It would be an unforgivable forgetfulness to get away from Carrión de los Condes and not to mention, even in a few lines, what still survives - rather little, it is true - of that proud Benedictine monastery, which was that of San Zoilo, previously, under the title of San Juan Bautista.
Of this time, without a doubt, and although the exact date of its foundation is ignored, the first news date, citing the year 948 and a small community of monks led by an abbot named Teodomiro.
And this is known, because in that year the aforesaid abbot concluded the book of the Calf-remember, Calves in Castile and Tumbos in Asturias-which mentions it. He changed the original name of San Juan Bautista to that of San Zoilo, back in the 12th century, when the relics of a martyred saint, named Zoilo or Zoil, arrived at the place, coming from Córdoba.
The chronicles tell us that at that time, the monastery was protected by the Count family of Carrión. And so it must have been, indeed, because many of its members rest in the magnificent tombs -where the Masters of Carrión, left their mark again of their excellent workshop and do that still, in better or worse degree of conservation, remain in the church.
These, together with the excellent portico of access to it, are the few Romanesque testimonies that can be found nowadays both visitors and pilgrims who one day pass by there. And it is not little, because observing the curious and at the same time wonderful representations, one can get to imagine the greatness that one day had to have this place, well known by the medieval pilgrims.
But not only that, because on that same cover, and judging by the curious stonework marks that still survive, you can get to hypothesize about one of the places where the stonemasons passed.
Such would be the case of a very particular brand, in the form of a coiled serpent, which stands out in the ashlars that form the arch of the portal, similar, if not identical, to those others that can still be seen in the access portico. another ill-fated orensano monastery: San Paio de Abeleda.
Since 1992, the former premises of this monastery of San Zoilo, have become a magnificent hotel complex, having been sold by the Diocese of Palencia, reserving the monumental part, although yielding its use.
In 1996, the Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago de Palencia, has an office that serves the pilgrims who continue their transit to Santiago. It also has an excellent Library, which has more than five thousand volumes, mostly dedicated to the Camino de Santiago. Anyway, what is recommended, both the curious, the visitor and the pilgrim, is a stop: in spite of everything, San Zoilo still has many things to tell.
NOTICE: Originally published in my blog RECUERDOS DE UN PEREGRINO. Both the text and the accompanying photographs are my exclusive intellectual property. The original entry, where you can check the authorship of juancar347, can be found at the following address: https://jc347.blogspot.com/2014/03/carrion-de-los-condes-el-viejo.html
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Original content by @juancar347
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