Romanesque Churches of Spain : A Traveller's Guide, Paperback Book

Romanesque Churches of Spain : A Traveller's Guide Paperback


The widespead and numerous Romanesque churches in the northern half of Spain rival those of France for their distinctiveness and originality and for their remarkable sculpture.

They were mainly built between about 1000 and 1200 and mirror the progressive rolling back of Islamic power in the long reconquista, first of all along the north coast and in Catalonia, which was only occupied by the Muslims for about a hundred years, and then in Leon and Castile.

Their architectural styles vary greatly from region to region, and some of them contain fine frescoes as well.

Romanesque style introduced the first revival of the art of sculpture since Roman times, and in Spain there good examples of decorative carving as far back as the seventh century.

It was the age of pilgrimages and many of the churches were founded along the pilgrim routes from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, which are popular destinations for travellers in Spain today. Romanesque Churches of Spain, which covers a hundred and twenty churches in Catalonia, Aragon, Navarre and the Basque Country, Cantabria, Castile, Leon, Asturias and Galicia, and includes no less than twenty pre-Romanesque churches in the Visigothic, Asturian and Mozarabic styles of 600-1000, many with exotic features such as the horseshoe arch, is the first comprehensive book to be published on the subject.

It is a perfect companion for travellers, with its ten maps and its regional arrangement, and will be a stimulus for the exploration of wild and remote areas that are unfamiliar to many people, especially across the Pyrenees and in the mountainous areas of Aragon, Cantabria and Asturias.

It will also be invaluable as a reference book, with its 262 illustrations, for all those with a general interest in the history of Spanish architecture and sculpture, many of the churches possessing outstanding examples such as Santiago de Compostela, Jaca, Soria, Agramunt, Ripoll, Armentia, Estibaliz, Sanguesa, Santo Domingo de Silos and San Pedro de la Nave. Peter Strafford is a distinguished journalist who worked on the Times for more than three decades, including in Paris and Brussels, and was, among other things, the Times correspondent in New York for five years.

His acclaimed Romanesque Churches of France has recently been reprinted.




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