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Church of San Miguel (San Esteban de Gormaz)

Monument since 1976.

 

The church of San Miguel is the oldest Sorian Romanesque church that still stands today, and is one of the monuments with the most amount of Muslim architectonical features. According to an inscription in the gallery, it was built in 1081 and we can say that it is the prototype of churches with a porticoed gallery, and, possibly, the first Romanesque porticoed gallery that has been recorded.

 

The gallery has many arches that are set on columns with exotically decorated capitals. On them, there are many characters with kaftans and turbans in various scenes. The stonework details are quite rough, but still captivating: a feature that extends to the cantilevers that hold the cornice up. Specialists have yet to come to an agreement on the possibility of the Romanesque poritcoed gallery being the first one ever recorded.

 

Outside, under the nave’s gables, there is a series of illustrated cantilevers with balls, vertical and horizontal scrolls, anthropomorphic heads, square figures and scotia mouldings. The main façade is made of ashlar and is framed by pilasters on the sides and a tread roof on cantilevers with strange illustrations of four-legged beasts, ithyphallic characters, an ape, a feminine character and another one that seems to be playing a flute.

 

The bell-shaped entrance with a triple archivolt and rounded archway are decorated with intertwined tread geometry. The archivolts are supported by a tread cymatium and smooth monolithic columns with carved crosses and semi-circular and round bases. The capitals on the left have acanthus leaves and bulbs, and scenes of four-legged beasts facing one another, whereas the capitals on the right repeat the plant motif decoration as well as battle scenes. The façade has four archivolts with tread geometry, balls and intertwined flowers, and two original capitals: one with animals facing one another and the other one of a wolf biting a nude man’s leg, which symbolises sin, while another one with a skirt holds him, representing the Devil. On the portico, there are seven arches which end in diamonds and are supported by duplicated or quadruplicated shaft columns topped with plant motif capitals. On the east side, there is another archway that leads to the inside of the church where there is a presbytery with 14th-century Gothic murals which represent religious passages: the Twelve Apostils, the Crowning of Saint Martin, an angel with a shield, a saint on a horse, Adam’s dream and San Cristóbal.

 

As a curiosity, Lope de Vega dedicated a verse in El sastre de Campillo to the capitals in the church of San Miguel.

 

Tourist Information Office: +34 975 350 292

Town Hall: +34 975 350 002
http://www.sanestebandegormaz.org

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Church of San Miguel
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Church of San Miguel
Church of San Miguel
Church of San Miguel
Church of San Miguel

Diputación de Soria (Desarrollo Económico y Turismo)

C/ Caballeros, 17 - 42002 Soria

Tfno. 975 220 511 Fax 975 231 635

turismo@dipsoria.es