Iglesia del Crucifijo

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Iglesia del Crucifijo, Church of the Crucifix is a Knight’s Templar church on the western edge of the town. It has a similar but smaller tower to Iglesia de Santiago. The nave is late 12thC and the church was extended in the 14thC when the north aisle was added. A covered passageway connects the church with the former pilgrim’s hospital which is now used by the priest.

Steps lead down to the wooden double doors with pillars carved with a design of knots, geometric patterns and swirls. There is a carved frieze around the capitals and a series of elaborately carved pointed arches with a double row of scallop shells, angels, birds, lions, mythical beasts and foliage.

Inside it is a very plain church with a small wooden gallery at the back. The only light comes from two Romanesque windows in the south wall and a tiny window in the apse which has opaque glass. A larger plain glass window at the back of the north aisle floods the back of the north aisle with light making the rest of the church feel dark in comparison. It is worth putting €1 in the meter for electric light.

Three octagonal pillars with a red Maltese cross in a black circle and pointed arches separate the nave and north aisle. There is a ribbed ceiling with the ribs coming off the central pillars.

Steps lead up to the chancel which has a small round apse. There is a simple free standing altar covered with a white cloth. Below the window is a small carving of a crowned Virgin in red and blue robes holding the Christ Child on her lap who is dressed in a pale turquoise robe.

The apse at the end of the north aisle has a 14thC carved wood crucifix. Its history is unknown but it may have been the gift of some German pilgrims. On the wall round it, remains of wall paintings can be seen with the eye of faith.

This is a rather plain church It is worth popping into if spending time in Puente de la Reine.

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