nagib' of the Celtic-Irish traditions, which symbolically represent Mother Earth, with snakes being understood as those telluric currents or wouivres, whose faculties seemed to be well known in Antiquity and that are located on very old pilgrimage roads, usually marked, apart from caves, by the proliferation of megalithic constructions, such as dolmens and menhirs, many of which were destroyed by Christian evangelists and especially by the figure of San Martín Dumiense, the staunch enemy of what he called, in Paladin Latin, 'veneratore lapidi' or 'stone worshipers'.
Worthy of mention in addition to the fabulous Crespos church, they are also the typical manor houses, with their splendid balconies and the habitats of the animals added, which formed the main nucleus of the single-family economies, inheritance of time immemorial.
NOTICE: Both the text and the accompanying photographs are my exclusive intellectual property.