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Repoblación architecture

Church of Santa Cristina at Burgos. Monastery of San Miguel de Escalada (León) Monastery of San Miguel de Escalada (León)
Repoblación art and architecture

The title art and architecture of the Repoblación has recently been applied to the creative works, predominantly architectural, which were completed in the Christian kingdoms of the north of Spain between the ending of the 9th and beginning of the 11th century. This encompasses all the buildings which until recently were regarded as Mozarabic, and so called, and cataloged following the line marked by Manuel Gómez Moreno. The current historiography appears partial to abandoning that title because it is a proven argument that these buildings do not possess the origin that was attributed to them.

This does not mean that in the northern peninsular architecture of the 10th century, including in the religious, Muslim influences are not appreciated, inevitable on the other hand when in a situation of neighboring a caliphate, as that of Córdoba, cultural, artistic and very developed economicly, instead it is insisted that those monumental buildings are not owed to the modest groups of Mozarabic immigrants that settled in the areas of repopulation when the living conditions in al-Andalus became barely tolerable. As stated by the professor Isidro Bango Torviso, it should be admitted that:

"when produced under the hegemony Asturian-Leonese the repopulation of the Valley of Duero, the northerners lose all their knowledge and experiences to submit themselves to the 'very rich and contrasted creative capacity' of some poor and ruralized southern immigrants."

The art and architecture of the Repoblación is identified with the third subset of the Hispanic Pre-Romanesque period, by the phases that correspond to the Visigothic art and Asturian art. Its architecture is a summary of elements of diverse extraction irregularly distributed, of a form that in occasions predominate those of paleo-Christian, Visigothic or Asturian origin, while at other times emphasizes the Muslim impression.

In any even, some signs of identity characterizations of this ecclesial architectural style exist that can be summarized in:
Basilica or centralized plan; sometimes with opposing apses.
Principal chapel of rectangular plan on the exterior and ultra-semicircular in the interior.
Use of the horseshoe arch of Muslim evocation, somewhat more closed and sloped than the Visigothic.
Generalized use of the alfiz.
Use of the geminated and tripled windows of Asturian tradition.
Covering by means of segmented vaults, including by the traditional barrel vaults.
Grouped columns forming composite pillars, with Corinthian capital decorated with stylized elements and cincture joined to it.
Walls re-enforced by exterior buttresses.
Evolution of the rafter ornaments to great lobed offsets that support very pronounced eaves.
Decoration similar to the Visigothic based in volutes, swastikas, and vegetable and animal themes forming projected borders.
A great command of the technique in construction, employing principally ashlar by length and width.
Absence or sobriety of exterior decoration.
Diversity in the floor plans, certainly the majority stand out by the small proportions and discontinuous spaces covered by cupolas (groined, segmented, ribbed of horseshoe transept, etc.).


As most representative buildings, the following can be listed:
Monastery of San Miguel de Escalada (León)
Shrine of Santo Tomás de las Ollas (León)
Church of Santiago de Peñalba (León)
Church of Santa María de Wamba (Valladolid)
Church of San Cebrián de Mazote (Valladolid)
Monastery of San Román de Hornija (Valladolid)
Chapel of San Miguel de Celanova (Ourense)
Shrine of Santa Céntola y Santa Elena de Siero (Burgos)
Church of Santa María de Retortillo (Burgos)
Church of San Vicente del Valle (Burgos)
Tower of Doña Urraca, Covarrubias (Burgos)
Church of Santa María de Lebeña (Cantabria)
Shrine of San Román de Moroso, Arenas de Iguña (Cantabria)
Shrine San Baudelio de Berlanga, Caltojar (Soria)
Monastery of San Juan de la Peña, Jaca (Huesca)
Church of San Pedro de Lárrede (Huesca)
Pre-Romanesque Church of the Monastery of Leyre (Navarre)
Monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla (La Rioja)
Monastery of San Salvador de Tábara (Zamora)
Church of San Cristóbal de Cabrils (Barcelona)
Church of San Julián de Boada (Girona)
Church of Santa María de Matadars (Barcelona)

Moreno, Manuel Gómez. Iglesias mozárabes (Mozarabic Churches. Madrid 1917.
Torviso, Isidro Bango. "Summa Artis," Volume VIII-II.