Portal with receding arches.
Accommodation in Porqueres
Accommodation in Banyoles
A jewel of Romanesque art on the lakeshore
The church of Santa Maria de Porqueres (12th-18th centuries) is a jewel of Romanesque art situated in a place of great natural beauty.
The building is constructed along simple lines and presents an idyllic image in its setting on the shores of Banyoles Lake
. The church was consecrated as early as 1182, but has withstood the passage of time with very few modifications. The façade is most worthy of note, with its portal of four receding arches. Go closer and observe the detail on the semi-circular inner arch with 22 medallions showing human, vegetal, animal and geometric motifs. The other three arches are horseshoe shaped. The two middle arches rest on columns crowned by capitals, whereas the outer arch is protected by hood moulding sculpted in a zigzag design.
An oak door with its original wrought iron protects the entrance to the church. The interior has a single nave with a barrel vault, a semi-circular apse, three apsidioles and two side chapels. On entering the church, on the left hand side there is a hemispherical 12th-century Romanesque travertine baptismal font covered with a wooden lid. On closer observation you will notice a hollow trunk behind the font that was used to safeguard the alms collected from the faithful. The trunk was locked with three keys and could only be unlocked in the presence of the two provosts and the rector of the church.
A medieval polychrome rafter crosses the frontal space, above which a transverse arch separates the nave from the presbytery. The arch is supported by two columns decorated with religious motifs and demarcates the most sacred part of the church.
Once outside the church, step back for a moment and admire the whole building. The 18th-century bell tower is a replacement of the original. You will probably notice a small open-sided porch, known as the “comunidor”, where the faithful used to gather in prayer to ward off storms. Today it reminds us of the former role of the church as community centre for the surrounding area.