The Iglesia conventual de San Pablo or San Pablo de Valladolid is a church and former convent, of Isabelline style, in the city of Valladolid, in Castile and León, Spain. The church was commissioned by Cardinal Juan de Torquemada between 1445 and 1468. It was subsequently extended and refurbished until 1616. Kings Philip II and Philip IV of Spain were baptized in the church, and it was visited by Napoleon. It is one of the buildings considered most emblematic of the city.
The church construction was commissioned by Cardinal Torquemada to replace a previous church, which had a timber ceiling and was adjacent to a Dominican convent that had been founded in 1270. After Torquemada's death, bishop Alonso de Burgos funded the building of the cloister, refectory, and lower façade, as well as of the adjacent Colegio de San Gregoriowith its funerary chapel. Artists who worked to the church in this period include the Spanish-Flemish Juan Guas and Simón de Colonia. Around 1550, Cardinal Juan Garcia Loaysa, confessor of the emperor Charles V, built the sacristy, covered with a dome decorated by stars, coat of arms of the order and figures of Dominican saints. The nave features rib vaults, supported by corbels in Renaissance style, added around 1540.
After the capital of the Kingdom of Spain was moved from Valladolid to Madrid, the church came under the patronage of the Duke of Lerma, who had its façade renovated and added numerous artworks in the interior. In 1613–1616 Juan de Nates, following a design by Francisco de Mora, executed the patronal tribune, and the Doric gate of the sacristy.
Typically for the late Gothic style dominant at the time, the church has a single nave, with side chapels opening between buttresses, with a raised choir and transept. At the ends of the transept are two stone portals from the workshop of Simón de Colonia, dating to c. 1490. The left one gives access to the Chapel of the Crucifix, while the right one led to the funerary chapel of Alonso de Burgos.
The façade, designed by Simón de Colonia, was completed in 1500. Two phases can be distinguished in it: the first one, including the section up to the top of the central rose window, features gargoyles and sided by two spires. The entrance portal is surrounded by a large arch with a wavy profile, in which is a relief with the Coronation of the Virgin in the presence of bishop Alonso de Burgos. The upper part of the façade features rectangular spaces up the summit tympanum. For its decoration were used some Gothic elements taken from other buildings and new ones, in the course of the renovation program funded by the Duke of Lerma, which also included the construction of the two side towers. The stars in the background refer to the coat of arms of the Sandoval y Rojas family, of which the Duke was a member; he is buried inside the church.
The interior has two absidal chapels, housing an image of St Dominic of Guzmán, by Gregorio Fernández, and a Christ by the same artist, who also executed works in the presbytery.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.