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Raval – sight: Monasterio de Sant Pau del Camp

SantPaudelCamp Raval sight ayearinbarcelona

(EN below)

Det er måske lidt svært at forstille sig i dag, når man står foran kirken og klosteret: Sant Pau del Camp i udkanten af det kulørte og travle Raval, men prøv alligevel for en stund at forestille dig, at du skruede tiden en 1000-1200 år tilbage…  I så fald ville du være et stykke uden for Barcelonas bymur, som dengang gik til Ramblaen, og midt ude på landet mellem marker og køkkenhaver. Du ville kunne høre fuglene synge, se mændene arbejde på markerne, og så støder du pludselig på dette lille fine sted, hvor du kunne bede en bøn og måske få lidt mad og drikke, inden turen gik det sidste stykke til Barcelona…

Sant Pau del Camp, som du står overfor, er én af Barcelonas ældste kirker, og indtil det 14. århundrede, dvs. indtil Barcelona udvidede sin bymur til det område, der er i dag er Raval, var kirken/klosteret placeret uden for bymuren. Dette er også afspejlet i navnet: “del Camp”, idet “camp” på catalansk betyder mark eller landet.

Kirken blev grundlagt af greven Guifré-Borrell mellem 897 og 911 – du kan finde hans gravsten i klostergården, men selve stedet har været et religiøst sted helt tilbage til det romerske Barcino. Senere blev et benedikterkloster tilknyttet kirken, ligesom kirken blev renoveret og udvidet omkring det 13. århundrede. Klosteret fungerede indtil 1835, hvor de spanske klostre generelt blev opløst af staten. I  1897 blev klosteret erklæret for “Monumento Nacional” – et nationalt monument.

Sant Pau er en mindre kirke med en tilhørende fin, lille klostergård, begge i romansk stil. Arkitekturen virker simpel, men også charmerende – og så er den yderst sjælden i Barcelona. Der er ikke megen romansk arkitektur tilbage, og Sant Pau betragtes som den bedst bevarede romanske kirke i Barcelona. Selve indgangen til kirken er dekoreret med to marmorsøjler i visigotisk stil, og ovenover findes et relief, der viser Kristus mellem Sankt Peter (Pau på catalansk) og Sankt Paulus.

En fin lille detalje er hånden med de to udstrakte fingre, som du finder lige over indgangen til kirken, som efter signende skulle være guds hånd, der giver en velsignelse. Normal vises en velsignelse med de to fingre pegende opad mod himlen, så denne afbildning af en velsignelse er også yderst sjælden.

Sant Pau del Camp må i Middelalderen have været en oase for de rejsende til Barcelona. Det er den på sin vis stadigvæk. Den ligger dér, hvor den altid har gjort, i over 1000 år, og minder om en anden tid. Den er stadigvæk en oase, men nu for den moderne rejsende som kan få sig en pause fra det hektiske storbyspuls og bare nyde den simple kirke og den rolige klostergård. Gad vide, om den stadigvæk ligger der om 1000 år?

Du finder Sant Pau del Camp her: Carrer de Sant Pau, 101 – og kan du læse spansk eller catalansk kan du finde mere information på kirkens website.

SantPaudelCamp Raval sight ayearinbarcelona

EN

It may be a bit hard to imagine it today when you’re standing in front of the church and the monastery: Sant Pau del Camp in the colorful and busy Raval. But try to turn the clock 1000-1200 years back and imagine your self in front of the monastery… You would then be outside the city walls of Barcelona, which back then stopped at the Rambla, and you would find your self in the middle of the countryside between fields and gardens. You would be hearing birds singing, watching men working the fields, and suddenly you would encounter this little nice place where you could pray and maybe have some food and drink before your final journey to Barcelona.

The church you’re facing is Sant Pau del Camp which is one of Barcelona’s oldest churches, and until the 14th century, when Barcelona expanded its city wall to the area which today is Raval, the church / monastery was located outside the city walls. This is also reflected in the name: “del Camp”, as “camp” in Catalan means field or countryside.

The church was founded by Count Guifré-Borrell between 897 and 911 – you can find his tombstone in the monastery, but the place itself has been a religious place since Roman Barcino. Later, a Benedictine monastery was added to the church, just as the church was renovated and expanded around the 13th century. The monastery served as a monastery until 1835, where all Spanish monasteries were dissolved by the state. In 1897 the monastery was declared “Monumento Nacional” – a national monument.

Sant Pau is a smaller church with an associated little cloister, both in Romanesque style. The architecture seems simple but charming, and it is extremely rare in Barcelona. There are very little Romanesque architecture left, and Sant Pau is considered to be the best-preserved Romanesque church in Barcelona. The entrance to the church is decorated with two marble columns in visigotic style, and above is a relief that shows Christ between Saint Peter (Pau in Catalan) and Saint Paul.

A nice little detail is the hand with the two stretched out fingers, which you find right above the entrance, which should be the hand of God giving a blessing. Normally, the blessing is shown with the two fingers pointing upwards towards the sky, so this image of a blessing is also extremely rare.

In the Middle Ages, Sant Pau del Camp must have been an oasis for the travelers to Barcelona. In a way it still is. It is located where it has always been, for over 1000 years, and it reminds you of another time. It is still an oasis, but now for the modern traveler who would like to take a break from the hectic big city and just enjoy the simple church and the quiet cloister. I wonder if it still will be there in another 1000 years?

You will find Sant Pau del Camp here: Carrer de Sant Pau, 101 – and if you can read Spanish or Catalan, you can find more information on the church website.

SantPaudelCamp Raval sight ayearinbarcelona

 

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