Convent of San Pedro el Viejo de Huesca

Convent of San Pedro el Viejo de Huesca
Convent of San Pedro el Viejo de Huesca
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This monument in the heart of the Spanish city of Huesca traces its origins back to the time when the city was conquered by the Christians in the 12th century, after a long time under Muslim rule. In other words, we are facing a convent complex in the Romanesque style, where the church, the cloister and some parts of the old monastery remain, which even served as the Royal Pantheon where prominent monarchs of medieval Aragon were buried. as is the case of Alfonso I el Batallador and Ramiro II el Monje.

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Cloister of San Pedro el Viejo de Huesca

Although there was an earlier temple here, it even stood during the Muslim period, as it was allowed to be used by the Christian population. However, after the reconquest and the subsequent delivery of the place to the Benedictine monks, it was decided to build a new building that lasted for much of the 12th century, and which gave the church its characteristic Romanesque appearance. A stone church, with three naves and a triple chancel.

And as for the cloister, located on the south side of the church, it is a rectangular space open to the central space through semicircular arches and double columns in which there is a wonderful set of sculpture Romanesque. However, only about half are originals, while the rest are later reproductions.

The truth is that the complex has undergone various changes over the centuries, and today little of the convent buildings remains, and it must also be taken into account that the enclosure has been surrounded by the growth of the neighboring houses, so that some of their covers have been modified or lost.

Even so there is one of them that is spectacular and has become the main one. A portal where you can see a chrismon, similar to that of other Spanish Romanesque buildings, such as the nearby Cathedral of Jaca. In the case of San Pedro el Viejo we can see a trinitarian chrismon, that is, the representation with letters of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. A chrismon held by two angels on the sides.

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Cover of Saint Peter the Elder

And surprisingly there are traces of polychrome painting in this relief, both in the figures of the tympanum and in the Chrismon itself, which would give it a very different appearance from the image of the colorless stone with which we imagine medieval temples. But you have to keep in mind that painting all those reliefs was very common during the Middle Ages, and as an example, let's remember here the Gothic portal of Santa María de los Reyes in Laguardia, Vitoria.

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