Happy monsters from the Middle Ages (in Spain)

Psssshhh … Keep this secret safe: Today Covetotop is travelling back in time. He’s going to the 11th – 13th centuries (High Middle Ages), where he’s visiting some very little known (by tourists or even locals) Romanesque “friends” that are spread through the old and mysterious Kingdom of Spain …

As the super-intelligent followers of this chaotic blog may well know, Covetotop loves Romanesque Art (much more than Gothic). And he knows very well where to find the most enigmatic pieces of this unearthly style.

Today Covetotop is willing to share with you this treasure of art and weird beauty.

All the saints and demons, monks and monsters, mythological creatures, warriors, kings, plebeians, wrongdoers and jerks you are about to see, are frozen in time and stone in the capitals, columns, tympanums and façades of remote rural churches, hidden hermitages or secluded monasteries. Far away from any touristic route, far away from the hectic world, far away from the 21st century …

Just a foreword: Take into account that the purpose of Romanesque sculptors was to convey a message that the Christian believer should recognize evilness, repent and be redeemed.

And now … Psssshhhh … Be careful and let all these bizarre creatures sleep in their stone beds … It could be very dangerous for your health to wake them up …

Here you have some happy monsters …

middle ages monsters

Beware of the gatekeeper if you ever visit San Pantaleón de Losa …

san pantaleon de losa

More happy monsters …

medieval capitals

Artisans …

sculpture romanesque

Musicians (and a sensitive bear among them) …

romanesque musicians

No comment …

bed stone

It’s extremely dangerous to lean out of this window …

dangerous window

A crusader riding his horse …

romanesque capital

A melancholic squire …

sad boy

Politicians? …

romanesque roof

Making mockery of visitors …

stone jokers

A dirty window …

romanesque arch

An army of jokers …

roof in stone

A good girl and a bad beast …

romanesque pillars

Too weird to explain …

canecillos

Poor man! …

romanesque man

Capital …

romanesque story

War and peace …

medieval war

If you click the pic below, you’d see in detail a kind of “comic” from the Middle Ages carved in stone. Romanesque sculpture told stories of Good and Evil to a largely illiterate audience …

carved in stone

Good …

Romanesque sculptures

Evil …

Covetotop is about to finish this post. But Covetotop doesn’t want to leave you in the company of evil monsters. He leaves you in the company of this masterpiece of Romanesque Art: The “Pórtico de la Gloria” (detail), the magnificent portal of the Santiago de Compostela cathedral (Galicia, Northwestern Spain). The only monster concerning this wonder was its author, a medieval genius known as “Maestro Mateo”. This awesome Cathedral is the end of the oldest “touristic route” (actually a spiritual route) of all Europe: The Way of St. James.

masterpiece of Romanesque Art

Now Covetotop can leave you in peace, wandering and wondering through this beautiful Romanesque cloister (Monastery of Silos) from the Dark Ages, but strongly lit by the sun …

Romanesque cloister

That’s ok for today’s post. Covetotop is hungry. Covetotop is about to enjoy a hot chocolate with “picatostes” somewhere in the misty North of Spain.

Adiós!

hot chocolate

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About Covetotop

A Mediterranean blogger
This entry was posted in Art and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Happy monsters from the Middle Ages (in Spain)

  1. oliviaobryon says:

    I studied Spanish art and architecture in Burgos in college– makes me want to go back!! I really enjoy your posts!

  2. wow thanks for sharing. Great pictures you have here!

  3. Great collection of capitals – thanks for the notice. I love the weird and wonderful – and even scatological – imagery from this Romanesque world.

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