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The Pre-Romanesque art and architecture of Spain (in Spanish, arte prerrománico) refers to the art of Spain after the Classical Age and before Romanesque art and architecture; hence the term Pre-Romanesque. Although Spain as a nation did not exist during this period, the term is used here to describe the artwork that occurred within the geographic boundaries of what is today the Spanish nation. Visigothic art, the art of the Visigoths to 711, is usually classified as Migration Period art by art historians to emphasis its Germanic connections and origins; but can also classified as Pre-Romanesque, particularly in Spain, to emphasis its lineage in Spanish history. The main styles (based on chronological and geographic considerations) of the Spanish Pre-Romanesque were:

Visigothic art

The only remaining examples of their architecture from the sixth century are the church of San Cugat del Vallés in Barcelona, Saint Frutuoso Chapel in (Braga, the church of S.Gião (Nazaré) and the few remnants of the church at Cabeza de Griego, Cuenca. However, their style developed over the next centuries, though the prime remaining examples of it are mostly rural and often run-down. Some of the characteristics of their architecture are: Generally basilican in layout, sometimes a Greek cross plan or, more rarely, a combination of the two. The spaces are highly compartmentalised. Horseshoe arches without keystones. A rectangular, exterior apse. Use of columns and pillars with Corinthian capitals of unique design. Barrel vaults with cupolas at the crosses. Walls of ashlar blocks, occasionally alternating with Roman brickwork. Decoration commonly of animal or plant motifs. Exemplars include: San Juan de Baños de Cerrato (Palencia) Cripta de San Antolín de Palencia San Pedro de la Mata (Toledo) Santa Comba de Bande (Orense) San Pedro de la Nave (Zamora) Santa María de Quintanilla de las Viñas (Burgos) Santa María de Melque (Toledo) São Gião (Nazaré)

Asturian art

In the 5th century, the Goths, a Christianized tribe of Eastern European origin, arrived in the Iberian peninsula after the fall of the Roman empire, and dominated most of the territory, attempting to continue Roman order by the so called Ordo Gothorum. In the year 710, the Visigothic king Witiza died, and instead of being succeeded by the eldest of his three sons, Agila, the throne was usurped by the duke of Baetica, Roderic. The young heir sought support to recover the throne, and apart from local backing, he approached the Muslim Kingdom in northern Africa. Tarik, the caliph of Damascus governor in Tangier, received permission to offer his army and disembark in Spain, ready to face the Visigothic army of King Roderic. On July 19, 711, the battle of Guadalete took place near Gibraltar, where supporters of Witiza's heir, backed by Tarik's Muslim army, killed King Roderic and destroyed the Visigothic army. Tarik and his troops then took advantage of their military superiority, and marched on the Visigothic capital, Toledo, taking it almost without opposition. According to the chronicles, Asturian mercenaries, who had already been recruited by the Romans for their courage and fighting spirit, fought alongside King Roderic. These warriors, together with the rest of the retreating Gothic army, sought refuge in the mountains of Asturias, where they also tried to safeguard some of the sacred relics from Toledo cathedral, the most important of which was the Holy Ark, containing a large number of relics from Jerusalem. The kingdom of Asturias arose exactly seven years later, in 718, when the Astur tribes, rallied in assembly, decided to appoint Pelayo as their leader, a person of uncertain origin, since for some chroniclers he was a Visigothic nobleman who fled from the Muslim conquerors and for others he was an indigenous nobleman associated with the Visigothic kingdom. Whatever the case, Pelayo joined the local tribes and the refuged Visigoths under his command, with the intention of progressively restoring Gothic Order, based on the kingdom of Toledo's political model. The kingdom of Asturias disappeared with King Alfonso III, who died in December of the year 910. In barely two hundred years, the 12 kings of the dynasty founded by Pelayo were to gradually recover territory from the Muslims (León, Galicia and Castile), a process which finally required the court to be moved south, to León, for its strategic position in the struggle that culminated 800 years after it had started (1492) with the taking of Granada and the expulsion of the last Arabic king from the Iberian Peninsula. The symbol of the flag of Asturias, a golden cross (significantly called "La Victoria"), and a blue background with the Latin motto Hoc signo, tvetvr pivs, Hoc signo vincitvr inimicvs (With this sign the pious is protected, With this sign you shall defeat the enemy), sums up the unified character that Christianity gave the armed struggle.

