THE WONDERS OF SAN JUSTO

The small church of San Justo, in the medieval quarter of El Salvador, beyond the wall, in Segovia, houses one of the most impressive collections of fresco Romanesque paintings in the country. The condition of these is reasonably good, given that they were only uncovered in 1962 during some restoration works carried out in the apse. The surface covered by these paintings is not only limited to the apse but also the high altar. The scenes depicted are very varied, ranging from the pantocrator surrounded by the Evangelists’ symbols as well as the descent from the cross and a couple of scenes from the Genesis or the mass of Saint Gil.

The whole scene is phenomenal although we do not know the name of the artist; given his technique and the subjects he covers he might have been originally from France or at least trained as an artist there. This theory is reinforced by the fact that, in the nave next to the paintings, added in the 17th century, we find an amazing work of art known as the “Cristo de los Gascones”, a Christ in the cross statue dated around the 12th century, made in wood and with jointed limbs; according to an old legend the image originally came from Gascony, in France, and was brought to Segovia by a blind mule that dropped dead by the gate of the church, thus stating the divine intention for the image to remain within the temple.

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