Being one of the most precious and meticulous styles of all those that have appeared throughout our history, Mudejar has left numerous architectural examples in Spain. Its appearance is the result of the mixture of Muslim artistic elements with Christian artistic trends such as Romanesque and Gothic, not so much in terms of constructive solutions as in decoration, giving rise to an intrinsically Hispanic way of building.
However, Mudejar art in Spain did not have a homogeneous style throughout the peninsula, but its peculiarities changed according to the historical characteristics that occurred in each of the territories. The variety of Aragon, declared a World Heritage Site, is one of the best known. Will you join us to learn more about Mudejar art in Spain?
Palace of Pedro I and the Hall of Ambassadors, a must
The Royal Alcazar of Seville is a group of palaces designed to accommodate the various rulers since the Arab era. These successive palaces ordered to be built by the monarchs are built one on top of the other and their styles vary from the original Islamic to the Gothic or the Mudejar. The Palace of Pedro I is the building that we can consider most properly Mudejar, although the style is present in the whole complex.
The so-called Salón de Embajadores (Ambassadors’ Hall) of this palace is especially noteworthy, as it still preserves the original doors with Arabic inscriptions on the exterior and Castilian ones on the interior, which were carved in wood by Toledan craftsmen. Also striking is the beautiful dome with geometric motifs that covers the room. Do not forget to visit the gardens of this palatial complex, an incredible extension of palm trees, orange trees and fountains that constitute the best refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city that you will find in Seville.
Santa María de Teruel Cathedral
Discover the Sistine Chapel of Mudejar art in Spain
The city of Teruel is undoubtedly the capital of Mudejar art in Spain, as it is home to interesting examples of this style, which have been declared a World Heritage Site. This is the case with some parts of the Santa María Cathedral, since it is not built entirely in the same style, as used to be the case with these constructions. The roof is one of the great elements that will catch the visitor’s attention: this magnificent coffered ceiling has come to be called “the Sistine Chapel of Mudejar art” thanks to the meticulous paintings that decorate it.
The other great attraction of this temple is its majestic tower, one of the oldest Mudejar towers in Spain. It was from its construction, with a rich decoration of tiles and glazed ceramics, when a reform of the building was undertaken to incorporate elements of this style in all the structure.
Collegiate Church of Santa María de Calatayud
Outstanding example of Mudejar art conservation
In the Aragonese town of Calatayud we find this collegiate church that has always aspired to the rank of cathedral but has never achieved it. The result of this desire is the successive remodelling that the building has undergone, which in spite of everything preserves the original Mudejar tower, cloister and apse. Its octagonal tower is one of the references of Mudejar art in Spain, as well as one of the highest. In it we can observe the influence of the Muslim miranets in this way of building.
The brick decoration of this series of elements contrasts sharply with the Renaissance elements of which the rest of the collegiate church is composed, in a mixture that gives a unique and surprising character to the decoration.
A synagogue that defied a ban
Built by the enigmatic Samuel Levi despite the ban on building Hebrew temples, this synagogue is one of the essential places to visit in the city of Toledo. The temple itself is small in size and very austere on the outside.
Inside, however, we find a vast decoration that makes use of almost all the resources of Mudejar art. For example, plasterwork, epigraphy, geometric decoration or poly-lobed arches. On its walls you can read inscriptions in Hebrew that praise God and the promoter of the construction. The ostentatious ornamentation reaches its culmination in the coffered ceiling, a fascinating work of craftsmanship made with coniferous wood and ivory inlays. An authentic treasure of Mudejar art in Spain.
The unknown temple of Aragon
Seo is the name given to cathedrals in the ancient kingdom of Aragon, but in this case the name is used to differentiate this building from the other great cathedral of Zaragoza, that of El Pilar. As in other cases, the temple mixes styles such as Romanesque or Renaissance with Mudejar. In spite of all the preeminence of the latter can be seen in the use of brick as a building material, in the golden wooden roof and in the dome that rises above the central transept.
On the exterior walls and in the so-called “parroquieta”, destined for the tomb of Lope de Luna, is where you can appreciate the Aragonese Mudejar in its purest form, with brick grids, glazed ceramics and even the use of muqarnas on the roof of the tomb.
All of these are fascinating examples of Mudejar art in Spain.