The parish church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán
It is a charming building, both inside and out, with no lack of stylistic details, its medieval doorways and the design of the arches that support the roof seem to predate the sixteenth century when the Inquisition arrived. Its silhouette has a very unique profile, the front very similar to others in the area.
Showing one’s own style seems to be a hallmark of this temple. The tower, its arcades, the dome of the apse and its main doorway give the building its own stamp on the exterior. Everything is worth a look to appreciate the different construction stages, the artistic details or the fit of the different elements.
The size of the tower seems disproportionate to the rest of the nave. Perhaps it was there before the consecration of the temple, its appearance totally defensive, of a single body and with an elegant pyramidal top.
Of the three entrances to the church, the one on the side stands out above all, sheltered by a beautiful colonnade of four arches supported by cylindrical columns.
It presents a very original stamp; framed in a campanile arch and with different archivolts that have an ogee pattern. Decoration in the corbels and with diamond points in the outer arch. Topped with a coat of arms in which the cross of Alcántara, a lion, a pig… can be appreciated.
The north door is simple and is blinded, the one at the foot, once the main one, has an old pointed arch with a sawtooth decoration, alfiz and a cross finishing the whole.
In the interior, its arches mark the master lines of the nave, topped with a vault that houses the altar and a colorful altarpiece. The altarpiece is from the 17th century, it came from the church of Santiago de Miajadas in 1960.
A Crucified Christ presides, surrounded by saints and virgins that sweeten the suffering expressed in the moment. The sculpture is of great detail and expressive strength, it seems as if all the damage he is suffering does not affect the calm countenance of his face.
To his right is Santo Domingo, a sculpture of the XVIII century, donated by the Countess of Romera. This saint was the saint of the Order in charge of administering the Holy Office, so present in Villamesías. Its cross is visible at one of its entrances. The image presents a dog of prey, symbol of guardians of the faith.
In the sacristy there is a cabinet-horncase carved in stone, of great artistic value, built with stone. It is square, with a molded frame, framed by pilasters, with rosettes, fluted columns, jonquils and capitals with flowers. It is dedicated to St. Peter
It is topped with three pediments that house the busts with the effigies of St. Peter, St. Paul and in the central one, separated from the others, the image of the Pope. It dates from the mid-sixteenth century
The pulpit also has relevant aspects, such as the rustic baptismal font, which is said to have been brought by the Templars. On the floor there are large tombstones engraved with the coats of arms of the main families that were buried in the church. It should be noted that this church has been burned twice: once by the French and once during the Civil War.
In spite of everything, the enclosure has stood the test of time and man, next to one of the busiest Royal Roads in Spain.
The atrium was a cemetery until 1891, where some tombstones can still be seen, as well as the laudatory tombstones inside the church, where we can read: “S(sepultura) DIEGO ALONSO JVAN MVÑOZ MVÑANA Y EREDEROS. 1675 AÑOS”. “Burial) OF BARTOLOME GIL PAJARES Y EREDEROS. YEAR 1676″. D. DOMINGO SANCHEZ TORRES I EREDEROS. YEAR 1698.” Burial) OF LUIS FERNANDO CASAS Y EREDEROS”. The church was paved with tiles in 1926.135.
According to the Interrogatorio de la Real Audiencia at the end of the 18th century: “This parish factory has a cemetery at its entrance, which, if it is urgently needed, can be used as a cemetery.In its own area, ecclesiastical burial can be given, but since the parish is able to bury those who die in it. In this town nor in its church are not found endowments for some benefits and only if some chaplaincies in them located, and they are: one founded by Don Thomas Ximénez Baquero, of present bacante for having died its chaplain, consists its rent in ten walled properties with some feet of olive tree and two sensual deeds, whose rent will ascend to one hundred ducats, retracting of it its annual loads of thirty masses and subsidy, that all the encumbrance will ascend to one hundred and thirty reals. It is also endowed with another chaplaincy founded by Don Fernando Casasola, whose income consists of thirty sensual deeds granted in this town and immediate villages and in a house and two properties, whose income is regulated in six hundred reales, and paying four hundred reales alms of one hundred and twenty masses and the annual right that it pays as subsidy, it is free two hundred reales. It is also endowed with another chaplaincy instituted by María Gil Hoyas, whose income consists of five farms and a flour miller, whose entire product will amount to six hundred and thirty reals, and is lowered from subsistence to six hundred and thirty reals.The chaplain, who is the chaplain of this and the previous one, Don Juan left Ramos, presbyter born in this town and resident in the place of Zarza de Montánchez, the amount of five hundred and thirty reales for a five-year period. And these are the chaplaincies endowed in this church, which, according to their foundations, do not require residence136.
