It is located in the lower part of the Sierra de La Demanda, in the so-called Valle de San Millán or Cárdenas, between the rivers Cárdenas and Tuerto. The possible Celtic origin of the name Berceo makes us think of a settlement of these settlers in this place, and who were romanized in the first century BC. Although the first document that speaks about the existence of Berceo is from the VII century, when San Braulio, in his work "Vida de San Millán" cites Berceo as his birthplace, in the Hispano-Roman period.
The proximity to the monastery and the importance it had, from 940 onwards and with the support of the kings of Navarre, makes us think that it belonged to it even before other population centres and neighbourhoods were created in its surroundings. In the current "Barrio de Abajo" of Berceo, the town of Madriz was founded in the 10th century, in which the notable people of the time lived and in which even the king had a palace, and Berceo became dependent on this town until the 15th century when the two towns merged and the name of Berceo prevailed.
In the village we can admire its parish church, dedicated to Santa Eulalia de Mérida, neoclassical, built in 1886 thanks to the donations of a son of the village, Don Domingo Peña Villarejo. The Town Hall building and old schools were built on the same dates and also by the same benefactor as the parish church. The old wash-house has recently been restored and is still in use. The obligatory visit to the monasteries surrounding the village, as well as its nearby hiking trails complete its attraction.
The landscape that Berceo offers us, in all its surroundings, delights our sight giving us a wide palette of colours. If we also walk through its mountains of beeches, oaks, holm oaks, pines and some specimens of yews, hollies, junipers, poplars, maguillos ... we can enjoy collecting mushrooms and edible mushrooms or supply our medicine cabinet with medicinal and aromatic plants such as tea, chamomile, lavender, oregano and thyme among others.
The main festivities of Berceo take place on the first Sunday in October, Our Lady of the Rosary, and on the second Sunday, La Octava, which evokes San Millán. Thanksgiving for the harvests is celebrated on September 16, coinciding with the date of commemoration of the consecration to the cult of the parish church. The town's patron saint, Santa Eulalia, is honoured on 10 December and on 12 November the fiesta in honour of San Millán is celebrated.
In its main celebrations, after the mass, the images of Our Lady of the Rosary and that of San Millán are carried in procession through the streets of the village, accompanied by the dancers, dancing the traditional ones: "El Saludo, "El Frente y Costao", "El Bailao", "La Larga", "La Cadena", "La Cascabelada" and "El Agudo". In the afternoon the classic Rosario is sung in the streets.
On the third Sunday in May there is a pilgrimage to the Monastery of Valvanera, Patron Saint of La Rioja.
Legend has it that Saint Eulalia of Merida in her martyrdom to defend Christianity before the decree of Emperor Diocletian, in which she commanded that everyone had to offer incense and venerate the gods, the executioners put torches lit everywhere on her broken body. These raised great flames of fire that the girl swallowed through her mouth, and from this, in her last breath, a dove came out and ascended to heaven. Gonzalo de Berceo, first Spanish poet, in the Poem of Santa Oria, cloistered nun in the Monastery of Suso, tells us how Santa Eulalia takes Oria to Heaven as the main guide. Berceo gives a dove to each of the virgins that accompany Oria, and makes Santa Eulalia give her hers so that it rises directly to heaven.
From Nájera we arrive at Berceo following the LR-205, through Badarán and Cárdenas on one side and from the nearby San Millán de la Cogolla on the other. By the LR-206 Berceo also communicates with the A-12 at Azofra. This road is joined, in Villar de Torre, the LR-204, which comes from Santo Domingo de la Calzada through Cirueña.
There is a daily bus service that connects you with Logroño.
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