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Santo Domingo de Silos, a historical village surrounded by nature parks

The village is located in the south of Burgos in Spain and at about 3h driving north from Madrid, I used it as my reference point for my hiking weekend in the beautiful glacier lakes of neila and canyon of lobos river.

The village is very small and in 2 hours, the visit was done including the famous abbey of Saint Dominic of Silos and the museum of earth sounds but before to continue, let me tell you that we (me and my girlfriend) have booked a room in the convent of San Francisco.

And no, we didn’t live with monks !!! Built in 1301, it has been renovated during the 18th century and reconverted into a hotel in 2009.

It is a nice place, very quiet and situated outside of the village, just at 7 minutes walk. Personally, I like those kinds of place where we can find and feel a little history within the walls.

Of course, there are hotels in the village, simple and normally quite quiet. Normally because during our weekend, there were 2 wedding celebrations !!!

The abbey is a benedictine monastery which was called San Sebastian de Silos in the 10th century. During the conquest of Almanzor, it fell in decadence but in 1041, the king Fernando I the Great named Domingo as abbot of Silos.

He started to restore it and it was during this period that it acquired its actual name, monastery of Saint Dominic of Silos (monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos). He died in 1073 before to complete the restoration so Fortunius became the abbot and finished it.

In 1512, it joined the Benedictine Congregation of Valladolid and in 1835, because of the expulsion order decreed by Mendizabal, the site stopped to have a life until 1880 when a group of french monks chose it as their refuge and started to restore it.

Actually, it is composed of 2 juxtaposed monasteries around 2 cloisters, the medieval one and the baroque one. One section is used by the monks who still live there and the other area, open for the public, for a guided visit.

The visit done by a woman was quick, something like 40 minutes, we started at the cloister which has a rectangle form. She explained us every corner with their carved and relief panels, the tomb of Bartolomé Bermejo, the garden with its cypress planted in 1882...

Once finished, the woman led us to the pharmacy and telling us that from this moment, it is not allowed to take pictures or record a video. We discovered different tools used to make medicine and a lot of jars filled with vegetables, animals… including an old book describing the human body. We finished our visit in the museum section and before to leave, people can watch a video about the abbey, something that we didn’t.

After that, we walked in the village and we stumbled in the museum of earth sounds, we decided to get in to see different music instruments, well anything that makes sound because we found not only accordions, flutes… but also a cow bell !!!

The next adventures were the nature park of the glacier lakes of Neila (lagunas glaciares de Neila) and the canyon of lobos river (cañon del rio lobos). The first one is up to the Neila Mountains and the second one is at the foot of Nafria Mountains.

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