Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Incantato Tours presents: WRA first Concert Venue in San Pedro Mártir Church in Toledo

The Western Reserve Academy Choir and Ensemble, under the direction of Mrs. Margaret Karam and Mr. Edward Wiles, will perform at Toledo’s San Pedro Mártir Church on Thursday, March 14th, 2012 at 7:30 pm.
Located in the heart of the city of Toledo, the Convent of San Pedro Mártir's first stone was laid in the 13th century. Since then it underwent a large list of enlargements and renewals until the 17th century, now almost like a little city within itself. The Convent has become one of the most important and rich convents in the city of Toledo. Toledo was the capital of Spain for many centuries, and one of the most important cities in Europe during the Middle Ages. San Pedro Mártir convent was designed, painted, scarved and decorated by the finest artist of each century living by the Spanish Court.
The building is especially noted for its splendid mudéjar (Moorish) style tower, and its magnificent graves and praying sculptures, including the Counts of Melito that inspired the legend "The Kiss" by Gustavo Adolfo Becquer. Three different styles can be found in this important convent complex: mudejar, renaissance and baroque.
In its period of greatest splendor, the monastery extended along the streets of San Clemente and San Pedro Martir, and even jumped over the street. For this reason the church had to be open from sunrise to sunset in order to facilitate the passage of pedestrians. Even being so big, its size and importance cannot be grasped from the outside, as it is surrounded and limited in its facade by other buildings such as the San Roman church.
The building has three cloisters: the Silence cloister, the Royal cloister and the Orange-trees cloister. The Royal cloister, designed by the very famous artist Alonso de Covarrubias, has three slender levels. The lower arch is semi circular, with mirrored black stone in the spandrels, very typical of this architect. The upper galleries are dinteladas, using an Alcarria typical feature in its ionic capitals.
The current monastery church was started in 1605 under Nicolas de Vergara. The temple is built in a Spanish Reinassance style, Herreriano, as the most important building of that period. In 1607, after the death of Nicolás de Vergara, Juan Bautista Monegro took over the construction.

The church entrance was the last work to be completed: topped with shields from the Crown and the Order of Preachers, corresponding to a classical altarpiece scheme and heavily influenced by the El Escorial Monastery. Three sculptures by Jacques del Rey can be seen at the entrance: San Pedro Martir, as well as Faith and Charity in dialogue.

Inside the temple the main highlights are the altarpiece and the Choir, with Monegro influence and hand-carved by Giraldo de Merlo. The painting of the altarpiece was entrusted to Juan Bautista Maino. His exceptional work of the Easter-Nativity, Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost, and the figures of Saint John by the banks now belong to the Prado, although the Convent maintains its fresco Glory in the choir loft.
The building had various uses after the seizure as a Museum, a Pantheon of illustrious Toledanos and as a charity center. In 1969 the building started to be used as a University facility for the main Complutense University of Madrid at the time. Today the building houses the Faculty of Juridical and Social Sciences at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, the region of which Toledo is the capital city.
Nowadays the cloisters and church are used for many of the most important events and official ceremonies of the city of Toledo, for example for the visit of the Royal Family of Spain, the recording of the Buñuel film "Tristana", or the Three Cultures Festival, to name a few.

No comments:

Post a Comment