Santa María La Mayor ist seit ihrer Entstehung vor mehr als 700 Jahren das wichtigste religiöse Bauwerk in Trujillo und nach der Kathedrale von Plasencia das zweitwichtigste der Diözese.
Zu Beginn des 16. Jahrhunderts erneuerten Meistersteinmetze das Gewölbe des Kirchenschiffs, gegen 1540 leitete der Meister Sancho de Cabrera Solís die Arbeiten zur Errichtung des Chors. Nicht zuletzt im neuen Turm, beendet erst im 18. Jahrhundert, kann man die Synthese der Stile Gotik und Renaissance beobachten.
Doctor en Historia del Arte
Church of Santa María La Mayor
Santa María Church was the most important building in the city. In the main altarpiece, it was used to swear the Council Charges; we still keep the seats of stone for the meetings that took place there. In this church, in 1479 the funerals for Juan II of Aragón, Fernando´s “The Catholic” father, were held.
The church is made of different materials mainly ashlar and masonery in the towers.
The building is chiefly a Romanesque work, started after the final conquest of the citadel by Christian troops in the 1232. The church suffered many changes in the XVIth century; the most part of the building is from this time. Some gothic and Romanesque elements are kept, also the belfry.
The exterior presents a faÇade quite interesting, playing with the volums and height, prevailing the verticality of the new tower.
Some authors have considered wrongly that the place where today the Romanesque tower is, was a monument dedicated to Julio César, that´s why popularly this tower is known as: “Julia Tower” (Torre Julia).
In the two occasions the tower was damaged by the earthquakes of Lisbon, in 1521 and 1755.
That event made the clergy build another tower. The works began in 1550 but they weren´t finished until XVIII th century.
The architect Sancho de Cabrera helped in the construction of the new tower with bells in the XVIIIth century: José GarcíaGaliano and Isidro Marín were also in charged of this work.
In the interior there are two doors. The faÇade was made by Bote brothers in 1550; it is splayed with pointed arches supported by columns. Above the door, it can be appreciated the gothic rose window and in the faÇade there are five stained glass windows, pointed arches and gothic tracery.
The porch or the “Noon” is splayed with pointed arches on columns of Ionic order, appearing faced animals of medieval influence; work of Francisco and Martín Vizcaíno in 1545 who took advantage of the Romanesque and gothic elements of the primitive construction.
The interior of the church has three naves covered with crossed vaulting. The choir is covered with a starry vault. The arches of the naves are supported on great and solid pillars. At the back of the apse we can find the small chapel of the Virgin; it was constructed in the XVIIIth century.
Next to the Epistle, it is the chapel of Loaisa, in which we find the sculpture of the “Christ of Pardon” (Cristo delPerdón) from the XVIIIth century.
The burials in this church are numberless, mainly the one of Calderones, Gonzalo Bázquez, Torres and Diego García de Paredes. All of them date from the XVth century. It stands out the burial of Diego García de Paredes, known as “SansónExtremeño”; He was an active soldier in the army of Charles V. He was born in Trujillo in 1466, son of the captain Sancho de Paredes and Doña Juana de Torres. He was a brilliant soldier in the expeditions of Granada and Nápoles. He died in Bolonia from a horse fall. His elder legitimate son, Sancho de Paredes, ordered to bring the mortal remains of his father to the burial of Santa María La Mayor in Trujillo, 15 years after his death.
Above his burial there is a long epitaph in latin, in capital letters, whose translation is the following: “To Diego García de Paredes, noble Spanish, colonel of the army under the orders of the Emperor Charles V. he always lived as an excellent, religious and brave captain.
He died coming full of glory from the war against the turcs in Bolonia, on the 13th of February, at the age of 64”.
Next to the Gospel, it is the chapel of Cervantes family. Above the chapel, we can find the coat of arms; following this chapel there is another one from Pizarro family, called “San Juan” because there was an oil painting of the Saint. Its founder was Don Juan Pizarro and his wife Doña Juana de Hinojosa at the beginning of the XVIth century.
In this chapel Don Juan Pizarro, Don Francisco de Hinojosa and Don Gabriel Pizarro are buried. It was a huge family and in the burial are ten children of the couple above spoken.
It stands out the gothic burial of Sancho de Bonilleja decorated with lions which appear in the coat of arms and the description: Burial of Sancho de Bonilleja and his wife Isabel Álvarez de Torres”.
The most sumptuous chapel belongs to Vargas family. It contains the following description:
“CAPILLA DEL NOBLE LINAJE DE LOS VARGAS EN QUE YASE EL ESFORÇADO CAVALLERO IVAN DE VARGAS Q LA MANDO HASER I CO EN LOS MAIORALGOS SUS ANTECESORES, MURIO AÑO DE MDXVII ACABOSE ESTA OBRA EN EL MDXXII AÑOS”.
Don Juan de Vargas is descendant of the knight Iván or Juan de Vargas; the most directed branch of this family came to Trujillo and they are buried in this chapel of Santa María La Mayor.
The baptismal chapel and the magnificent choir were built at the expense of the Bishop Gutierre de Vargas between 1545 and 1553; the works were carried out by the architect Sancho de Cabrera.
The altarpiece is the most impressive element in the church. It is gothic and it is divided into 25 oil paintings on panel in well preserved colours and they are separated by golden arches; dated from XV th century. The polychromy links its colours to the golden tones. The paintings in the front part are related to the Virgin´s life and in the predella (inferior part of the altarpiece) the pictures are related to the Passion and the Death of Christ.
The altarpiece was made between 1476 and 1480 in Salamanca and it was painted by Fernando Gallego from the Castilian School of Flemish style.
The altarpiece of Pizarro´s chapel comes from the funerary burial of Don Pedro de Orellana, placed in the wall of the Gospel. It is from the beginning of the XVIIth century and it keeps remains of popular paintings representing San Francisco, La Asunción and San Antonio.
In the superior part, we can appreciate the pictures of San Antón and Santa Lucía.
In the chapel of Bejarano family, there is a well-kept altarpiece with pictures of the XVIth century; work of some painter from the Placentine School. It is a very interesting work in which Flemish and Italian elements can be observed.
Por Alfonso Naharro i Riera