In 1324, Infante Don Juan Manuel erected the contemporary Gothic-Mudejar convent, where he was subsequently buried, in what was once a fortress built by Alfonso X, the Wise. This emblematic monument was declared a Heritage of Cultural Interest in 1931 and can currently be visited on a free or guided tour.
This Heritage of Cultural Interest boasts a façade with exuberant brick arches, made in the Gothic-Mudejar style, which contrast radically with the luxurious decoration of the funerary chapel of the Manuel family, which was built two centuries later in the Plateresque style.
The chapel’s centrepiece is a window with Gothic tracery framed by two pilasters and an arch. Two coats of arms representing the chapel owners flank the window. One rests above a semicircular tower, which corresponds inside with a spiral staircase without a centre post. This staircase leads up to a balcony.
Don Juan Manuel de Villena’s funerary chapel, built in a Plateresque style with Gothic reminiscences, is a stunning example of Spanish Renaissance art. It was built in very white limestone, worked meticulously and has been preserved in a very good state. It is one of Peñafiel’s star attractions for lovers of cultural tourism.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.