San Andrés church and tower, Calatayud



CATEGORY: Religious


CONSTRUCTION DATE: 12th-14th-16th centuries
In the church of San Andrés there are two distinct artistic styles present: on the one hand, the part constructed during the medieval era, with Mudejar art, and on the other, the large expansion of the east end undertaken in the early 16th century, in the late Gothic style.

What currently remains standing from the medieval Mudejar construction are the four bays at the west end of the three naves, the quadripartite rib vaults over them and the lower section of the octagonal bell tower, not including the belfry. Within this Mudejar part there are also two different phases, which occurred at very different moments in time: the first phase dates to around 1249, while the second must have taken place somewhere between 1410 and 1420.

It is likely that the original church of San Andrés had no vaults but rather a wood roof structure because the quadripartite rib vaults with round arches, which use unmolded bricks for the ribs, typical of the Mudejar architecture of that period, would have been too heavy for such thin walls and columns.
The octagonal Mudejar bell tower probably dates from around 1410 to 1420, except for the upper section containing the bells. This octagonal tower stands in the southwestern corner of the church of San Andrés, attached to the building’s perimeter wall in such a way that the wall acts as one of the sides of the octagon shape of the tower.

On the church of San Andrés, a beaded relief attached to the edges of the octagon has replaced the thick prismatic buttresses of the tower of the church of Santa María. The decorative elements are also different. Here, the apertures of the first belfry have been covered over with latticework to give a much more intimate, inward-looking appearance.


Restoration, 20th to 21st century

From 1990 to 1992, a number of interventions took place, including repairing the temple roofs, repairing the façade of the west end gable wall and, in the interior of the church, the wood flooring and carpentry were replaced, the stairway in the tower was demolished and the sacristy was restored.

The structural stabilization of the apse took place from 2004 to 2005. These activities were sponsored by the Government of Aragon, the Calatayud city council and the archbishopric of Tarazona. The investment made by the Government of Aragon amounted to 466,061 euros.

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 church of San Andrés in Calatayud (Zaragoza) was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest under the Ministry of National Education’s Decree dated March 31, 1966, which was published the Official State Gazette of April 19, 1966.

The Official Gazette of Aragon (BOA) dated April 22, 2002 published the Department of Culture and Tourism Order of April 2, 2002, whereby the original declaration of the church of San Andrés in Calatayud (Zaragoza) is supplemented pursuant to Transitional Provision One of Aragonese Cultural Heritage Act 3/1999, of March 10.


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CABAÑERO SUBIZA, BERNABÉ. Las torres mudéjares aragonesas y su relación con los alminares islámicos y los campanarios cristianos que les sirvieron de modelo, Turiaso. 1995 , nº XII, p. 11-51. GALIAY, J. Arte mudéjar aragonés, Institución Fernándo el Católico, Zaragoza, 2002. MÉNDEZ DE JUAN, JOSÉ FÉLIX, GALINDO PÉREZ, SILVIA Y LASHERAS RODRÍGUEZ, JAVIER. Aragón Patrimonio Cultural Restaurado. 1984/2009. Bienes inmuebles, Gobierno de Aragón, Zaragoza, 2010. 

LACÁRCEL, Silvia. La iglesia de San Andrés de Calatayud cierra hasta julio para su restauración. Heraldo de Aragón. 08/04/2013 p. 13. Las obras en la iglesia de San Andrés, aprobadas. Heraldo de Aragón. 28/03/2013 p. 12. 

MÉNDEZ DE JUAN, José Félix et al. (coord.). Aragón. Patrimonio cultural restaurado. 1984/2009: Bienes inmuebles. Zaragoza: Gobierno de Aragón, 2010.

SANMIGUEL MATEO, A. Torres de ascendencia islámica en las comarcas de Calatayud y Dar…, Centro de estudios bilbilitanos, Institución “Fernando el Católico”. Calatayud 1998.

SANMIGUEL MATEO, A. Una pila y un modillón hallados en la iglesia de San Andrés de Calatayud, Calatayud y comarca: Actas, Vol. 1, 1997, pags. 239- 248. 

VV.AA. Tierra Mudéjar. El mudéjar aragonés, Patrimonio Mundial, Heraldo de Aragón, D.L. 2002.


San Andrés church and tower

Plaza San Andrés, 13
50300 Calatayud (Zaragoza)

Visit Calatayud

City Hall: 976 881 700

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