This church in the historic center of the Castilian city of Zamora is also known as San Cipriano. The temple is a good example of the enormous amount of Romanesque architecture that Zamora possesses, which together with its neighboring province of Segovia, are the two Spanish territories that treasure the most examples of this medieval style.
San Cipriano de Zamora
The church of San Cebrián or San Cipriano began in the 11th century, and together with other churches in Zamora such as Santo Tomé, Santa María la Nueva, San Claudio de los Olivares or Santiago el Viejo, make up the group of temples in the primitive Romanesque style, all of them built prior to the colorful Cathedral of Zamora.
Although the origins of San Cipriano go back to the 11th century, the truth is that the building that can be seen today is the result of other reconstructions and later interventions during the 12th, 14th and 18th centuries. However, the triple apse of the church and the north wall do belong to the time of its initial construction.
In fact, the church was initially conceived with a basilica plan, although over time it became a single nave, which has not prevented its triple apse covered with a barrel vault from being preserved, which in the case of the central arch and that of the chancel tend to be pointed.
If the valuearchitecture of the temple is undoubted, some of the Romanesque sculptures that are preserved embedded in its oldest parts and walls also deserve a special mention.
In them we can see, for example, a relief with the biblical scene of the Sacrifice of Isaac on the tympanum of the central chapel. Also very interesting are the capitals carved in stone with plant motifs in the main chapel, where other episodes from the Bible are also discovered, such as the Adoration of the Magi or the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise.
However, the most curious are the sculptures that are discovered on its walls. There, for example, you can see the figure of a blacksmith working with his anvil. In addition, there are other types of much more fanciful representations such as a mermaid or a seven-headed monster. And of course there are also religious characters such as the representation of a Saint Peter who carries his cap and the keys to heaven, or a representation of Daniel with the lions was also carved in the stone.
As if that were not enough, when you look at the eaves that run along the longest part of the walls, you can see the remains of the usual checkerboard molding that identifies many Romanesquebuildings in Spain, including outside Castilla, as is the case of large temples such as the Cathedral of Jaca in Aragón or other smaller ones such as the hermitage of Santa María de Iguacel, very close to the previous one. And accompanying that checkered pattern appear several canetes with human figures.