Last church standing – Santa Maria del Morel- Villafáfila, Spain


The small village of Villafáfila is some forty kilometres north of Zamora, fifteen kilometres east of the Moreruela Monastery has a population of approximately 500 people. Whilst in its prime the small town of Villafáfila once boasted eleven churches, today only one stands, the Iglesia de Santa Maria del Morel.

The Church of Santa Maria del Morel was first documented in 1147 around the same time the Moreruela Monastery was being established by the Benedictines. In 1162 Pope Alexander III, by papal bull, at the request of the bishop of Astorga D. Fernando, took under his wing all the properties of the diocese, including those held in Villafáfila. The church has been described as a gothic church built by Moorish craftsmen.


On 11 August 1201 King Alfonso IX of León his wife Ms. Begenguela, and his son Fernando future king of Castile and Leon, Castile spend the day in Villafáfila…

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