An architectural treasure in La Cerdanya

* The author is part of the community of readers of La Vanguardia.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
10 March 2024 Sunday 23:07
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An architectural treasure in La Cerdanya

* The author is part of the community of readers of La Vanguardia

The church of Sant Esteve, located in the idyllic district of Perera de Baix, within the region of La Cerdanya, stands majestically heir to a history that dates back to at least the 9th century, when it is mentioned in documents from the year 803 as part of a donation to the Eixalada monastery.

This architectural treasure, the protagonist today in La Vanguardia's Readers' Photos, has witnessed the vicissitudes of history throughout the centuries.

During the 13th century, the church was looted by the forces of Viscount Arnau de Castellbò, as recorded in historical texts that document the conflicts between the feudal nobility and the bishopric of La Seu d'Urgell.

Later, during the Spanish Civil War in 1936, the church was burned and abandoned, suffering deterioration and the partial collapse of the vault of the central nave. However, a restoration project between 1991 and 1993 safeguarded its legacy.

The unique architecture of the church of Sant Esteve is a testament to its resilience and timeless beauty. With a single nave closed by a semicircular apse, its characteristic opus spicatum rigging stands out for its height and solidity, with walls approximately 1.50 meters thick.

Inside, the nave is divided into three sections covered by a barrel vault reinforced by transoms, while the apse has a quarter-sphere vault.

During the Baroque period, the church underwent important renovations, such as the addition of side chapels and the opening of the door on the western façade, crowned by an imposing double-span belfry.

The 18th century remodeling expanded the width of the bell tower and moved the entrance door to this same façade, enhancing its beauty and visual symmetry.

The Church of Sant Esteve de les Pereres is much more than an architectural structure; It is a symbol of the history and identity of La Cerdanya. Its resistance over the centuries and its timeless beauty make it an essential destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of this land.