Church of Santa María de Palacio in Logroño

  • santa maria de palacio

The church of Santa María de Palacio in Logroño was built in the 11 C, rebuilt in the 13 C and it was extended in the 16 C. It is noted for its spired tower, in Romanesque-Ogive style, called the "steeple" by the inhabitants of Logroño. It is difficult to determine the style that predominates in the monument, in view of the many modifications that have been made over the centuries.

The church is located between two important streets in the old part of the town, Ruavieja and Mayor street. Its origins are related to a chapel that stood next to the church, dedicated to Nuestra Señora de la Antigua. This oratory or church was founded by Alfonso VII, the Emperor, King of Castile, who donated it to the Order of the Saint Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

The church of Santa María is made of ashlaring. It has a basilica-shape ground floor, with three naves, each with three sections, transept crossing and triple chancel connected to the rectangular central apse, and octogonal secondary apses of five piers. The oldest part of the church coincides with the last three sections, which were built in Gothic style at the end of the 12 C and 13 C. In the 15 and 16 C, the transept crossing was rebuilt, as well as the chancel, with fascicle-shaped pilasters and pointed archs that support rib and terceron vaults. Finally, in the 18 C, some improvements were carried out in order to reinforce the structured inner elements so that the building could support the concentrated load of the exterior spired tower. These improvements included an interior cupola, angular piers, discharging archs and the four chapels located at the corners of the transept crossing.

The steeple, built in the 13 C, is the most characteristic and most noted element of the church. It consists of an octogonal lantern over squinchs that support the slender octogonal spired arrow which is divided by a group of friezes, imposts...The lower part has on its eight sides projecting elements as a kind of dormers with pointed windows. The exterior girdles are delicately decorated.

The tower of the church stands on the last section of the Gospel side. It has a rectangular ground plan and a elevation of four storeys that become increasingly smaller. It is surmounted by a cylindrical-barrel vault.