In the middle of the Vall d’Àger, high on a hill stands the ancient canonry of Sant Pere
, one of the most important sites of the Catalan Romanesque
. Surrounded by a wall and situated in a strategic point
that dominates the entirety of the valley, its stones bear evidence to a part of the history of the Christian conquest
The origin of the site is found in the castle erected by the Arabs. The vall d’Àger
, like the majority of the territories in Lleida,
was under Islamic control at the beginning of the 8th century. It wasn't until the end of the 11th century that the Christians
, commanded by Arnau Mir de Tost
, occupied the fortification. Arnau Mir and his wife Arsenda converted the castle into their political centre and residence and ordered the construction of the church of Sant Pere
, soon housing a community of canonries.
The building that formed the ancient canonry exemplifies diverse styles,
transformations and constructions: the major church, with an older part that shaped the crypt
, the Romanesque cloister
that in the 14th century was substituted for a Gothic cloister under the orders of Pere I, count of Urgell, and Gothic dependencies, renovated in some cases to match new styles, like the Renaissance refectory.
After a time of splendor, largely due to the privilege of Episcopal exemption, the Sant Pere de Àger went into decline in the 15th
century due to the depopulation of the vall d’Àger and the war against Joan II. The 16th century marked the secularisation of the abbey which was later converted into a collegiate church. The canonry didn’t resist the passage of time and was crumbling from the devastation of wars, sieges and pillaging (the Segadors (Harvesters
), the war of Sucession and the Peninsular War, among others.)
At the moment you can find mural paintings in the Catalan National Museum of Art, in the Diocesan and Regional Museum of Lleida and in the United States.
The Collegiate church of Sant Pere de Àger is part of the ‘Discovering Àger
Authors of the photographs: Galazan, Rotatebot and Josep Renalias.