Mozarabic art

The principal characteristics that define the Mozarabic architecture are the following:
• A great command of the technique in construction, employing principally ashlar by length and width.
• Absence or sobriety of exterior decoration.
• Diversity in the floor plans, certainly the majority stand out by the small proportions and discontinuous spaces covered by cupolas (groined, segmented, ribbed of horseshoe transept, etc.).
• Use of the horseshoe arch in the Islamic style, very tight and with the slope being two-thirds of the radius.
• Use of the alfiz.
• Use of the column as support, crowned by a Corinthian capital decorated with very stylized vegetable elements.
• The eaves extend outwards and rest on top of corbels of lobes. The Mozarabic architecture interpreted strictly in its definition, that is to say, that the Mozarabs in Muslim Spain brought to completion, would be reduced to two examples:
• The Church of Bobastro: rock temple located in the place known as Mesas de Villaverde, in Ardales (Málaga), of which only some ruins remain.
• The Church of Santa María de Melque: located in proximity to La Puebla de Montalbán (Toledo). With respect to this temple, its stylistic parentage is in doubt, because it shares Visigothic features with other more proper Mozarabic features, nor its date being clear. Nevertheless, at a popular level, including in encyclopedias and books, the denomination that has kept prevailing is Mozarabic Art and among the most important that can be cited in Spain, the following can be counted as Mozarabic:
• In Castile and León: - San Miguel de Escalada (León) - Santiago de Peñalba (León) - Santo Tomás de las Ollas (León) - San Baudelio de Berlanga (Soria) - San Cebrián de Mazote (Valladolid) - Santa María de Wamba (Valladolid) - San Salvador de Tabara (Zamora) • In Cantabria: - Santa María de Lebeña (Cantabria)
• In Aragón: - San Juan de la Peña (Huesca) - Church of the Serrablo (Huesca), as the Church of San Juan de Busa
• In La Rioja - San Millán de Suso (San Millán de la Cogolla)
• In Catalonia: - San Quirce de Pedret (Barcelona) - Santa María de Marquet (Barcelona) - Church of San Cristóbal (Barcelona), in the municipality of Vilassar de Mar, at 30 km from Barcelona - San Julián de Boada (Gerona), located in the small hamlet of the same name, in the comarca of Baix Empordà (Gerona) - Santa María de Matadars (Barcelona), in the municipality of El Pont de Vilomara i Rocafort
• In Galicia: - San Miguel de Celanova (Orense)

Repoblación art and architecture

The title art and architecture of the Repoblación has recently been applied to the creative works, predominantly architectural, which were completed in the Christian kingdoms of the north of Spain between the ending of the 9th and beginning of the 11th century. This encompasses all the buildings which until recently were regarded as Mozarabic, and so called, and cataloged following the line marked by Manuel Gómez Moreno. The current historiography appears partial to abandoning that title because it is a proven argument that these buildings do not possess the origin that was attributed to them. This does not mean that in the northern peninsular architecture of the 10th century, including in the religious, Muslim influences are not appreciated, inevitable on the other hand when in a situation of neighboring a caliphate, as that of Córdoba, cultural, artistic and very developed economicly, instead it is insisted that those monumental buildings are not owed to the modest groups of Mozarabic immigrants that settled in the areas of repopulation when the living conditions in al-Andalus became barely tolerable. As stated by the professor Isidro Bango Torviso, it should be admitted that: "when produced under the hegemony Asturian-Leonese the repopulation of the Valley of Duero, the northerners lose all their knowledge and experiences to submit themselves to the 'very rich and contrasted creative capacity' of some poor and ruralized southern immigrants." The art and architecture of the Repoblación is identified with the third subset of the Hispanic Pre-Romanesque period, by the phases that correspond to the Visigothic art and Asturian art. Its architecture is a summary of elements of diverse extraction irregularly distributed, of a form that in occasions predominate those of paleo-Christian, Visigothic or Asturian origin, while at other times emphasizes the Muslim impression. In any even, some signs of identity characterizations of this ecclesial architectural style exist that can be summarized in: Basilica or centralized plan; sometimes with opposing apses. Principal chapel of rectangular plan on the exterior and ultra-semicircular in the interior. Use of the horseshoe arch of Muslim evocation, somewhat more closed and sloped than the Visigothic. Generalized use of the alfiz. Use of the geminated and tripled windows of Asturian tradition. Covering by means of segmented vaults, including by the traditional barrel vaults. Grouped columns forming composite pillars, with Corinthian capital decorated with stylized elements and cincture joined to it. Walls re-enforced by exterior buttresses. Evolution of the rafter ornaments to great lobed offsets that support very pronounced eaves. Decoration similar to the Visigothic based in volutes, swastikas, and vegetable and animal themes forming projected borders. A great command of the technique in construction, employing principally ashlar by length and width. Absence or sobriety of exterior decoration. Diversity in the floor plans, certainly the majority stand out by the small proportions and discontinuous spaces covered by cupolas (groined, segmented, ribbed of horseshoe transept, etc.).

In Catalonia and Aragón, a style ancestral to the Romanesque developed early in parallel with the region of Lombardy and it has become common to refer the formerly called late Catalan Pre-Romanesque as "first Romanesque" after the suggestions of Josep Puig i Cadafalch.

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