Photograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro Casado


Name of Monument:

Church of Santiago del Arrabal

Location:

Calle Real del Arrabal, s/n, Toledo, Spain

Date of Monument:

1245–7

Period / Dynasty:

Mudéjar

Patron(s):

Sancho II of Portugal (r. 1223–47).

Description:

This is the masterpiece of the Toledan Mudéjar style, both for its command of the space and because it is the only building to have retained its Mudéjar design in full, although it has undergone some repair work. Located between the Old and New Bisagra Gateways and beside the city walls, its current appearance, the result of restoration work carried out between 1958 and 1973, is nothing like the old photographs of Toledo taken by R. Amador de los Ríos (see Bibliography). Built on top of existing structures, one Visigothic and the other a mosque that is known to have been used since 1125, the separation of the tower from the building is due to the reuse of a minaret as a bell tower; a legacy of the Córdoban Caliphate originally deduced by F. Hernández. The bond used in the walls and the double horseshoe arch in the window of the tower support this assertion. The tall bell tower is in keeping with the 13th-century design, which was intended to incorporate the Islamic tower seamlessly into the Mudéjar image of Toledan churches.
Construction appears to have started between 1245 and 1247 at the behest of Sancho II of Portugal. With his death, work was suspended in 1248 and restarted shortly after with the patronage of the Diosdado family, knight commanders of the Order of Santiago.
The church model belongs to the so-called 'second phase' of the Toledan Mudéjar style, which is characterised by the influence of Castilian Romanesque with three naves, three semi-circular apses and the inclusion of the transept nave. This origin also explains the ornamental arrangement of the sanctuary, with series of superimposed blind arcades, three in the central apse and two each in the side apses, which continue on the straight sections and bring together the exterior image. This type of composition is one of the novelties of the apses, along with the three lobed oculi situated in line with the windows in the upper section. The three lower windows accentuate the verticality of the façade and betray a Gothic influence. The apses are covered with a cul-de-four (demi-cupola) and a pointed barrel vault, the ends of the transept with half-barrel vaults and the three central sections with cross vaults, the main one being ribbed. The side naves are covered with collar-beam roofs. Old-fashioned features are mixed with Gothic references, such as the slender proportions or the use of a ribbed vault in the centre of the transept. This style also pervades the cruciform pillars with double-voussoir pointed arches that highlight the great elevation, a first at that time in Toledo. This is one of the reasons why the church also appears in manuals of Gothic art.
The Islamic legacy, obvious in the bell tower, can also be seen in the façades, whose design derives from Córdoban Caliphate architecture: a horseshoe arch within a lobed arch beneath a frieze of intertwined arches. The two pilasters that frame the gateway, a solution that would subsequently become widespread in Toledo, are particularly noteworthy.

View Short Description

The victory at Navas de Tolosa (Jaen) in AH 609 / AD 1212, which signalled the final disappearance of the Almohad threat to Toledo and an increase in economic resources, and the earthquake of 618 / 1221 triggered the construction of great churches in the city. The masterpiece of Toledan architecture in the 7th / 13th century, for its monumentality and elegance, was the out-of-town church of Santiago del Arrabal. It is also the only church to have retained the Mudéjar work in its entirety. It was built on the site of a mosque, with the minaret being converted into a bell tower.

How Monument was dated:

From documents and a tombstone.

Selected bibliography:

Abad Castro, M.ª C., Arquitectura Mudéjar Religiosa en el Arzobispado de Toledo, Toledo, 1991, p.320.
Amador de los Ríos, R., Monumentos Arquitectónicos de España: Toledo, Madrid, 1905, pp.224–36.
Hernández Jiménez, Félix, El Alminar de 'Abd Al-Rahman III en la Mezquita Mayor de Córdoba: Génesis y Repercusiones, Granada, Patronato de la Alhambra, 1975, pp.54–5, 215, fig. 12.
López Guzmán, R., Arquitectura Mudéjar: Del Sincretismo Medieval a las Alternativas Hispanoamericanas, Madrid, 2000, pp.221–4.
Pérez Higuera, T., “Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal”, in El Arte Mudéjar. La Estética Islámica en el Arte Cristiano, Madrid, 2000, pp.208–9.
Pérez Higuera, T., “Sinagoga de Santa María la Blanca”, in Arquitecturas de Toledo, Vol. I: Del Romano al Gótico (co-ord. D. Peris Sánchez), Toledo, 1992, pp.285–93.
Mudéjar Art: Islamic Aesthetics in Christian Art, pp.208–9.

Citation of this web page:

Ángela Franco "Church of Santiago del Arrabal" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. 2018. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=monument;ISL;es;Mon01;29;en

Prepared by: Ángela FrancoÁngela Franco

Ángela Franco es Jefa del Departamento de Antigüedades Medievales en el Museo Arqueológico Nacional.
Obtuvo el Grado de Doctor por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid con la tesis Escultura gótica en León y provincia, premiada y publicada parcialmente (Madrid, 1976; reed. León, 1998); y la Diplomatura en Paleografía y Archivística por la Scuola Vaticana di Paleografia, Diplomatica e Archivistica, con la tesis L'Archivio paleografico italiano: indici dei manoscritti, publicada en castellano (Madrid, 1985). Becas de investigación: beca posdoctoral del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Academia Española de Bellas Artes de Roma (1974-75); beca posdoctoral del Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Academia Española de Bellas Artes de Roma (1975-77); beca de la Fundación Juan March de Madrid (1978).
Tiene en su haber 202 publicaciones, fundamentalmente sobre arte medieval cristiano, en especial la iconografía: Crucifijo gótico doloroso, Doble Credo, Danzas de la Muerte, temática bíblica en relación con la liturgia (el Génesis y el Éxodo en relación con la vigilia Pascual) o con el teatro (Secundum legem debet mori, sobre el “pozo de Moisés” de la cartuja de Dijon). Es autora de cuatro catálogos monográficos del Museo Arqueológico Nacional, entre ellos el de Dedales islámicos (Madrid, 1993), y de publicaciones sobre escultura gótica y pintura en la catedral de León y sobre escultura gótica en Ávila, así como de numerosas fichas para catálogos de exposiciones.
Ha participado en innumerables congresos nacionales e internacionales, presentando ponencias y mesas redondas, y ha dirigido cursos y ciclos de conferencias. Es Secretaria de Publicaciones en el Museo Arqueológico Nacional desde 1989.

Copyedited by: Rosalía AllerRosalía Aller

Rosalía Aller Maisonnave, licenciada en Letras (Universidad Católica del Uruguay), y en Filología Hispánica y magíster en Gestión Cultural de Música, Teatro y Danza (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), ha obtenido becas de la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional y la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia de Madrid, así como el Diplôme de Langue Française (Alliance Française), el Certificate of Proficiency in English (University of Cambridge) y el Certificado Superior en inglés y francés (Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Madrid). Profesora de Estética de la Poesía y Teoría Literaria en la Universidad Católica del Uruguay, actualmente es docente de Lengua Castellana y Literatura en institutos de Enseñanza Secundaria y formación del profesorado en Madrid. Desde 1983, ha realizado traducción y edición de textos en Automated Training Systems, Applied Learning International, Videobanco Formación y El Derecho Editores. Integra el equipo de Museo Sin Fronteras desde 1999 y ha colaborado en la revisión de los catálogos de “El Arte Islámico en el Mediterráneo”. Así mismo, ha realizado publicaciones sobre temas literarios y didácticos, ha dictado conferencias y ha participado en recitales poéticos.

Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: SP 33

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