Name of Object:

Rose window


Madrid, Spain

Holding Museum:

National Archaeological Museum

 About National Archaeological Museum, Madrid

Date of Object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Moulded plaster


Diameter 126 cm

Period / Dynasty:



St George’s Chapel in the Aljafería Palace, Saragossa, Spain.


St George's Chapel, also known as the Queen's Chapel, was erected on the south side of the Santa Isabel courtyard of the Aljafería Palace. This is a rose window with a central circle whose decoration shows an Islamic influence in its interlinked arches, which form an eight-pointed star. This central circle is surrounded by eight smaller mouldings in a Gothic style each with a four-leafed clover. This rose window is the only surviving material trace of what would have been a small, single-nave chapel with a simple, rough brick ribbed vault, the ribs resting on emblazoned corbels with a large bead moulding running around the entire wall at the height of the springing line of the vault. It is generally accepted that it was built during the times of King Peter IV the Ceremonious (r. 1336–87).
The rose window stands out for its artistic value and uniqueness, as it is the only surviving part of one of the few Mudéjar religious monuments built as a royal commission in Aragon. There is little information about the chapel because, as with everything Mudéjar, it was not of interest to the illustrious travellers who left descriptions of the places they visited. When describing the Aljafería, both Jerónimo Münzer in the late 15th century, Cock, who accompanied Philip II in 1585, Cosme de Médicis in 1668 and Antonio Ponz in the 18th century concentrate almost exclusively on the royal quarters.

View Short Description

Gothic forms such as four-leafed clovers have been combined in this rose window with Andalusian interlacing patterns developing from the central star. This piece of plasterwork adorned the façade of the San Jorge Chapel, one of the Mudéjar buildings erected in the Aljafería by the Christian kings, now lost.

How date and origin were established:

From its characteristic features based on tracery typical of the 14th century.

How Object was obtained:

The rose window was donated to the National Archaeological Museum by the Comandancia de Ingenieros de Zaragoza through Paulino Savirón in 1869.

How provenance was established:

It remained in its original location until 1866, two years before it came to the National Archaeological Museum.

Selected bibliography:

Alquézar Yáñez, E., Arias Sánchez, I. and Franco Mata, A., “Carpintería y Elementos Arquitectónicos Mudéjares en el Museo Arqueológico Nacional Procedentes de Aragón”, in Actas del VI Simposio Internacional de Mudejarismo, Teruel, 16–18 September 1993, Teruel, 1996, pp.872–3.
Borrás Gualís, G., Arte Mudéjar Aragonés, I, Saragossa, 1985, p.297.
íñiguez Almech, F., Así Fue la Aljafería, Saragossa, 1952.
Revilla Vielva, R., Patio árabe del Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid, 1932, pp.82–3.
Savirón y Estevan, P., “Detalles del Palacio de la Aljafería de Zaragoza”, in Museo Español de Antigüedades, II, 1873, pp.507–12.

Mudéjar Art: Islamic Aesthetics in Christian Art, p.89.

Citation of this web page:

Ángela Franco "Rose window" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;es;Mus01;35;en

Prepared by: Ángela Franco
Copyedited by: Rosalía Aller
Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: SP 55