San Vicente Basilica

Ávila, Spain

Outside the city walls, the Basilica of San Vicente was built in Caleno granite in a way that was greatly conditioned by the lie of the land and in the place where tradition situates the martyrdom and burial of Vincent, Sabina and Cristeta. It is the prime model of the Romanesque style in Ávila and its measured proportions make it a unique example of the Hispanic Romanesque style. With its outside influences and the influence of the cathedral construction, it is also the propagator of the style in the town.

It has a Latin-cross layout with three six-section naves and one transept. Interestingly, it also has a Gothic clerestory on the side naves. The narrow upper end, with its three apses, stands on a liturgical funeral crypt.

The construction began around 1120 with the building of the main body up to the west entrance; the towers and narthex of the entrance were built between 1150 and 1170 and the side naves were closed off with depressed quarter-barrel vaults; a ribbed vault was built above the central nave in Gothic style. The apse was covered with an octagonal vault halfway through the 13th century.

The storiated capitals of the main chapel, the cenotaph of the saints (by Fruchel and dating from the mid-12th century), showing the arrest, sentencing and martyrdom of Saints Vincent, Sabina and Cristeta, the west porch and the southern cornice stand as the best examples of Romanesque sculpture in the church and also in the town. The porticoed gallery was built on the south front in the 15th century.

San Vicente was the first Spanish building to be restored in historicist style, with work by Hernández Callejo, Vicente Miranda and, above all, Repullés y Vargas from the mid-19th century to the first quarter of the 20th century.The crypt boasts a statue of the Madonna of La Soterraña (15th century), which was venerated by St Teresa of Jesus.

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Details

Founded: c. 1120
Category: Religious sites in Spain

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ximenez (2 years ago)
Beautiful edifice rich in history. Crypts available for visit.
moja soy De sevilla (2 years ago)
I like it a lot
Denis Fabian Mironica (3 years ago)
Great church , maybe too well renovated.
MD R (3 years ago)
Amazing site worth the trip just outside the city walls
Gabriele Busnelli (3 years ago)
Interesting gothic Basilica. Its main attraction is the wonderful cenotaph of Saint Vincent and his sisters, with sculptures from the twelfth century still perfectly preserved in their colorful appearance. The roof over it is from the Fifteenth century, and it is weirdly inspired by Chinese buildings. Audioguides are available.
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