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 Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.