St Isidore’s Basilica

St Isidore’s Basilica
St Isidore’s Basilica

The most important Romanesque building in Spain, it is a synthesis from the Romanesque style to the Baroque. Its construction was ordered by Fernando and Sancha, and San Isidoro was the headquarters of an important marble, jet and gold and silverworks school.

Historical Precedents:

The church is dated on the IXth Century and it was devoted to San Juan Bautista, replacing a Roman temple devoted to Mercury. The church’s protector was changed when the mortal remains from San Pelayo, the martyr child, were moved from Córdoba to the church. Alfonso “el de los Buenos Fueros” rebuilt the church with brick and cheap material, and the new reforms took place during the reign of Fernando and Sancha (XIth Century). The architect in charge was Petrus Deustamben.


Portada principal (Main façade): the door Puerta del Cordero, Romanesque, abocinada with three columns and three spiral arcs. The tympanum depicts the Lamb’s Ascension by two angels. The Lamb holds a crucifix in one leg. One of the main features is the law of frame adaptation. The sacrifice of Isaac is also depicted in the fist tympanum, that shows several scenes. Geometrical images are depicted in the arc’s inferior surface, and the arc is bordered with wooden cylinders from the Spanish city of Jaca. San Pelayo’s image, on the right, was imported from the former church. San Isidoro de Sevilla is depicted on the right, and there are also scenes from King David and the Musicians.

Peineta: Baroque style (XVIIIth Century), it is a work from the Valladolid family. It shows the Spanish Royal Coat of Arms and an equestrial statue of San Isidoro, winner from the Real de Baeza.

Puerta del Perdón: located in the south’s façade from the transept, it was made by the master Esteban, that later on worked in the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela. The tympanum shows three reliefs: Descendimiento (Descent from the Cross), Tres Marías ante el sepulcro (Three Marías in front of the sepulchre), and Ascensión (the Ascension).

Portada de los Quiñones (Quiñones Façade): visible from inside, it is a work by the Maestro de las Serpientes. Its main features are the marble columns with capitals and tympanum with wooden cylinders from Jaca.

Inside the Church:

Three naves with different heights, the central one being the highest, covered with a barrel vault, whereas the other two are covered with edge vaults.

Crucero (Transept): poli lobed arcs from Moslim influence, with side apses finished in a semicircular vault formed by a quarter of sphere.

Capilla Central (Central Chapel): Spanish-Flamish style, made by Juan de Badajoz el Viejo, finished in a star vault, at the feet there is a Choir from the XVth Century. There are 200 capitals in the Chapel, depicting different topics: comic, vegetal, biblic or anecdotic, amongst others.

Capilla mayor (Main Chapel): shows an altarpiece componed by 24 Reinassance panels made by the Master Pozuelo, Custodia, García Crespo and the Urna de San Isidoro (San Isidoro’s Urn), made by Rebollo.

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