Canales de la Sierra

Canales de la Sierra is a remote mountain village in the southwest of the Autonomous Community of La Rioja in Spain with 82 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2013). Since 1986, the whole place as a cultural ( Bien de Interès Cultural ) is recognized in the category Conjunto histórico - artístico.


Canales de la Sierra is located near the border with the province of Burgos in the upper reaches of the River Najerilla in about 1030 meters above sea level. inst in the woods and water, natural park Sierra de la Demanda. The distance to the provincial capital, Logroño (approx. 82 km route north-east ) is about as much as to Burgos (about 87 kilometers north-west ) or to Soria ( about 97 kilometers south-east )


In the second half of the 19th century, the place was always between 800 and 1000 inhabitants. Due to the mechanization of agriculture and the resulting lower demand for labor, the population has declined sharply since the mid-20th century.


The small mountain village was and is influenced to a large extent on agriculture, especially livestock. In earlier times, the place served as a craft and market center for a few - now mostly abandoned - smaller farmsteads and hamlets in the area. Since the mid-20th century, tourism (hiking and apartments ) plays an important role as a source of income for the community.


Perhaps due to the remoteness of the site is anything specific about its history known - a local tradition takes the place of Fernán González, the founder of Castile back. After all, suggests a certain historical and religious significance of the presence of four churches at the site or in its vicinity.


  • Biggest attraction of the village is situated on a hill Romanesque church Ermita de San Cristóbal with a small south porch ( portico ) and a predominantly by windowless blind arches a little loosened square apse. The entire church is - just like the standing in the northeast corner tower - assembled from precisely hewn stones, suggesting a construction period of the late 12th century. The three arcades and the Archivolts portal on the south side are quite complex: the portal shows foliage in the outer and a wavy meandering diamond rod in the inner arc. Two set columns, one of which is rotated in itself ( ' Solomonic column ') and the two capitals and the overlying imposts show rich decor. The three arcades resting on double columns; Capitals and imposts are exceptionally richly decorated with foliage and figures. Also the actual church portal convinced by well-balanced proportions and a creative stonework.

Portal of the porch

Arches of the porch

Portal of the Church

  • The parish church of Santa María is an imposing building from the late 16th century, with a quite high-quality portal on the south side. Within the rectangular apse there is a Baroque altarpiece with twisted columns and the image of escorted by putti Assumption of Mary.
  • Hidden away in the site, a court column ( dishtowels or picota ) as preserved in many places Castilian. On a stair -stepped base is a fixed together from four drums column shaft on which a plate rests, which appears to mature in the four cardinal directions. On a cone over a cross rises.
  • Several of the 16th and 18th century mostly built of rubble and simple half-timbered houses in the village wearing stone coats of arms ( Blasones ).
  • A stone bridge leads over the Río Najerilla from which previously diverged several irrigation channels to which the place derives its name.
  • Three hermit churches ( ermitas ) are located in the immediate and more distant surroundings of the place - San Antonio ( 1634) is located on the outskirts, San Juan ( 1767) about four kilometers to the south and the Ermita de La Soledad (16th century) is situated in absolute solitude of the forest about eight kilometers to the north.