Saint John’s and Saint Mary’s, Espierre – San Juan y Santa María de Espierre
Where: Village centre and San Juan
How to get there: From the N-260 between Biescas and Gavín, take the turn-off for the camp site shortly before you get to Gavín. Cross the ravine by the bridge and, following the signs, continue on the path, which is in good condition and leads to the localities of Barbenuta and Espierre.
Spatial orientation: Village centre
Sitting on a vast mountainside, the village of Espierre has a rich traditional architecture and some exceptional examples of conical chimneys.
The Parish Church of Saint Stephen is Romanesque and was built some time after 1330, with some parts of the structure being added later.The Church is very simple, has no decoration, and is considered an example of what is called rural Romanesque. There is a rectangular room with a slightly pointed chancel arch and a semi-circular apse with a semi dome and an impost. On the outside, the apse has a number of corbels holding up the eaves and three notable windows. The door, formed by large ashlars, has three arches.
There are two other shrines in Espierre and together, without doubt, they constitute the most typical of the Serrablo Churches (10th/11th Century) and are perhaps closest in form to the original. Take the path that leaves the village on the right, and in less than three kilometres you will get to Saint John’s Shrine, which curiously has no apse. The door of the Church is in the form of a horseshoe arch and there is a semi-circular splayed window in the south face of the building, which has been fully restored.
Saint Mary’s Shrine at Palariecho is only a few minutes’ walk from the village. Though in ruins, you can still see a pretty horseshoe arch similar to the one at St. John’s.