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Point of heritage interest

Santa Maria parish church

  • Santa Maria parish church
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Description

Santa Maria parish church is one of three most remarkable elements in Argelaguer. The first documented references of it date back to the year 1004, when the bishop of Girona claimed it to Bernat Tallaferro. During the 12th and 13th centuries it was rebuilt following Romanesque style characteristics. Nowadays there are some elements preserved of that time, such as the base of the apse, a pillar hidden behind the sacristy and a wall. The base of the bell tower is also Romanesque, although it is built with smaller and less intricate ashlars, which indicates us that it is a previous element. This primitive Romanesque building was reformed in the 15thcentury. In 1427 and 1428 two earthquakes practically demolished the church. At that time, the apse and the rest of the church were rebuilt on the base of the previous construction. A wooden roof supported by two Gothic arches was added. In the middle of the 16th century the building was reformed and expanded once more. The Gothic roof was substituted by a higher barrel vault roof. The bell tower was also rebuilt. In the 18th century, under the orders of the bishop of Girona, the construction was whitened, the chancel was reformed and a huge oeil-de-boeuf was placed above the main entrance. It was probably at that time when the stones of the bell tower were decorated. The imposing entrance is Romanesque style, although there are four Renaissance Corinthian capitals which decorate it. Still today we can appreciate the marks left by the bullets on the façade during the Carlist Wars. In 2011 the bell tower was restored.