Arte de Repoblación refers to the architectural style of pre-Romanesque buildings. It is often also called Mozarabic architecture. Mozarabs are Christians, influenced by Islamic culture. The hotspot of this architectural style was in Moorish Spain.

History

Repoblación Architecture originated in 711 AD, after the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors and the collapse of the Visigoth Empire. At first, the coexistence between the Islamic rulers and the Christians was peaceful. 

From the middle of the 8th century, pressure arose on the Christians to adopt the Islamic faith. Besides, more and more churches were destroyed or confiscated. This led to uprisings by the Christians in some cities. This gave onto executions and groups of martyrs. These in turn became the justification for military conquest. 

Some Christians sought refuge outside the masons’ domain. The new homes were the locations for the first Repoblación buildings. They are an ensemble of elements of different origins, irregularly distributed; Paleo-Christian, Visigothic, Asturian, Muslim.

Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet1
Distribution of faith, Spain@Map Iberian Peninsula 1030-es – Mozarabische Architektur – Wikipedia

Typical features

The ground plan of churches is usually rectangular or square, with one or three naves. The entrance faces south. The roofs have overhanging eaves that rest on roll brackets. Repoblación naves mostly have flat wooden ceilings, smaller parts of the rooms are covered with groined vaults. 

Horseshoe arches and alfiz frames are also typical of the style. The horseshoe arches are more tightly closed and have a keystone in contrast to the Visigothic architecture. 

Furthermore, Repoblación architecture relies on the use of pillars, which have columns set on two or four sides.

The main building material was precisely hewn qadar. To reduce the weight, bricks were used, which were decorated with friezes. Frequently used motifs are braided bands. 

A phenomenon common to both Western Gothic architecture and Repoblación architecture is the càmera oculta. This is a hidden chamber whose meaning is unclear.

San Miguel de Celanova 

San Miguel de Celanova was built in the 10th century and is located in Celanova. The original monastery was rebuilt and enlarged in the 16th century. Later it was baroqueised. During the renovation in 1952-1954, the founding inscription was uncovered. 

The building consists of 3 room sections with a total of 25m². The masonry includes granite blocks without mortar. The arrangement of the three rooms is a sequence of rectangle, square, and circle. This symbolizes the path between the earthly and the divine. 

Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet2
San Miguel de Celanove@Capilla_de_San_Miguel_Arcángel_de_Celanova.jpg (899×675) (wikimedia.org)
Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet3
Roller brackets San Miguel de Celanove@Capela de San Miguel Mosteiro de San Salvador de Celanova 1 – San Miguel de Celanova – Wikipedia
Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet4
Floorplan San Miguel de Celanove@Planta SMdC – San Miguel de Celanova – Wikipedia

Santa Maria of Lebaña

Santa Maria of Lebaña is located in the region of Cantabria. A copial book shows that the church was built between 924 and 959 by Count Alfonso of Liébana and his wife Justa. They dedicated it to 7 patron saints. The construction and materials are typical of the Repoblación Architecture.

Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet5
Santa Maria of Lebaña @Lebeña2 – Santa María (Lebeña) – Wikipedia
Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet6
pillars of Santa maria of Lebana @Lebeña3 – Santa María (Lebeña) – Wikipedia
Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet7
floorplan of Santa maria of Lebana @Planta SMdL – Santa María (Lebeña) – Wikipedia

San Cebrián

San Cebrián is a parish church in San Cebrian de Mazote, in Valladolid. It is dedicated to the holy martyr Cyprian. Originally, the building was built as a monastery. A peculiarity of the church is the horseshoe arch over a monolithic lintel.

The church has three naves and is divided into 5 bays. Until the 19th century, a bell center was added, which since then characterizes the western façade.  

Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet8
San Cebriàn@San Cebrián de Mazote iglesia mozarabe ni – San Cebrián (San Cebrián de Mazote) – Wikipedia
Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet9
horseshoe of San Cebriàn San Cebrián de Mazote iglesia arco mozarabe y San Roque ni – San Cebrián (San Cebrián de Mazote) – Wikipedia
Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet10
floorplan of San Cebriàn@Planta SCdM – San Cebrián (San Cebrián de Mazote) – Wikipedia

Santa María

Santa María is located in Wamba, Castilla y León. The construction of the monastery is dated to the year 928. When it became the property of the Johanites in the 12th century, a Romanesque-style nave was added. 

In the apse, there is a mural painting in black and brick red colors on white background. It depicts a cross surrounded by eight squares. In these, there are circles with animals that can be interpreted as lions. It is unclear whether it is a Mozarabic or a Romanesque painting.

Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet11
Santa María @Santa María (Wamba) – Wikipedia
Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet12
inside Santa María @Wamba Santa María nave254 – Santa María (Wamba) – Wikipedia
Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet13
painting inside the apse of Santa Marìa@Wamba Santa María 242 – Santa María (Wamba) – Wikipedia

San Millán de la Cogolla

The monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla consists of the monasteries of San Millán de Yuso and San Millán de Suso. It is located in San Millán de la Cogolla, La Rioja, Spain. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997. The construction of the buildings began in the 6th century. They were extended until the 12th century and rebuilt after a destruction in 1001. San Millán de Suso is characterized by the Repoblación style.

Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet14
San Millán de la Cogolla@Valle-de-San-Millán – Kloster San Millán de la Cogolla – Wikipedia
Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet15
inside San Millán de la Cogolla @Cenotafio de San Millan en el Monasterio de San Millan de Suso – Kloster San Millán de la Cogolla – Wikipedia
Repoblación Architecture: Pre-Romanesque Architecture - Sheet16
inside San Millán de la Cogolla @S Millan Cogolla Suso inté – Kloster San Millán de la Cogolla – Wikipedia

References

Author

Write A Comment