un recorrido por el arte mudéjar aragonés
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CHURCH OF SAN JUAN EL REAL (CALATAYUD)


The Company of Jesus established itself in Calatayud in 1584, concretely on the 1st of October, when its education center was solemnly inaugurated. They remained in the city until Carlos III decreed their expulsion from Spain in 1767. During this period, they constructed a college, a seminary for Nobles and the church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar.

In 1769 the cult in the Calatayud Parish of San Juan de Vallupié had to be discontinued because of the latter’s ruinous state. For this reason, the people of the parish solicited the Central Government for the closing of the Jesuit church, which was done on 21 August of that same year, and moving their parish to this building on 24 May of the following year. The dedication was changed to San Juan el Real at that time and continues to the present day.

TORRE Y CUPULA DE LA IGLESIA DE SAN JUAN EL REAL

The present church was constructed in the 17th century and decorated in the 18th. Our only interest is in the tower which in spite of the late date of its construction (1774-1777), maintains decorative elements inherited from the Mudéjar. Made of brick, its interior is open and the exterior is divided into three stories. The first floor is square and has no decoration. The second is octagonal having a window with a curved lintel between two imitation pilasters on each side. On the corners are two hollows framed by flat brick moldings filled with angled bricks. Between them is a diamond within a simple rectangular frame. An entablature with an angled brick design tops this level, under a wide cornice that separates it from the next one.

2 TORRE 3 SEGUNDO CUERPO 4 ESQUNILLAS AL TRESBOLILLO

The third story corresponds to the bell level and is octagonal with buttresses at the corners. On its eight faces, four openings with Roman arches house the bells. These alternate with blind niches with motifs of angled brick and simpler ones separated by flat bands.

5 DECORACION DE ESQUINILLAS 6 TERCER CUERPO 7 VANO DE CAMPANAS Y ESQUINILLAS

More bands of angled brick top this floor below the entablature with a simple zigzag motif crowned by the spire.

CORNISA DE SEPARACION CON EL ÚLTIMO CUERPO

This spire has a bulbous shape on an octagonal base with engaged pilasters at the corners.

9 ULTIMO CUERPO Y CHAPITEL 10 CUARTO CUERPO DE LA TORRE

What is truly the most interesting feature of San Juan el Real is the magnificent presbytery bench made of carved wood, made for the priest, deacon and subdeacon, which came from the destroyed church of San Juan de Vallupié, and is now in its parish museum.

SITIAL MUDÉJAR

Although it is a Gothic work in form, since the tracery of the motifs that decorate the three chair backs reflects the flamboyant Gothic style, with nothing Islamic about it, it is considered a Mudéjar piece because it was made by Moorish masters.

DECORACION PARTE ALTA

According to a document in the Archivo de Protocolos de Calatayud, found by Gonzalo Borrás, the bench, 2 meters in length and 1.85 in height, was contracted on 11 July 1456 by the brothers Farax el Rubio and Brahem el Rubio, Moors and inhabitants of Calatayud.

ARQUILLOS Y LOBULOS

As Agustín Sanmiguel states: “it shows more an adaptation by the Moorish carpenters and masons of the new, more European tastes that probably entered the area during the pontificate of the Luna Pope, to the detriment of the purer Islamic geometric and stylized vegetal or arabesque types.”

DETALLE DE LA DECORACION DE LOS RESPALDOS

 

 
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