The “kitchen garden” of Cabañas
History abounds in the fertile land and privileged setting of La Almunia de Doña Godina, some of the main chapters of which were written in medieval times.
From the era of Muslim domination it receives the first part of its name, Al-munia, which means “kitchen garden”, and the second part is taken from Lady Godina, a rich landowner from Cabañas who donated a kitchen garden to the order of Saint John of Jerusalem in the 12th century in order to build a hospital where the town currently stands, giving rise to a new village.
Bearing witness to the ancient village is the Romanesque chapel of Cabañas, featuring a magnificent collection of Gothic mural paintings, a Romanesque baptismal font and a Mudejar choir held up by an alfarje (wood ceiling structure) decorated with paintings of knights, heraldry and animals. The parapet also bears four-sided interlacing Mudejar motifs combined with crosses.
But the Mudejar legacy in La Almunia has yet another surprise in store within the town, where one of the most beautiful towers in Aragon stands.
The church of La Asunción
The parish church of La Asunción affords the town its distinguishing feature: a cast zinc dome installed in the first decade of the 20th century. However, the shape of its slender Mudejar tower is what is truly unforgettable as you stroll through the streets of the town.
Construction on the tower as we see it today began in 1754, in the Baroque fashion spread by architect Ventura Rodríguez, and followed by José Julián de Yarza y Lafuente here. The Mudejar church tower was salvaged in the Baroque extension, integrating it into the modern era design.
This is known as a mixed style tower, combining a square lower section which, based on its structure, could be dated to the 14th century, and an octagonal upper section that, according to Professor Borrás, dates from 1575, rising to a height of more than 40 meters. The lower section was built in the manner of Hispano-Muslim minarets and is richly decorated with angled brick and zigzagging and crisscrossing patterns forming diamond shapes, following the predominant ornamental tradition of that time. The octagonal upper section houses the belfry and is open to the exterior by means of two pointed arches on each side.