un recorrido por el arte mudéjar aragonés
webmaster: José Antonio Tolosa (Zaragoza -España-)

Church of Saint Teresa or “Las Fecetas” (ZARAGOZA)



At number 5 of the calle Santa Lucia is the church of the old convent of Saint Teresa, which, according to the Heraldo de Aragón in an article dated Wednesday, June 24, 2009, is one of the least-known monuments of Zaragoza, and truly, its exterior revels little, so it is often passed by. It is the interior that is really interesting in this building, and makes it a unique example of Baroque ornamentation in stucco in the Mudéjar tradition in the city of Zaragoza.

The church, along with part of its cloister, is the only vestige of the Convent of Descalced Carmelites of Saint Teresa, commonly known as “Fecetas,” derived from the Zaragozan notary Don Diego Fecet who obtained a papal bull on April 7, 1623 from Pope Gregory XV for its foundation. In offering its description, I can do nothing better than to follow the Doctoral monograph of Maria Isabel Oliván Jarque.

The church is a work of the first half of the 17th century. It was begun in 1627 by Pedro de Ruesca, and was continued and completed by Clemente Ruiz in 1629. The principal façade is brick except for a little stone socle. It is constructed in two stories united by two big wings. On the lower part, four pilasters create three spaces, with the entry door in the center with a simple arched opening. On the upper floor, the three zones are reduced to a single one flanked by the cited wings. In the center is an elongated arched opening that is later than the original construction. A triangular pediment crowns it.

2 3

On the left wall is part of the convent’s cloister with two blind openings because of the lack of the right gallery. Square in shape, it has five bays on each side that correspond to the three openings of each façade and the two in the corners. In the center of the courtyard is the mouth of a well, with its cistern below ground.

The height is divided into two floors, on the first are three double arches separated by pilasters. A door occupies the central arch, now closed off. An oculus occupies the center of each arch, the center ones larger and filled with alabaster. On the second floor, each bay has two arched openings, the majority also blinded.

On the interior, the church has a Latin cross plan inscribed within a rectangle, in the Jesuit fashion, approximately twice as long as it is wide, with a crossing not seen on the exterior. It has a high choir at its foot from a later period.

5 6

Of a single nave, there are two lateral chapels between buttresses located in its first bay. The spaces of the other two bays and the presbytery were used to lodge conventual dependencies.

7 8

Barrel vaulting with lunettes covers the nave bays, the crossing arms and the presbytery. The crossing has a cupola on pendentives at its center. Both the nave bays and the arms of the crossing arms are separated by projecting arches supported by pilasters and counteracted by the buttresses.

All of the vaults, crossing and cupola and projecting arches are ornamented with plaster work in the Mudéjar tradition, and we will examine them in detail. Although no documentation has been found concerning the date of its execution, María Isabel Oliván places it during the decade of 1629-30 and 1640, and she even refines this dating to 1636-40. All of the decorative motifs are of geometric types in its variants of straight, curved or mixed lines.

 

 
Mapa interactivo de la Comarca de Zaragoza
 
Página de inicio