The Roman Bridge, declared an “Asset of Cultural Interest” in 1982 and rebuilt in the Early Middle Ages, has undergone various architectural interventions over time to maintain its beauty and functionality. It is built with three circular windows of different construction, two semi-circular and one with a pointed arch and ashlar stone with padding.
Next to the bridge, we can see the Priory building, a house with a quadrangular plan. It presumes of a wide balcony and the shields of the Order and Abbey of San Millán de la Cogolla on its three-door façade. It was probably built in the 17th century and it was the residence of the Prior of the Monastery.
Since the 10th century, the village has been historically linked to the Monasteries of Suso and Yuso. The first written evidence of the Spanish language were found there, which is why they are considered the cradle of the Spanish language and are recognised as “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO since 1997 (www.monasteriodesanmillan.com).
In the year 947, Fernán González, Count of Castilla, handed over the then-existing Monastery of San Juan de Cihuri and its village to San Millán. In his memory, the Church of Cihuri is called with the same name “San Juan Bautista”.
In the words of Felipe Abad León: “In this concession of Fernán González, the power was given to populate, build and expand San Juan’s Monastery and the village of Cihuri that are «next to the course of the Tirón river» (iuxta cursum Tironis). The concession was substantial and total, with its lands, vineyards, orchands, the three mills, water, groves, meadows and much more. All given without limitation and forever. At that time, Fortunio was the Abbot of San Millán, as appears in the document.
This concession from Count Fernán González was vital for the historical record of Cihuri. The Abbot of San Millán exercised full lordship over the village, both in religious and civil contexts. This is why a Priory was founded in Cihuri to which the Abbot sent his representative with Prior’s title, with the necessary assistants. They governed the Parish Church and administered the Monastery’s goods under full Abbot’s jurisdiction.
Based on documentation evidence and archaeological remains found in the excavation, it can be confirmed that, in the Middle Ages, the Priory became the administrative centre of this area of Oja-Tirón.