San Juan de los Reyes, Gothic fantasy


Published on


Please see also:

Thank you!
The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans all used animal-shaped waterspouts. During the 12th century, when gargoyles appeared in Europe, the Roman Catholic Church was growing stronger and converting many new people. Most of the populations at this time were illiterate, and therefore images were very important to convey ideas. In the medieval world many creatures had mystical powers attributed to them. Also, human qualities were sometimes ascribed to specific animals—that is, the animals were anthropomorphized. This was especially common for pagans, and using these ideas helped conversion to Catholicism. Some animals (such as the rhinoceros and the hippopotamus) were unknown in Western Europe during the Middle Ages so gargoyles of these species (such as the ones at Laon Cathedral) are modern gargoyles and therefore did not have symbolic meaning in medieval times.

Published in: Travel
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • * 07/16/96 * ##
  • San Juan de los Reyes, Gothic fantasy

    1. 1.
    2. 2. The Monasterio de San Juande los Reyes was foundedby King Ferdinand II ofAragon and Queen Isabella Iof Castile to commemorateboth the birth of their son,Prince John, and their victoryat the Battle of Toro (1476)over the army of Afonso V ofPortugal.Afonso V defended theclaims of Juana (Jane) laBeltraneja to the throne ofCastilla against Isabel laCatolica, daughter of KingJohn II (Juan) of Castilla,sister of Enrique IV (Henry),who disputed that Juana wasa legitimate daughter.
    3. 3. This monastery was initially named "San Juan de la Reyna“ and was conceived to be the mausoleum of the Catholic Monarchs. They would change their plans later, choosing Granada as their burial place, after its reconquest in 1492. They were actually buried in the Chapel Royal of Granada Cathedral.Statue of Isabel la Catolica in front of the Monastery
    4. 4. Prince John ofPortugal alsocelebrated hisvictory over theCastilian army ofthe Catholicmonarchs with asolemn processionon eachanniversary of thebattle. Thisapparentcontradiction wasa consequence ofthe indecisivemilitary outcome ofthe battle: thetroops underAfonso V brokewhile the forcesled by Prince Johnof Portugaldefeated theCastilian right wingand remained inpossession of thebattlefield
    5. 5. Undoubtedly, the battle of Toro (1476) represented a decisive political victory for the Catholic Monarchs,assuring them the throne and paving the way for the future united kingdoms of Spain. As summarized bythe Spanish academic historian Rafael Casas:"...San Juan de los Reyes resulted from the royal will to build a monastery to commemorate the victory in abattle with an uncertain outcome but decisive, the one fought in Toro in 1476, which consolidated the unionof the two most important Peninsular Kingdoms.”
    6. 6. The cloister has a small garden. The ground floors ceiling is formed of German cross vaults set with figures ofsaints interspersed with animal and plant motifs, all created by the Toledo sculptor Cecilio Béjar in the 20th century
    7. 7. The term gargoyle is most often applied to medieval work, but throughout all agessome means of water diversion, when not conveyed in gutters, was adopted.
    8. 8. Toledo was chosen as the site for building the monastery due toits central geographic location and because it had been thecapital of the ancient Visigoth kingdom, symbolicallyreconstituted by Isabella and Ferdinand with the restoration ofthe lost unity of Spain, through the union of Castile with Aragon
    9. 9. The monasterys construction began in 1477 following plans drawn by architect Juan Guas, and wascompleted in 1504. It was dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist for use by Franciscan friars.
    10. 10. In 1809 the monastery was badlydamaged by Napoleons troops duringtheir occupation of Toledo, andabandoned in 1835.
    11. 11. Restorationbegan in 1883but was notcompleteduntil 1967
    12. 12. The monastery, an example of Gothic style with Spanish andFlemish influences was restored to the Franciscan order in1954.
    13. 13. Many medievalcathedralsincluded gargoylesand chimeras.(The most famousexamples arethose of NotreDame de Paris).
    14. 14. Although most have grotesquefeatures, the term gargoyle hascome to include all types ofimages. Some gargoyles weredepicted as monks, orcombinations of real animalsand people, many of which werehumorous
    15. 15. Bothornamented andunornamentedwater spoutsprojecting fromroofs at parapetlevel were acommon deviceused to shedrainwater frombuildings untilthe earlyeighteenthcentury.
    16. 16. From that time, more and more buildings bought drainpipes to carry the water from the guttering roof to theground and only very few buildings using gargoyles were constructed. This was because some people foundthem frightening, and sometimes heavy ones fell off, causing damage.
    17. 17. Gargoyles were viewed intwo ways by the churchthroughout history. Oftengargoyles were used to assistthe Church in conveyingmessages to the commonpeople. Since literacy wasuncommon, images were thebest way to constantlyconvey ideas. Gargoyleswere used as arepresentation of evil.
    18. 18. It is thought that they were used to scare people into coming to church, reminding them that the endof days is near
    19. 19. It is also thought that their presence assured congregants that evil is kept outside of the church’s walls
    20. 20. However, some medieval clergy viewed gargoyles as a form of idolatry. In the 12th century a churchleader named St. Bernard of Clairvaux was famous for speaking out against gargoyles:What are these fantastic monsters doing in the cloisters before the eyes of the brothers as they read?What is the meaning of these unclean monkeys, these strange savage lions, and monsters? To whatpurpose are here placed these creatures, half beast, half man, or these spotted tigers? I see severalbodies with one head and several heads with one body. Here is a quadruped with a serpents head, therea fish with a quadrupeds head, then again an animal half horse, half goat... Surely if we do not blush forsuch absurdities, we should at least regret what we have spent on them.
    21. 21. According to LesterBurbank Bridaham,writing in Gargoylaes,Chimeres and theGrotesque in FrenchGothic Sculpture,"There is muchsymbolism in thesculpture of [theGothic] period; butwe must be wary ofreading in too muchmeaning.”
    22. 22. Text & Pictures: Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foişoreanu - Ameno