S. Pere de les Puelles, column capital (detail)
Original Country
Catalonia (Catalunya)
Sorting Title
S. Pere de les Puelles, column capital (detail)
Style Genre
Format Medium

Polychrome stone

Original Location

Barcelona, Spain

Historical Context

This is a capital to a supporting pillar for a group of arches for the 12th-century cloister (see image #40). The site of the community was originally a chapel dedicated to the bishop and martyr S. Sadurni that had been built in 801 to serve the spiritual needs of Charlemagne's troop. A group of young daughters of noble families retired to this chapel in the late 9th century to form a community dedicated to the contemplative life. The community did not have a rule until 945, when Countess Riquilda of Barcelona (wife of Count Sunyer) reorganized the community under the Rule of S. Benedict. It was at that time that both the monastery and a new church were built. The 10th-century chapel and convent were built in the pre-Romanesque style, but were destroyed in the raid of Al-Mansur in 985. Al-Mansur's troops also killed or sold into slavery all of the nuns during the 985 raid on Barcelona, but Count Borrell II and Bishop Vivas of Barcelona re-founded the community the next year. Members of the community resided around the original chapel of S. Sadurni between 986 and 1147, when their new home was completed. An upper level was added to the cloister in 1322. Although the cloister was destroyed in the 19th century when the community was supressed, a fragment of the 12th-century cloister has been preserved in the Museu d'Art de Catalunya (Barcelona). Other material remains of the nuns' life can be found in the same museum, as well as in the Alegre de Terrassa collection, the Museu Santacana de Martorell, and the Masia Can Soler de Vilanove (Vilamajor).

Current Repository

Museu d'Art de Catalunya,Barcelona, Spain

Photo Credit
Marie Kelleher
Image of S. Pere de les Puelles, column capital (detail).