The Mudejar Art
Known internationally, the Mudejar is a Muslim Art Style remained in Spain after the Christian Reconquest.
Aragon is one of the main centres of this art style at national level, standing out areas like Comarca de Calatayud, the former Daroca Village Community and, as could not be otherwise, the city of Teruel.
The towers of the churches in San Martín del Río, Olalla, Navarrete and Báguena were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2001, creating the Mudejar Route that goes through our territory. Other bell towers like the ones in Burbáguena and Lechago have got some influences of this art style, but they had been built later.
Although Muslim population had worked in several crafts, they especially standed out in the fields of construction, wood, textile and ceramic.
The ability of the Mudejar master builders was recognized as by the royalty as by the nobility and ecclesiastical authorities that hired these artists and craftspeople in order to build their own residences or temples, spreading thus the style. The Mudejar Art has been defined by some authors as the only typically Spanish.
The Muslim presence in the Peninsula during several centuries had as a consequence, the appearance of an art that combines both Christian and Islamic elements.
Most of the Mudejar monuments preserved are churches, although civil buildings were also built.
We can recognize this style by:
- The desire to cover the entire surface with decorative elements that could be extended indefinitely.
- Repetition of geometrical elements.
- Using interchangeably bricks as a decorative and structural element.
- Using bricks and ceramic for exterior decoration and also the extraordinary plaster and wood tasks.
- As well as there are Islamic elements like the “arco mixtilíneo”, it can be found some other Christians like the rounded and Gothic arches.
The Mudejar Art was evolving over the centuries. Over time, the Christian elements were standing out over the Islamic ones.
If you travel through the different locations that still preserve Mudejar monuments in the former Daroca Community, you can make a tour throughout all the periods of this Art: From the 13th to the 17th century. A great example of cohabitation as well as sharing the same aesthetic taste.
The most characteristic elements of the Mudejar Art are, without any doubt, the towers, direct heir of the hispanomuslim minarets.
The high rating given to this bell towers is due to its beauty and by the fact that they were erected for Gothic churches built from masonry and ashlar. Whenever the new Baroque temple is lifted up at some villages of the region, those will be respected.