ARCHITECT, Visigothic
(active c. 8th century in Zamora)

Exterior view

8th century
San Pedro de la Nave, El Campillo (Zamora)

Hispano-Visigothic church, now in the village of El Campillo, in the province of Zamora, Spain. It was removed from its original site beside the river Esla, where a reservoir was to be built, and re-assembled in El Campillo. San Pedro de la Nave is not only one of the master works of the Visigothic world but also one of the most controversial. It most likely dates from between the 7th and 9th centuries; neither documentation nor archaeological evidence enables greater accuracy.

The church has a three-nave basilican ground plan with a rectangular apse and a transept marked by one room at either end. It was built using large, well-dressed ashlars joined together by cramp irons and it may have been completely covered by a stone vault resting on sturdy walls and pillars. The inner spaces are accessible through horseshoe arches.

San Pedro de la Nave is part of a larger group of buildings with related designs, which also includes Quintanilla de las Vinas and Santa Comba de Bande.

This small church has a set of historiated capitals, among the earliest examples in the Middle Ages. The decorative elements on the impost blocks are similar to those found on the exterior apse wall of Quintanilla de las Vinas, and the style of the historiated scenes has the same characteristics as the carvings at Quintanilla.

The inside is decorated with reliefs, many of which constitute a frieze with geometrical and plant motifs. Outstanding among which are carvings of Daniel in the Lions' Den and the Sacrifice of Isaac, as well as the Evangelists at the base of the transept columns.

View the ground plan of the building.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.