Sant Quirc de Durro

The Hermitage of Sant Quirc is located in a privileged setting, on the Durro mountain at an altitude of 1,500 metres. Its location is not random, but rather a territorial landmark linked to the social space worked on by the community and the pagan tradition of running falles.

It’s a small 12th-century building with Baroque inputs.

Inside you can see the harmonious co-existence of different artistic moments, with a copy of the Romanesque altar front, the Gothic-style image of Sant Quirc and Santa Julita and the Baroque altarpiece.

Chronology

12th century
First building work.

17th-18th century
The nave vault and belfry wall were added.

1996
Restoration.

Virtual visit

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History

No original document from the time referring to this small hermitage built on the mountain of Durro is known.

Hermitages constitute territorial landmarks linked to the social space worked on by the community. Their function was to protect the high mountain pastures and forests located around them.

The location of the Hermitage of Sant Quirc de Durro coincides with the location of the “lighthouse”, which is the starting point for the descent from the falles.

The falles

The tradition of running falles is of pagan origin; it indicated the summer solstice and it had the function of purifying the pastures and warding off evil spirits. With the arrival of Christianity this tradition was adapted to the worship of the saints and they became the protectors of the territory.

All the towns in the valley had their hermitage: Sant Salvador de Barruera, Sant Cristòfol d’Erill la Vall, Sant Pere de Boí and Sant Quirc de Taüll. The Hermitage of Sant Quirc de Durro is the only one that forms part of the ensemble declared a world heritage site because, unlike the others, it maintains the original structure from the 12th century.

The architectural forms

The Hermitage of Sant Quirc has a single nave covered by a slightly pointed barrel vault, added sometime after the Romanesque period, and a semi-circular apse to the east. The entrance to the hermitage opens up on the south façade with a simple semi-circular arch without any ornamentation. The bell tower stands on the west wall and corresponds to a later stage of construction.

Let’s take a look at the outside

At the entrance door the voussoirs of the arch are made of pumice stone, hence their unique pink colour. The typology of its walls and ashlars are very similar to that of the porch of the Church of La Nativitat in Durro.

The ashlar stones located at the top of the walls are smaller and arranged in an irregular manner. This is due to the nave, which was made some time after the original construction, being built on top. The bell tower was also added to the original work later on.

In the central apse there is the one window that allowed light to enter the church, together with the skylight that you can see in the chancel, just below the roof.

Let’s take a look at the inside

The inside of the Hermitage of Sant Quirc de Durro has been transformed over the centuries: the barrel vault was added to the original construction, all the walls were plastered and painted, the choir was installed and the presbytery was decorated with a Baroque altarpiece. Presiding over this altarpiece is the Gothic-style image of Saint Quirc and Saint Julita.

The Romanesque façade of the Hermitage of Sant Quirc is preserved at the National Art Museum of Catalonia, but you can see a reproduction inside the building.

The façade

Dedicated to the patron saints of the hermitage: Saint Quirc and Saint Julita, it narrates, with great cruelty, the martyrdoms they suffered.

It is formally structured with a central scene and four lateral sections surrounded by an ornamental frame with geometric and plant motifs. The symmetrical composition lies in the shapes of the lateral scenes and the colours, of which the reds, greens and ochres are particularly prominent.

In the middle, Saint Juliet is depicted with her son Saint Quirc on her lap, similar to the figures of the Virgin Mary and the Child. Both characters are inside a mandorla where their names are inscribed.

The side lateral compartments display different episodes of the martyrdoms, although in some scenes it is difficult to discern whether the martyr is Saint Julita or Saint Quirc. The depiction of martyrdom appears to take on more importance than the identification of the saint.

Image gallery

19th of June

Sant Climent de Taüll

CLOSED

Sant Climent de Taüll will be CLOSED due to maintenance tasks of the mapping from 11 to 17h.

Sorry for the inconvenience.