Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula

Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula is part of the Tentative list of Spain in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the state party.

Map of Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

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Clyde

Malta - 10-Aug-20 -

Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula (T) by Clyde

In July 2020 I visited 2 locations of this tentative WHS, namely the Mozarabic Church of San Cipriano in Cebrian de Mazote (top photos) and the Mozarabic Church/Ossuary of Santa Maria in Wamba (bottom photos), both close to Valladolid. Something worth keeping in mind when visiting is that both are closed on Mondays.

The Mozarabs were the Iberian Christians who lived under Moorish rule in Al-Andalus. Although their descendants remained unconverted to Islam, they were mostly fluent in Arabic and adopted elements of Arabic culture. The local Romance vernaculars, heavily permeated by Arabic and spoken by Christians and Muslims alike, have also come to be known as the Mozarabic language. Most of the Mozarabs were descendants of Hispanic Christians and were primarily speakers of Mozarabic (late Latin of Iberia) under Islamic rule. They also included those members of the former Visigothic ruling elite who did not convert to Islam or emigrate northwards after the Muslim conquest. Spanish Christians initially portrayed Muslims primarily as military or political enemies, but with time, Islam came to be seen as a religion and not merely a threat.

The Mozarabs of Muslim origin were descendants of those Muslims who converted to Christianity following the conquest of Toledo, and perhaps also following the expeditions of King Alfonso I of Aragon. When comparing this tWHS to the already inscribed Mudejar architecture it is worth mentioning that the Mozarabs of Muslim origin who converted en masse at the end of the 11th century are totally distinct from the Mudejars and Moriscos who converted gradually to Christianity between the 12th and 17th centuries. Some Mozarabs were even Converso Sephardi Jews who likewise became part of the Mozarabic milieu. Separate Mozarab enclaves were located in the large Muslim cities, especially Toledo, Cordoba, Zaragoza, and Seville, which in a way helps understand why the 10 best Mozarabic remnants which make up this tWHS are scattered around Spain.

The Church of San Cipriano in Cebrian de Mazote is a 10th century structure built on the grounds of a Visigoth settlement. It has a basilica ground plan with two apses at the front and at the rear part of the church since two opposite apses were required by the Mozarabic liturgy. It has three naves with the middle one being bigger and taller than the other two and separated by a series of horseshoe arches between marble columns with magnificent capitals. Outside, the restoration works have unveiled further Mozarabic elements which initially adorned this church together with an early irrigation system.

The Mozarabic Church or Ossuary of Santa Maria in Wamba is one of the oldest temples in the Valladolid area. It is of Visigoth-Mozarabic origin from the 7th to the 10th centuries. There are also the first Romanesque style paintings in the main chapel. Most visitors to this place will probably come more for the ossuary than the Mozarabic elements. It has been suggested that Wamba was repopulated by people coming from the north and that for this reason the architecture is closer to the Visigothic and Asturian influences than other buildings in the region such as the church at San Cebrián de Mazote which was repopulated by Christians who came from Al-Andalus.

I really enjoyed my short visits to these places and hopefully I'll try to visit the others in the near future. While travelling between these two locations, an interesting stopover is the Torrelobaton Castle, one of the most important and best-preserved fortresses in the Valladolid area, built as an expression of the strength of the influential Enriquez family, whose capital was at Medina de Rioseco.


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Full Name
Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula
Country
Spain
Added
2019
Link
By ID
2019 Revision

Includes former TWHS Church of Santiago de Penalba (1995), Gradefes - Church of San Miguel de Escalada (1995) and Caltojar - Hermitage of San Baudelio de Berlanga (1995-1996)

2019 Added to Tentative List

The site has 10 locations

Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula: Church of San Pedro de la Nave, Campillo (T)
Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula: Shrine of Nuestra Señora de las Viñas, Quintanilla de las Viñas (T)
Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula: Monastery of San Miguel de Escalada (T)
Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula: Church of Santiago de Peñalba (T)
Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula: Shrine of San Baudelio, Casillas de Berlanga (T)
Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula: Church of Santa María, Wamba (T)
Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula: Church of San Cipriano, San Cebrián de Mazote (T)
Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula: Oratory of San Miguel de Celanova, (T)
Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula: Monastic Complex of Melque, San Martín de Montalbán (T)
Group of Mozarabic buildings on the Iberian Peninsula: Church of San Pedro de la Mata, Casalgordo (T)
WHS 1997-2020