The church of San Pedro, Teruel

C/ de Hartzenbusch, 44001 Teruel CURRENT PROTECTION STATUS: Asset of Cultural Interest (ACI)


CATEGORY: Religious



  • Original construction, 14th century. The current church of San Pedro dates from the 14th century. It was built over a previous Romanesque temple documented in 1196.
  • Remodeling, 14th to 18th century. After the construction of the Mudejar tower at the west end in the 13th century, the church was remodeled between 1319 and 1392. The cloister dates from 1383. The tower is also from the 13th century, with a Neo-classical top from 1795.
  • Fire, 19th century. The church caught fire in 1873.
  • Remodeling, 19th century. After the fire, the interior was remodeled in the Neo-Gothic style.
The church of San Pedro belongs to the group of fortified churches. It is adapted for defensive purposes through the creation of a gallery running above the side chapels. Thus, the church has a typical Mudejar structure with a single

nave opening onto chapels between the buttresses and a polygonal east end, entirely covered by quadripartite rib vaults. There is also a gate tower erected at the west end, based on a Christian structure that is related to the cathedral tower, decorated on the exterior with intertwining arches and round-arched embrasured openings.

The temple has a single nave divided into three rectangular bays with a seven- sided polygonal east end. A ring of chapels set between the buttresses surrounds the entire nave and even the east end. Both the chapels and nave are covered by a quadripartite rib vault with triple torus molding on the ribs, which rest on columns in the apse and on corbels along the nave walls. The second story consists of a gallery that surrounds the east end of the church above the chapels opening onto it, the sections of which are connected through openings between the buttresses that are topped by narrowing courses of bricks.

This gallery, covered by a quadripartite rib vault, does not continue above the chapels that open onto the nave, as might be expected in a church of this kind. However, it is possible to walk around the temple on top of the chapel roofs, passing through the openings created in the buttresses. The exterior of the apse is the most lavishly decorated area, featuring panels of intertwined mixtilinear arches set between strips of angled brick at the bottom and a frieze of ceramic eight-point stars at the top of the wall. In addition, the apse buttresses extend

vertically by means of narrow octagonal towers that give the church an Orientalized appearance, imitating those of the parish church in Montalbán.
The church has an attached cloister with a square floor plan, the bays of which are divided into five sections covered by a rib vault.

The gate tower stands at the west end of the church, leading from the street to the church at the bottom through a pointed arch with two rows of voussoirs and a pointed barrel vault. Structurally, the tower can be categorized as a Christian tower, with its interior divided into different levels. The exterior decoration consists of a frieze of intertwining round arches with brick voussoirs; a cornice

of brick corbels separates the lower section from the upper, which features pairs of round-arched embrasured openings, over which there is a strip of green ceramic cylinder shapes.

The belfry, which was reconstructed in the restoration carried out by the architect Manuel Lorente after the Spanish Civil War, is pierced with two pairs of round-arched coupled windows resting on a central colonette, and this upper section is decorated with green and manganese Mudejar ceramic ornamentation.

This is an example of a fortified church. The present-day church was under construction by around 1319 and references to the construction of the cloister date back to 1383. The tower erected at the west end of the church may date from around 1350, based on its similarities to that of the cathedral of Teruel.


Restoration, 20th to 21st century

From 1993 to 2005, the Government of Aragon and Ibercaja undertook restoration work affecting the tower, church and cloister as a whole. To this end, a budget in excess of 3 million euros was allocated.

Renovation, 21st century

In June 2008, the cloister of San Pedro opened to the public after a complete renovation funded by the Department of Regional Policy, Justice and the Interior, which provided 1.6 million euros. Fundación Amantes, consisting of the Government of Aragon, the Provincial Government of Teruel, the Teruel City Council, the Archbishopric of Teruel and Ibercaja, organized an open house with guided tours. The Government of Aragon continues to pursue its goal of enhancing and spotlighting the cultural heritage of the city of Teruel through new initiatives including a call for proposals for the Plaza de los Amantes restoration project. The public square to be renovated is an emblematic space in which the church of San Pedro and the Mausoleum of the Lovers of Teruel converge. The aim of the restoration is to improve access to the Fondero cistern and the mausoleum, to renovate the façade of Casa Hinojosa and to spotlight the church of San Pedro and its tower.


Declaration, 20th to 21st century

The church of San Pedro in Teruel was declared a Historical and Artistic Monument under the Ministry of Public Instruction and Fine Arts Decree of June 3, 1931, published in the Madrid Gazette on June 4, 1931.

On November 28, 1986 UNESCO added the Mudejar architecture of Teruel to its World Heritage list, in which four of its most important monuments are included: the tower, ceiling and lantern tower of the Santa María de Mediavilla Cathedral, the tower and church of San Pedro, the El Salvador church tower and the tower of the church of San Martin.
The Official Gazette of Aragon dated July 2, 2004 published the Department of Education, Culture and Sport Order of June 16, 2004, whereby the original declaration of the church of San Pedro as an Asset of Cultural Interest is supplemented pursuant to Transitional Provision One of Aragonese Cultural Heritage Act 3/1999, of March 10, including the environment affected by the declaration.

Current condition

After the fire sparked by lightning in 1873, the church required serious renovation work in the early 20th century: the cloister was remodeled by Pablo Monguió Segura in 1901, continuing with the interior of the church some years later, in 1909, who transformed the Mudejar interior into the Neo-Gothic space seen today with the assistance of the painter Salvador Gisbert. The tower has also been modified throughout its history: the original belfry was filled in in 1795 in order to add a new Neo-classical top section, which was removed after the Spanish Civil War during the restoration work led by Manuel Lorente Junquera, thus bringing back the original belfry.


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The church of San Pedro

C/ de Hartzenbusch,
44001 Teruel

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