Window fragment from the lost Basilica of Alfonso III. The basilica was built in the late 9th century, during a period in the king's reign when the worshipping of relics was starting to become popular and the first pilgrims were visiting Santiago. The monarch also had a political interest in consolidating Christian settlements in the region. In view of this, and the small size and poor quality of the previous temple constructed by Alfonso II upon discovery of the remains of Saint James the Great, a new basilica was ordered to replace the old building.

This basilica suffered badly in an attack by Muslim ruler Almanzor in the year 997. According to Arab chronicles, the destruction was such that "nobody would have believed that there had been a city there." Bishop San Pedro de Mezonzo and King Bermudo II immediately constructed the temple and incorporated some Islamic-influenced architectural elements. Among them may have been pieces like this one, which was found during the archaeological excavations carried out in the cathedral.


  • Title: Piece of window
  • Date Created: X century
  • Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: 36,5 x 54,5 x 20,5 cm
  • Type: Piece of window
  • Medium: Granite

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