Ex-collegiate church of Santa María, Borja

C/ Virgen de la Peana. 50017 Borja (Zaragoza) CURRENT PROTECTION STATUS: Asset of Cultural Interest (ACI) TYPE OF ASSET: Property CATEGORY: Religious ARCHITECTURAL STYLE: Mudejar CONSTRUCTION DATE: From the 12th to the 15th century
  • Expansion in the 15th century
  • Remodeling in the 17th century
  • Restoration in the 19th century
The architectural ensemble known as the Ex-collegiate or former collegiate church of Santa María comprises two parts: the church and the cloister, which have been altered in a complex process of architectural evolution.

The church was originally constructed in the style of a Mudejar fortified church, boasting the main features of this style, which arose in response to the widespread violence taking place in Aragon at that time.

The church is composed of a Mudejar central nave, remodeled in the Baroque and Neo-classical styles, with five bays covered by a barrel vault with lunettes over transverse arches resting on a cornice and extending to the walls by means of fluted pilasters. The chapels open onto the nave through round arches, and the larger ones are covered by a semi-spherical dome with a lantern while the smaller chapels feature underpitch vaults running crosswise to the nave.

The building has a fortified appearance due to the use of solutions such as the placement of two wall-walks clinging to the wall along the third and fourth bays over the chapels built between the buttresses. There are two modules, one with four pointed stilted arches and the other with three.

In addition, the traces of Mudejar decoration found in the apse and on the side walls of the first and second bay are striking: abundant decorative elements based on geometric tracery, projecting brick corbels and angled brick friezes have been preserved.
In the 15th century, an enclosed cloister was attached, completed in the following century by Antón de Veoxa, who was commissioned to work on the exterior decoration.

Adjacent to the north wall of the nave is the north tower, built of brick and divided vertically into four sections separated by a row of angled bricks on the cornices, over which a row of projecting brick corbels was placed. The upper section has four blind arches and, on top of this, another section was built with open basket arches housing the bells.

The top section is separated from the rest of the tower by courses of projecting brick in a stretcher bond arrangement with piers at the corners. The openings have flat arches on the outside and inner segmental arches, and the tower is topped with a zinc spire.

The clock tower, on the other hand, is the only part that remains of the old 12th to 14th century church, attached to the south wall of the nave and oriented differently from the church. Vertically, it has four sections: the lower section made of ashlars and three sections made of brick above it, separated by corbeled cornices. The first of these is blind while the second is divided into two levels separated by a strip of angled bricks. The lower level has two pointed arches inscribed within a large lancet arch, and the upper part has two pointed arches. Finally, the third section is composed of two levels separated by two rows of angled bricks.


Restoration, 21st century (2000) In 2000 the Government of Aragon installed the zinc spire over the tower of the church of Santa María. The budget for the work amounted to 9,035 euros. In 2002, the Directorate General for Cultural Heritage of the Government of Aragon sponsored the restoration of the Virgin with Child panel dating from 1460-1465, which was part of the old main altarpiece. A total investment of 7,755 euros was allocated.

Restoration, 21st century (2007) In 2007, the restoration of the church cloister was passed through an arrangement between the town council, the Provincial Government of Zaragoza and the archbishopric.

Projects and interventions

Projects and interventions, and the driving forces behind them, define the history of monumental buildings and how they are perceived.


Declaration, 21st century The Official Gazette of Aragon (BOA) from November 21, 2001 published Decree 273/2001, of November 6, by the Government of Aragon, declaring the former collegiate church of Santa María in Borja (Zaragoza) an Asset of Cultural Interest, Monument category.


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Ex-collegiate church of Santa María

C/ Virgen de la Peana.
50017, Borja (Zaragoza)

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City Hall: 976 852 001

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