Located in Santiponce, the Monasterio de San Isidoro del Campo was founded somewhere near the Roman ruins of Itálica, by Alfonso Pérez de Guzmán and María Coronel Alonso in 1301, where according to tradition San Isidoro de Sevilla had been buried. His remains were discovered and moved to León in 1063.
Since its foundation, the monastery has been under the spiritual and temporary administration of different religious orders. In 1432 the Hieronymites of the Order of Saint Jerome significantly reformed the monastery which is reflected in the concept of monastic life and in the decoration.
In this unique fortress-monastery, with a double church, the Gothic style is juxtaposed with clear Languedoc and Mudejar influences, where the Almohad tradition is clearly visible. Unlike Cistercian austerity, the Hieronymite monastery is decorated with murals that make up what is possibly one of the most outstanding ensembles in Spain.
The monastery was extended and became richer over the centuries, eventually having a tower, a belfry, five cloisters and, next to the monastic quarters, the attorney general's quarters, a hostelry and the farming facilities expected of an institution aspiring to self-sufficiency.
During the Baroque, period, this medieval establishment was transformed with altarpieces (the two by Martínez Montañés on public display are worthy of special mention), stalls, new murals and plaster vaults.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.