Tower of San Pedro Apóstol, Alagón

Plaza de España, 1. 50630 Alagón (Zaragoza)

CURRENT PROTECTION STATUS:
Asset of Cultural Interest (ACI)

TYPE OF ASSET: Property

CATEGORY: Religious

ARCHITECTURAL STYLE: Mudejar

CONSTRUCTION DATE:
14th century

The original construction of the church (apse and two-bay nave) and the tower are from this century

15th-16th century
The extension of the central nave into two bays, the construction of the choir and of two side chapels (Santo Cristo and Virgen del Carmen) are from this period

2nd half of the 16th c.
The height of the outer walls was raised and the passageway was built

17th century
Construction of two side chapels (San Antonio and Santa Ana)

As there are no documentary sources, the exact chronology is unknown, but an approximate timeline can be established thanks to two historical events that, presumably, must have taken place within the setting of the church of San Pedro in Alagón: the first was when King Alfonso III summoned the Royal Court in 1288 and the second, the wedding between Pedro IV and his first wife, Maria of Navarre, in 1338. By this latter date, the Mudejar church may have been completely constructed.

The bell tower has an octagonal footprint and its internal structure is typical of Almohad minarets, in which an exterior tower is wrapped around an interior structure, with a stairway nestled between the two and covered by vaulting consisting of narrowing courses of bricks. It is located at the southwest corner of the temple, divided into rooms on four levels, originally covered by spherical caps, which were later removed to house the counterweights for the clock.

The decorative motifs include intertwined mixtilinear arches, diamond and lozenge shapes, angled brick work and zig-zag details.

The tower consists of three sections, each separated from the next by an overhanging brick impost molding. The first section acts as a solid foundation with the lower half of the walls sloped at an angle to create greater stability; it lacks ornamentation, featuring just a few slit-type openings and a sun dial on the southwest side dating from 1649.

All the sides of the second section of the tower display the same ornamentation, as if the façade were a decorative tapestry. This section has three parts, each narrower than the one below it, separated by friezes of angled brick. The lowest part features intertwined mixtilinear arches, the middle part is composed of grid of diamond shapes made of crisscrossing lines and the upper part has half diamond shapes forming stepped crenellations.

The third section of the tower, as the belfry, has been modified more than the others. There are two distinct levels of apertures separated by a frieze of angled bricks, in addition to a strip of double zig-zag patterns, which functions as a parapet for the openings at the top. On each side of the lower half of this section there is a large pointed arch in which coupled windows with lancet arches resting on an octagonal colonette are set, while the upper half features smaller openings with pointed horseshoe arches, arranged two on each side of the tower. Some of these openings have been altered to house the bells and replaced with round arches.

A parapet wall runs around the top of the tower and a bell gable is set in one side. This latter detail is not original, but was added during a later remodeling.

Interventions

Restoration, 20th century
From 1998 to 1999, initial restoration work on the tower and parish church of San Pedro Apóstol began.

June, 1998: Restoration project of the tower of San Pedro Apóstol

January, 1999: Restoration project of the parish church of San Pedro Apóstol

Projects and interventions

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

The downloadable file shows the current status of review proceedings in progress, making it possible to gradually update the knowledge about each monumental building.

Declarations

21st century (2002)
The Official Gazette of Aragon (BOA) from January 4, 2002 published Decree 352/2001, of December 18, by the Government of Aragon, declaring the church of San Pedro Apóstol in Alagón (Zaragoza) an Asset of Cultural Interest, Monument category.

Bibliography

AGUADO GUARDIOLA, ELENA. El retablo del Santo Cristo de la iglesia de San Pedro de Alagón (Zaragoza): Aportaciones de su restauración a la historia del arte aragonés del siglo XVI. Artigrama. 2006 , nº 21, p. 343-371.

BORRÁS GUALIS, GONZALO. M., Arte Mudéjar Aragonés. Zaragoza: Prames, 2008.

BORRÁS GUALIS, GONZALO M., Arte Mudéjar Aragonés, Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Zaragoza Aragón y Rioja y el Colegio Oficial de Aparejadores y Arquitectos técnicos de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, 1985. 

BORRÁS GUALIS, GONZALO M., El arte mudéjar en la Ribera Alta. La iglesia de San Pedro de Alagón. En HERMOSO CUESTA, Miguel; VÁZQUEZ ASTORGA, Mónica. (coord.). Comarca de Ribera Alta del Ebro. Diputación General de Aragón, 2005.p. 129-133. I

  • BÁÑEZ FERNÁNDEZ, Javier. La arquitectura en el reino de Aragón entre el Gótico y el Renacimiento: inercias, novedades y soluciones propias [En línea]. En ALVARO ZAMORA, María Isabel; IBÁÑEZ FERNÁNDEZ, Javier. (coord.). La arquitectura en la Corona de Aragón entre el Gótico y el Renacimiento (1450-1550): Rasgos de unidad y diversidad. Universidad de Zaragoza, 2009.p. 39-95. [Consulta: 14 de junio de 2021]. . Iniciados los trabajos de restauración del ábside de San Pedro. Heraldo de Aragón. 15/08/2015 p. 11.
  • LANZAROTE GUIRAL, José María; Arana Cobos, Itziar. Viaje artístico por Aragón de Valentín Carderera: Monumentos arquitectónicos de España. Zaragoza: Institución Fernando el Católico, 2013. PEÑA GONZALVO, Javier. La torre de San Pablo de Zaragoza: ¿Torre-mausoleo de los tuchibíes?. Rolde. enero-junio 2015 , nº 152-153, p. 4-17.
  • PÉREZ VIÑUALES, Pilar. Contratos de obra para la iglesia de San Pedro de Alagón. Seminario de Arte Aragonés. 1986 , nº XL, p. 235-241.
  • SERRANO PELLEJERO, Lucía . (dir.). El Mudéjar Aragonés, Patrimonio Mundial: Tierra Mudéjar. Zaragoza: Heraldo de Aragón, 2002.
  • VAM COMUNICACIONES Inventario de patrimonio de la comarca de la Ribera Alta del Ebro. Inventario inédito, Comarca Ribera Alta del Ebro, 2003-2004.

Appendixes

Tower of San Pedro Apóstol

Plaza de España, 1.
50630 Alagón (Zaragoza)

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