The interior is accessed through a portico located on the southern side, a frequent model in the churches of the different towns of the region of Trujillo. It has four wide semicircular arcades on cylindrical columns. On the side of the feet, the tower, with a single body and a pyramidal spire. There are accesses to the temple on both sides and on the façade at the foot. The north door is blinded, and is the simplest, presenting a simple semicircular arch without decoration. The one at the base has a pointed arch with a saw-toothed backing, profile framing that breaks in the center and is crowned with a cross. Above the door are the corbels that are the remains that still survive of the primitive support of the portico. The main door is located on the south side, preceded by a portico; the opening is profiled in a carpanel arch, although the moulding of the different archivolts has an ogee design. Except that in the last one there is a decoration of diamond points; on the alfiz there is a coat of arms.
The interior is horizontal, with a single nave with three bays separated by pointed arches, covered by wooden structures on two sides, although one of the structures has been replaced by a concrete roof, and a dome on pendentives in the main chapel. At the foot is the choir covered with groin vault and triple semicircular arcade.
The main altarpiece that occupies the apse was in the church of Santiago de Miajadas until 1960, when it was moved to this municipality during the restoration works of the temple.137. The 1925 Inventory of the church still shows some remains of the old altarpiece.138. It has a classical design with four Tuscan columns and a split pediment. It frames a small temple with double columns of composite order with niches and carries a finial, is a work of the 17th century. A modern image of the Crucified Christ presides over the altarpiece and above it, an image of the Immaculate Conception, donated to the church by the Daughters of Mary. We highlight in this altarpiece a polychrome carving representing Santo Domingo de Guzmán, it is a work of the eighteenth century, was donated to the church by the Countess of Romera.
As we have indicated, there was another Baroque altarpiece, of gilded carving, with Solomonic columns adorned with bunches of grapes, which Mélida was able to see occupying the front of the parish church.139. Other images disappeared or were burned in the events that took place during the Spanish Civil War and that we know about thanks to the Visit made in 1782: Santísimo Ángel de la Guarda, San Ildefonso, Santo Domingo (another image), Perpetuo Socorro, Dulce nombre de Jesús, Santa Ana, San Pedro, the martyrs San Fabián and San Sebastián (from their hermitage), San Francisco de Asís and the Virgen de Gracia.140.
On the side of the Epistle is the sacristy in whose interior we highlight a crucified dead Christ, a popular work of the eighteenth century. A cabinet-horncase carved in stone, of great artistic value, built with stonework. It is square, with molded frame, framed by pilasters with rosettes and these, in turn, by fluted columns with lower third of jonquils and capitals with flowers and inverted scrolls; over the whole runs a smooth entablature. It is topped with three curved pediments that house the busts in high relief with the effigies of St. Peter, St. Paul and in the central one, separated from the others by balusters, the image of the Pope. It is a mid-century work XVI141. In the events that took place in August 1936, during the Civil War, important damages were caused to the structure of the church, some images and documents from the archives that were in the sacristy were burned. Currently, we highlight several works of silverware that are still preserved in the sacristy, such as a silver chalice in its color with decoration of small pearls on the foot and on the shaft; smooth cup. It presents the marks of the lion of Córdoba, RG and Z, mark of José de Santa Cruz y Zaldúa, from the end of the XVIII century. Silver chalice in its color with floral decoration on the foot, polygonal shaft and ovoid macolla with diamonds and circles; fleshy leaves on the sublayer, lacks marks, work of the late sixteenth century. Silver ciborium in its color, unmarked and decorated with pearl rosary on the foot, shaft and rim of the cup, the cup ends in cross with rays, work of the eighteenth century.
On the Gospel side there is a granite pulpit on a fluted cylindrical pedestal. Formed by four panels with artistic carving of blind arches and lobes with gothic tracery. It is a piece of great artistic value from the 15th century. On the Epistle side, there is an artistic baptismal font with a smooth circular bowl supported on a pedestal with a cylindrical shaft and hexagonal base, a work from the end of the 15th century.
Next to the pulpit, a neo-Gothic altarpiece with niches that house the modern images of St. Anthony and Child (donated by Doña Rita Ramos), St. Dominic of Guzman and the Virgin of Fatima, with lateral columns, work of the nineteenth century. We also highlight a wooden altarpiece from the XIX century, with some neoclassical details, of little artistic value, where the Dolorosa is venerated, a work from the 50’s of the XX century. And, at the base of the altarpiece, a recumbent Christ in urn, is an image of the twentieth century made of wood paste and glass eyes, and decorated by hand with oil paintings. Next to it, there is an image of Christ with the cross on his shoulders, in repainted polychrome wood, known in the municipality as “Santo Cristo”, is a work of the eighteenth century. In the Inventory of 1925 it is detailed: “Another altarpiece of the altar of the Holy Christ of carved wood, with niche and glass door. The effigy and a cross measure 1 m and 50 cm “142.. However, we must clarify that this image did not receive this denomination years ago, since in the Inventory of 1925 we read the following: “In the altar of the Ánimas there is a Virgin of Carmen of one meter ninety and another one of Jesus with the cross on his back, almost new, of 1 m and 55 cm“.
On the Epistle side, there is a neoclassical altarpiece, work of the 19th century, of little value. It has three separate and glazed streets; it houses the modern images of the Resurrected Christ, St. Joseph with the Child and the Virgin of the Rosary.