A Romanesque Jewel Sitting in Silence

Grado del Pico may be a small, extremely remote and very much underpopulated village nestling in La Sierra de Ayllón, but it boasts, according to the villagers, thee oldest Romanesque church in Segovia. A visit to San Pablo – Saint Paul – in this lonely village, is a trip into silence.

Unfortunately, not much of the original construction survives due to reconstruction works carried out in the XV and XVI centuries. While the belfry, placed at the foot of the church, is original the lower part of the church walls were raised in the XV century and decorated with sgrafittos.

Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of this church is its porticoed gallery which has three plain rounded arches at each side of the entrance. A magnificent carving of a crown of heads can be seen on the voussoirs of one of these arches.  The church possesses a number of noteworthy capitals bearing a variety of scenes which have provoked different theories by experts. One such capital represents a scene from the Ephifany which is considered to be rare in Romanesque Castellano.  On the other hand, there are also a number of rude capitals with few sculptured details leading specialists to believe that more than one hand was involved in the construction of San Pablo.

The village of Grado del Pico is tucked away off the beaten track, so not many people know of this hidden Romanesque jewel sitting in silence.