‘The Joining of Heaven and Earth’ is a powerful, interesting blog that is taking the reader (its followers, if you will) to Santiago de Compostela, showcasing the magnificent Romanesque architecture to be found along the way. This post introduces us to the road in Spain with a fascinating video about San Isidoro de Leon which discusses the relationship between the architecture and the Reconquista. Enter the world of the architecture of the central Middle Ages and be inspired, dear readers!
The Spanish pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela is a journey of almost seven hundred kilometres crossing two formidable mountain ranges, the Pyrenees and the mountains of Leon as well as the flat expanse of the Castilian plain, so baking hot in the summer months.
In the tenth and early eleventh centuries this was a barren, empty landscape, forming the frontier of Christian and Moorish Spain. Over time, the pilgrimage road across it was to become the spine of the medieval Christian empire.
In the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries towns and cities on the road began to be transformed. Within a relatively short period of time monumental structures were erected as builders and sculptors traveled back and forth along the pilgrimage artery, creating on a prodigious scale, a series of homogeneous structures which constitute the great pilgrimage road.
The transept facades of the cathedral of Compostela combined the…
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