The cathedral of Vic
is a compendium of styles
that span from the pre-Romanesque crypt to the neoclassical façade, passing to a Gothic cloister and a Baroque chapel.
To discover the “hidden” Romanesque it is necessary that we move along to the left of the building to find one of the two constructions of the 11th
century: the bell tower
and the crypt
. Both come from the ancient pre-Romanesque cathedral reformed by the Abbot Oliba, grandson of Guifré el Pelós (Wilfred the Hairy) and promoter of numerous buildings (the monasteries of Ripoll
, amongst others).
The bell tower of the cathedral of Vic is a good example of Romanesque Lombard
architecture in Catalan lands. Consisting of square floor, it is made with small and regular ashlar blocks
. It measures eight meters in length and its six floors and 46 meters in height display a solid and svelte construction for the time.
The architectural ornamentation is a compendium of the Romanesque Lombard style: blind arches
and saw tooth friezes
adorn the different floors of the bell tower. The windows increase in size and number as the tower gains height. The loopholes
on the first floor, we pass the bifocal
openings of the fourth floor and trifocal
openings of the two upper floors.
The other Romanesque element that we find “hidden” within the building: the crypt
, just below the presbytery
, with pre-Romanesque capitals from the ancient church of Santa Maria. The crypt consists of three naves
covered by ridge vaults
. Eight cylindrical columns
support the vaults and we know that the capitals
that crown the vaults are the most ancient of the entire cathedral.
Its decoration is simple, based upon floral motifs
, and is strongly influenced by Califate art
. The crypt was untouched in the 18th
century and was discovered once again in 1943 thanks to the excavations by Eduard Junyent
The cathedral of Vic is part of the ‘Romanesque weekend: from Barcelona to Vic
Authors of the photographs: Mutari, Bocachet and Vilaró Health.