Together with the Monastery of Suso, it forms part of the monumental complex of the Monastery of San Millán. Located in the same village of San Millán de La Cogolla, in the Cárdenas Valley at the foot of the Sierra de La Demanda.
The primitive Monastery of Yuso was completed around 1.067. It was ordered to be built by King García de Nájera. Until the year 1.100 coexists with the one of Suso, each one with their respective monks and orders, in the one below, the one of Yuso are those of the order of San Benito, from the century XII only remains this community being this his main house. Nothing remains of the old Romanesque building, the current monastery is Renaissance with some baroque touch and was built between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Its classicism and monumentality have given it the nickname of "El Escorial de La Rioja".
The Augustinian Recollects are the ones who now inhabit it. But we should not forget that back in the year 1.230, the first poet in Spanish, Gonzalo de Berceo, lived in this monastery, where, given his notary status, he had access to Emilian documentation. From the reading of codices and glosses could emerge his literary vocation. The first thing that attracts our attention is the Hall of the Kings, so called for the paintings of the four benefactor kings related to the beginning of its history. The Processional Cloister, Renaissance, has a doorway, through which you can access the church, which is an example of the stonework from La Rioja at the time. The church, whose construction began in 1.504 and that by water filtrations, in the seventeenth century was remodeled inside to strengthen its walls and supports.
The Sacristy, which used to be the Chapterhouse and which was redecorated and fitted out as such in the 18th century, the ceiling frescoes are a symphony of colour that, together with the great variety of works that come together in this enclosure, turn it into a beautiful museum in itself. The Royal Staircase, the Doors of the Trascoro, the Upper Cloister, where the life of the monks passed, in one of the corners of this cloister there is an exhibition hall where apart from paintings, sculptures, ivory, there are also the Chests that keep the Relics of San Millán and his master San Felices. Without forgetting the Hall of the Language and the Library of Codices and Cantorales, where its true treasure rests and is sheltered as it is its Linguistic Patrimony.
The equinoctial light, every beginning of spring and autumn. When the day is the same length as the night, when the sun is projected directly on the equator line, when the poles of the earth are better oriented from north to south, and what we call the equator line, from east to west. At about 6:15 p.m. in the Yuso Monastery, a perfect circle of sunlight can be seen over the central body of the temple that lasts only a few minutes. The ray of light enters through the rosette at the back of the church, passes through the circle that crowns the transcoro and hits the geometric center of the church. It thus marks the axis of the church and, therefore, the perfect orientation of the head towards the east. This phenomenon, in addition to its mathematical meaning, has others on a mysterious level.
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According to the legend of Hacinas, in the middle of the battle in which the king of León, the king of Navarre, and the Castilian count Fernán González fought, in the reconquest against the Moors, Santiago and San Millán appeared to help them. Thus, after praying to God and his saints in this way, the King of León first entered the battle against his enemies and, before his eyes, two divinely armed celestial knights appear, riding on his white steed, who entered the battle first.
San Millán de la Cogolla can be reached via the LR-331 from Bobadilla or following the LR-205 from the nearby town of Berceo, where the different access roads converge from the A-12 way dual carriageway and the N-120 between Logroño and Burgos, well signposted as "Ruta de los Monasterios" (Route of the Monasteries). We can arrive by the LR-206 from Azofra or Santo Domingo de la Calzada and from Nájera by the LR-113, which joins it with Salas de los Infantes, taking the detour of the LR-205 that will take us to Berceo and then to San Millán de la Cogolla, which also has an interurban bus service every day.
The enclosure of the monastery is located on the other side of the accesses to the town of San Millán de la Cogolla, so we must cross it from side to side by its main street or by the road that surrounds it and that we will find, as we come from Berceo, a little before reaching the town. This road will lead us directly to the entrance to the Monastery of Yuso, where we will find the information centre and next to it a car park where we can leave our vehicle.
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Ya conocía el monasterio pero la visita nocturnas es espectacular :-) merece la pena repetir.