This temple is part of the list of the Cultural Heritage of Humanity according to UNESCO for an exceptional example of Mudejar architecture. And it is located in one of the oldest areas of occupation of the two-thousand-year-old Spanish city of Zaragoza.
In fact, on the same site that the current temple occupies there would be an older religious space, possibly from the Romanesque period. However, during the first half of the 14th century, the Mudejar church was built, conceived as a single-nave enclosure, with an apse and the typical bell tower of these constructions.
Mudejar Church of the Magdalena
However, its development has changed a lot over the centuries, so much so that at one point the original apse or chancel became the entrance and continues to do so today. But from the outside, beyond being the door, this apse has not changed its appearance excessively, and its polygonal shape continues to be observed, on whose walls the decorative brick friezes are maintained, formed from intersecting mixtilinear arches and crosses. rhomboid arms. Some charismatic ornamental forms within the Mudejar art, a unique style, which only took place in Spain, in the territories reconquered from the Muslims and where the artisans maintained for centuries the influence ofislamic art.
But if the brick architecture of the façade-apse is a more than remarkable element of the church of Santa María Magdalena in Zaragoza, without a doubt what most draws the attention is its bell tower.
As with other Mudejar towers, here too the architectural structure is absolutely identical to that of an Almohad-style minaret with a square floor plan and, of course, its volumetric appearance and its battlement-shaped top is closer to that of a defensive tower than that of a bell tower.
Although that idea of military construction is completely lost when observing the profuse decoration that runs through all its architecture. In it appears the entire ornamental repertoire of which the master builders of the 14th century were capable, since the brick compositions enliven the entire façade, recreating friezes of arches, crosses, rhombuses, etc, etc. But as if that were not enough, this decoration is joined by the presence of glazed ceramics in green and white tones, with which geometric series are formed, which give rhythm to the tower and provide it with a variation of colors. Some elements that, on the other hand, are among the most appreciated and unique values of Mudejar art.