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Torre de San Martín

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Mudejar, World Heritage > Mudejar art

mudejar art


As the Christian reigns advanced towards the mainland territories, previously occupied   by the Islam, many of the Muslim settlers reminded living in the conquered territory. These Muslims are known as the Mudejars.

They lived in communities called Aljamas (Jewish quarter) or Moreria (old Muslim quarter)and were allowed to go on practicing their religion, they also have a degree of self-government and they used to work in  most of the farming tasks and in the construction sector. They were the creators of a very particular style of architecture developed in the different reigns in the Mediaeval Spain and that it is known with the name of Mudejar.

The Mudejar is a symbiosis of Romanesque and Gothic style of the western and the most characteristics decorative features of the Muslim architecture.  And that is why we can see decorative elements of the different cultures such as the rounded and pointed arch, used in the Christian culture, mixed with decorative filigrees built out of brick with motives of glazed ceramic, typical construction material in the mudejar architecture. All of these things, and the used of wood for the roof, are the most representative elements in the Muslim architecture. This architectural style, in which the decorative elements overlaps in very good harmony with the merely constructive, can only be seen in the Iberian Peninsula, place where both cultures lived together for several centuries.

The city of Teruel is a good example of the most representative mudejar art that can be found in Aragon and Spain. That is the reason why the Mudejar in Teruel was declared as the Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO in 1986. Every visitor who likes the beauty will enjoy watching these wonders.

The oldest towers are San Pedro and the Cathedral and were built around the middle of the XIII century. They have similar size, their decoration is frugal if it is compared to the ones which appeared years later and it has a clear Romanesque influence. The outside of the apse of San Pedro is beautiful and is topped by some small and slender turrets. In the Cathedral, which was declared National Monument in 1931, the most significant element in its construction is the wooden ceiling with its very valuable paintings.

San Salvador and San Martín towers were built in the XIV century. There is a beautiful but tragic legend, about their construction that everybody in Teruel knows. Both towers are bigger than the ones mentioned previously and have an exuberant wealth of decoration and some gothic features can already be seen in them.

During the Renaissance, a beautiful Mudejar dome (known as Cimborrio), was built over the transept of the cathedral. The tower of La Merced situated in the Arraval neighborhood, dates from the same period. The Mudejar was so important in the city that, when the Modernism emerges at the beginning of the XX century, it will take a great inspiration from it, giving rise to the Neomedejar.

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