Bab al-mardum mosque

It seems probable that the primitive construction remained unfinished since in the excavations only a part of the basements of the naves has been found. Also preserved inside the church are several large blocks of stone, decorated with bas-reliefs, with anthropomorphic reproductions that give the impression of never having been placed in the place for which they were intended. On the other hand, three of the medallions on the exterior walls of the rectangular apse have remained undecorated. They seem to have been prepared to be carved with monograms of linked letters in the Visigothic style, continuing the dedication that exists on three others in the same area. This demonstrates the possibility that part of the decoration in the Visigothic buildings was sculpted on the walls already built, which could explain some conflicting themes, such as the scarcity of decoration in Santa María de Melque, which could be due to the fact that the Arab invasion did not give time to decorate it.

Visigothic art

Constructively, the masonry is made of large ashlars, as is typical of the Visigothic style (more Gothic), a style to which the main arch through which the main chapel opens to the transept is also prototypical. It is horseshoe-shaped on the inside and rounded on the outside or, in other words, horseshoe-shaped on the inside and with a vertical drop on the outside at the cant.

The triumphal arch under which the chapel is accessed from the transept has voussoirs decorated with bunches, tendrils and other vegetal themes. They rest on prismatic stone blocks that serve as capitals. They have two reliefs with allegories of the sun and the moon, both represented by human busts inside a circle supported by angels. Above the figure of the sun is an inscription that, with the insertions here in parentheses, reads: “OC EXIGVVM EXIGVA OFF(ert) D(e) O FLAMMOLA VOTUM”, which could be translated as “The humble Flammola offers this humble gift”. Above the keystone of the arch there is an ashlar protruding from the wall with the figure of Christ carved on it, while there are two other similar pieces that have been removed from their place of origin, currently deposited inside the

Mezquita del cristo de la luzmosque en toledo, españa

La zona geográfica que rodea a Santa María de Lara estaba poblada por numerosas villas romanas que precedieron a la construcción de la iglesia[8] Después de que los visigodos invadieran la Península Ibérica (sobre todo la zona que hoy conocemos como España) y los romanos abandonaran la zona, se asentaron en Quintillana de las Vinas, y construyeron la iglesia de Santa María de Lara, hacia principios del siglo VIII. Poco después, en el año 711, los moros invadieron la Península Ibérica[9] y Lara fue abandonada, ya que la población huyó al norte, a las montañas[8].

Vista del lado occidental de la iglesia. Se pueden ver las ruinas de los cimientos de la nave, que antes era de gran tamaño, así como las habitaciones que servían para los monjes que vivían en Santa María de Lara durante el siglo X. Esta parte de la iglesia se derrumbó durante el periodo de abandono de la misma, en torno al año 1100.

Un documento fechado en el año 967 d.C. (o fecha medieval española 929) recoge una donación monetaria a la iglesia y al monasterio que, en ese momento, estaba bajo el control de Santa María de Lara, por parte de una mujer llamada Muniadona, madre de Fernán González de Castilla[8] Sin embargo, debido a la falta de documentos de esa época, los historiadores no han podido comprobar la ubicación de este monasterio.


The origins of this building are very controversial, to the point that there are two different historiographical approaches formulated by two authors, Luciano Huidobro and Ricardo de Orueta. The first supported the idea that the monument was a Mozarabic construction from the end of the 9th or beginning of the 10th century. The latter always defended that it was a Visigothic church from the end of the 7th century.

Structurally, this building of small dimensions is built with solid ashlar walls that follow the Roman construction tradition. The builders used local materials and also took advantage of some elements, such as ashlars, columns, etc., from previous Roman constructions. In fact, several Roman villas were located in the vicinity, characteristic forms of settlement from the Lower Empire to the Visigothic period.

In the friezes we find a decoration with elements linked to the vine, given the importance of this crop in the area, with geometric shapes and exotic birds of oriental influence. Inside, the entrance to the apse is presided over by a large horseshoe triumphal arch profusely decorated with plant and bird motifs.