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Master Mateo and his team also worked on the construction of the choir. It was closely related to the Portico of Glory as both focus on sharing the same message of apocalypse and salvation.

By the time the cathedral was consecrated in 1211, Mateo's choir had been completed. It remained standing until 1604, when it was torn down to make way for new wooden stalls. These were built to a design requested by Archbishop Juan Sanclemente to suit the latest liturgical customs of the period.

In 1985 professors Yzquierdo Perrín and Otero Túñez began looking further into the various pieces found in different places at different times, and eventually published their conclusions along with a full hypothetical reconstruction of the choir. This provided the basis for a partial physical reconstruction of the higher part of the choir stalls and external perimeter, and a full virtual reconstruction of the whole area.

The choir was accessed through the door in the center of the chevet. The stalls had high seats for the more distinguished canons and lower seats, or possibly just a simple pew, for those with a lower status. The choir could hold a total of 72 chapter members who would sit in strict hierarchical order. The high choir stalls consisted of a stone pew with alternating blind arches and corbels, which supported the columns marking out the seats, separated by braces. They also held panels that were decorated with plant motifs and built from a single piece of granite. On these was wickerwork featuring complex iconography, decipherable by those who were suitably educated.

The choir's outer side facades formed a series of arches on engaged columns. These supported the upper section, which featured biblical characters and architectural elements that represented New Jerusalem and completed the message of the Portico of Glory.

Details

  • Title: Stony choir reconstruction
  • Creator: Master Mateo
  • Date Created: 1168-1211
  • Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • Type: Choir
  • Medium: Granite with remains of polychromy

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