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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Kunst und Architektur – HiSoUR Kunst Kultur Ausstellung
- Liebana y Picos de Europa. Guia multimedia interactiva
- San Miguel de Celanova – Wikipedia
- SAN CEBRIÁN DE MAZOTE (arteguias.com)
- IGLESIA DE SANTA MARIA EN WAMBA (jdiezarnal.com)
- Kloster San Millán de la Cogolla – Monasterio de San Millán (monasteriodesanmillan.com)