Facade of Santa María la Real de Sangüesa

Facade of Santa María la Real de Sangüesa
Facade of Santa María la Real de Sangüesa
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This church in the Spanish region of Navarra was built around the second half of the 12th century. And the result of its cover is that of one of the facades that are considered among the most ostentatious of the entire Camino de Santiago, since Sangüesa is at the entry point of the Camino Jacobeo that enters Spain from France through the lands of Aragón and that has one of the main stops in the Cathedral of Jaca. A branch for pilgrims that converges with the Roncesvalles route, in the Navarran town of Puente La Reina.

Santa Maria la Real de Sangüesa

Santa Maria la Real de Sangüesa

The cover of Santa María la Real de Sangüesa has two phases of realization. The first was directed by an artist named Leodegarius, who very possibly would have been familiar with the Royal Cover of Chartres, since on the jambs there are sculptures in the form of columns very similar to those of the French temple. In this case, these sculptures represent the Three Marys, and logically because they adapt to the architectural form of the columns, they are highly stylized figures. Precisely in the figure of the Virgin Mary on one of these jambs, the character appears reading a book, and the sculptor left his work signed there, since it can be read “Leodegarius me fecit”, that is, Leodegarius made me.

Also noteworthy are thenumerous figures that unfold longitudinally along the five pointed archivolts. In them you can see statuettes of prophets, apostles, praying or warriors.

On the other hand, this same master also directed the sculptural repertoire of the tympanum over the entrance to the church. And in this case he wasn't so lucky as it's a much rougher set from a compositional point of view.

The second sculptor who took part in the elaboration of the ornamentation of the façade was later, since it is already a work carried out in the 13th century. And it is thought that this master builder must have previously worked in the San Juan de la Peña Monastery, located a few kilometers earlier on the same branch of the Camino de Santiago. he made a great frieze with Christ in majesty in the center, the Tetramorphs or symbols of the Four Evangelists, and next to them a choir of angels and the Apostles.

All this is completed with a series of scenes carved into the spandrels, some curiously inspired by the Scandinavian saga of Sigurt.

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