SANTA MARIA DEL CAP D’ARAN

Continuing with the Aran Valley, I will post another church where I have worked. It’s called ‘Santa Maria del Cap d’Aran’. It’s in a very small village, in Tredós (Catalonian Pyrenees). It has also got the characteristics of the Aran Romanesque style. It becomes the only church that has got a crypt in all the Aran Valley.

Santa Maria del Cap d’Aran is composed by three naves. It’s situated on a street with some topography. The south and the north sides have got different heights. It has got a small entrance on the south side (like the canonical model) but the main entrance is situated on the west. The main entrance is in front of the bell tower, it’s very peculiar! You haven’t got enough angles to make a good picture!

When you go inside, you have got many things to observe. On the first hand, you have got the chromatography. The church hasn’t got much daylight, but there are many colours when you go in. Some frescoes have been deteriorated because of a mortar coating. They are obscured because of a chemical reaction. The frescoes are from liturgical motifs. After that, you can hear the sound of the water. It comes from the crypt. The constructor made the crypt letting transfer the melt water through it. It recalls an Arab courtyard, like the Alhambra gardens. Depending on the season, there is more or less water into the crypt. Then, you can observe the roof. It’s an enormous structure made of wood. It’s not sure why, but the roof went down, probably by a snow avalanche. The villagers had to compose another time the roof and made the structure. In 1970 it had to be changed by the roof you can see now. It’s very similar.

When you go in, nothing else matters, all that is happening around you is like in second term. The crypt water makes the experience so relaxing!

Cristina.