Ermita de San Baudelio de Berlanga

( San Baudelio de Berlanga )

The Hermitage of San Baudelio de Berlanga (Ermita de San Baudelio de Berlanga) is an early 11th-century church at Caltojar in the province of Soria, Castile and León, Spain, 8 km south of Berlanga de Duero. It is an important example of Mozarabic architecture for its peculiarities, and was built in the 11th century, in what was then the frontier between Islamic and Christian lands. It is dedicated to Saint Baudilus or Baudel.

The construction of the hermitage is part of the period of the definitive consolidation of the Christian kingdoms throughout this area, which takes place around the year 1060, when the taking takes place, by Ferdinand I of León, of several towns including Berlanga.

Declared a national monument in 1917, The Hermitage of San Baudelio de Berlanga is thought to have been built to honor Saint Baudilus, or San Baudelio as he is known in Spanish. Saint Baudilus was a monk who lived during the second or third century in Nîmes and is mentioned in two twelfth-century documents.[1]

Legends about Saint Baudilus say that he earned the crown of martyrdom after preaching the gospel to local townspeople celebrating the birth of Jupiter, and that after his execution by decapitation with an axe, wells sprang up at the location of his death. It is unknown what direct connection San Baudelio had with this chapel made in his honor, if any, though the movement of the cult of San Baudelio into Spain was probably responsible for its creation. Saint Baudilus died in the late third or fourth century.[2]

A small adjoining cave is still accessible inside the southwestern wall of the sanctuary, where a hermit may have lived at one point, and locals still make pilgrimage to a freshwater spring near the church each year on May 20 (his feast day) to pay respects to Saint Baudilus, who also had miraculous cures named after him in earlier centuries. An axe and a palm tree are the symbols of his martyrdom, and the palm can be seen as a direct inspiration to the unique architecture of San Baudelio de Berlanga.[2]

In the tenth century as the power of the Moors was diminishing in the North, it is probable that a hermit monk took refuge in the lonely cave in the Spanish countryside. His status could have drawn visitors with offerings and companionship, which may have been the catalyst for the building of the hermitage church. At the approximate time of the building of the chapel, local craftsmen, mostly from Castile, would have been Mozarabs. This would account for the heavy Mozarabic influence on the architecture. Also, San Baudelio closely correlates with a church pictured in the Codex Vigilanus (A. D. 976), approximating the construction of the hermitage to the late tenth or early eleventh century.[3]

One of the most remarkable aspects is its pictorial decoration, as it is one of the important examples of Romanesque painting in Spain. Only a few remains of tempera painting remain, since the originals were torn and exported in 1926 to different museums of the United States despite the protection of the hermitage as « national monument » of Spain in 1917 generating a huge scandal since the uprooting was considered to be looting. (Cincinnati Museum of Art, New York Cloisters Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Indianapolis Museum of Art). Some are also in the Prado Museum, specifically six scenes. Of the paintings that came out to United States we have: The Dromedary, The healing of the blind and The resurrection of Lazarus, The Temptation of Christ, The three Marys before the tomb, The Holy Supper, The wedding of Cana, Entrance to Jerusalem and the Falconer. In 1957 the Spanish government exchanged some of these paintings for the Fuentidueña Apse of the Romanesque church of San Martín of the Castilian town of Fuentidueña, which today is preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the paintings thus acquired were deposited in the Prado Museum. Among those found in Spain we have: Hunt deer, Hare hunting, The warrior, The elephant, The bear and The hunter. In 1965 the works of restoration of the paintings that were still in the church and that had not been removed were carried out.[4]

^ Frinta, Mojmir S. (1964). "The Frescoes from San Baudelio De Berlanga". Gesta. 1/2: 9–13. doi:10.2307/766616. ^ a b Cook, Walter W. S. (January 1, 1930). "Romanesque Spanish Mural Painting (II) San Baudelio De Berlanga". The Art Bulletin. 12 (1): 21–42. doi:10.2307/3050760. JSTOR 3050760. ^ H., C. H. (January 1, 1928). "Two Twelfth Century Frescoes from the Hermitage Church of San Baudelio de Berlanga, Spain". Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts. 26 (153): 6–11. JSTOR 4170092. ^ Prado Museum. "Wall paintings of San Baudelio from Casillas de Berlanga (Soria) [anonymous Spanish]" (in Spanish).
Photographies by:
Ángel M. Felicísimo from Mérida, España - CC BY 2.0
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