Thursday, 30th March:
A village in one of the smallest federal states of Spain, not located at the Camino de Santigo and with just about one main street and two hundred residents, seems boring to you? Well I can tell, that San Millán de la Cogolla, a village fulfilling all these facts, is neither boring nor ordinary!
We visited Sán Millán de la Cogolla with the Irish and Spanish exchange students together, which could be one of the reasons for my fascination about it. Being together in a group, especially with more than 50 other people and many of your age is (for me) the best thing to happen! It was a long day, but here I explain you my different steps through Sán Millán:
There are two monasteries in San Millán, „Suso“ and „Yuso“ they are called. Suso is archaic Spanish and means „upper“ and Yuso means the opposite. Suso is located in the woods above Sán Millán, therefore we had to drive there a few minutes by bus. It is very small and once San Millán lived there. We were guided by a Spanish woman, speaking a fast, but clear Spanish with a lot of information thus I didn’t understand everything, but about the Arabic and Spanish influcence, the two wonders of San Millán and his tomb, even I were enlightened. I loved its location in the woods and its history, but I had no time left to take a closer look to the garden around the building, because we immediately went on to visit…
Both monasteries are independent from each other now, but previously this one was built as an addition to Suso. Yuso is the bigger of the two monasteries and has more things to hide: the first words in archaic Castilian had been written here, although they were more badly-written Latin comments, so that they are considered as the first translation to Castilian, than real scriptures in Castilian with signature. Furthermore the church is orientated to zero degree east, which is a symbole of perfection, and as a prove, two times a year (21th of March and 21th of September) the light shining through the window passes perfectly a circle before it hits the floor in the centre of the church.
After visiting these two religious monuments, we walked a few minutes to a Flour Factory with a water-driven mill. After we had prepared a pizza of our choice, we got another tour through the mill and we were explained how the grain was processed into flour and finally, after an exhausting day, we could eat our selfmade pizza, which we really have deserved!
I really enjoyed that cultural day with the other students, even though I didn’t expect San Millán to be that interesting and unique, but I have to say that it was for me one of the best villages to visit. It’s a pitty that I couldn’t keep all the information in mind, but however I have learnt a lot!
Walking through the pueblo and monastery Suso
Monastery Suso and La Gloria