The Collegiate church of San Pedro de Cervatos was built around 1129. The main entrance of the church is framed by a series of archivolts. The tympanum is profusely carved with vegetal motifs that are reminiscent of Al-Andalus art. The tympanum is supported by two superposed lintels. The one above is decorated with six lions while the one below with a vegetable motif. The archivolts are plain and stand on capitals decorated with animals and birds.
The doorway is protected by a cornice sustained by corbels carved with figures of dancers, monkeys and other fantastic creatures. Between the brackets, the metopes have also been sculpted with images of animals, birds and strange characters.
On the right hand side of the doorway an inscription in Latin states that the church was built around the year 1129. A second inscription, also in Latin, explains that it was consecrated to Saint Peter in the year 1199 by bishop Marin, while he was abbot Marin.
The exterior of the apse shows a great variety of sculptural motifs both in the windows as well as in the brackets under the cornice. Many of these sculptures depict explicit sexual images, which was not unusual in Romanesque Art.
The interior consists of a single nave covered with gothic vaults. Only the head of the church retains the original Romanesque elements. The interior of the apse is decorated with an arcade of round arches that stand on sculpted capitals, the whole inspired by the art of Cluny. The capitals are decorated with either vegetable designs or figurative motifs such as fantastic animals and birds.
The bell toward was built at a later stage than the church, probably towards the end of the 12th century, around the time it was consecrated by bishop Marin.References:
Bamberg is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz close to its confluence with the river Main. Its historic city center is a listed UNESCO world heritage site.
Bamberg is a good example of a central European town with a basically early medieval plan and many surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings of the medieval period. When Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, became King of Germany in 1007 he made Bamberg the seat of a bishopric, intended to become a 'second Rome'. Of particular interest is the way in which the present town illustrates the link between agriculture (market gardens and vineyards) and the urban distribution centre.
From the 10th century onwards, Bamberg became an important link with the Slav peoples, especially those of Poland and Pomerania. During its period of greatest prosperity, from the 12th century onwards, the architecture of this town strongly influenced northern Germany and Hungary. In the late 18th century Bamberg was the centre of the Enlightenment in southern Germany, with eminent philosophers and writers such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and E.T.A. Hoffmann living there.
Bamberg extends over seven hills, each crowned by a beautiful church. This has led to Bamberg being called the 'Franconian Rome'.