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- The hermitage
Just a kilometre from Alegría-Dulantzi stands the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Ayala, one of the best-preserved Romanesque temples in the Alavese Plains. Long ago, it was part of the route of the Camino de Santiago, which has left a deep mark on the decoration and structure of the church. Even though we see it as a hermitage today, it was the parish church of the small village of Ayala in the Middle Ages, which now no longer exists, as its inhabitants moved to the neighbouring village of Alegría-Dulantzi in search of better living conditions. Currently, it can be admired within a wide natural setting prepared to be visited, which is full of interesting archaeological remains found nearby, such as the pedestals of old Stations of the Cross and a sarcophagus.
The hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Ayala
As we approach the unmistakable profile of the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Ayala while getting close by the Camino de Santiago, the first thing that stands out is its huge semicircular apse. Three windows pierce the apse: two of them are simple arrow slits decorated with balls on a discharge arch, while the third one is a subsequent hole made in Gothic style, with decorated capitals in which we can see ladies with headdresses and gentlemen.
De las fotografías actuales: © Alava Medieval / Erdi Aroko Araba
De las fotografías antiguas: Cristóbal de Castro, Catálogo Monumental de España. Provincia de Álava, Madrid, 1915.