ARTESA, STEP BAY STEP

LITTLE RELIGIOUS MONUMENTS FROM THE MUNICIPALITY OF ARTESA

I made a presentation about little religious architecture from Artesa in summer of 2004. It took place within the framework of the 6th course of popular architecture about the topic of Religiousness and Popular Architecture, which was organized by the association Amics de l’Arquitectura Popular (Friends of Popular Architecture).


15.05.2009
Text: RAMON I. CANYELLES
Pictures: JOSEP Mª ROSELLÓ y JAUME CLUET

Publisher’s Note:

From eight articles altogether, the magazine La Espiral del Conocimiento reproduces with the author’s permission the first part of the investigation work issued since 2005 in the local magazine La Palanca of Artesa de Segre. That is in January 2007, before the finding of the megalith in Seró (municipality of Artesa de Segre), which was so much successful in that moment because it appeared in different mass media from both local and national press.

This remarkable investigation work made by Ramon I. Canyelles shows even more the importance of the later megalith finding in Seró within the large prehistoric heritage presented by Artesa de Segre and the whole area of middle Segre.

At the same time we want to thank the local magazine La Palanca, especially Ramon Giribet and Josep Mª Espinal, for their help. It is shown by their contribution with a big amount of information and photographic materials that are reproduced together with the articles. We also want to thank Rafael Gomà for the reception at Museu del Montsec (a museum in Artesa de Segre) and Joan Ribalta, who is from Seró, for his help to get pictures from the megalith.

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In order to issue this work locally, we are going to publish it in La Palanca with the present and other chapters explaining the origins and development of the religious fact within the territory of Artesa. This is to continue with the catalogue of different samples about little religious architecture. Inside the catalogue we can find preaching and commemorative crosses, cairns or oratories, small chapels and niches, tombs and tombstones, among other samples that have been filling the municipality of landmarks in this field.

The vanishing point of this presentation is the name itself of the course: Religiousness and Popular Architecture. It takes the vastest sense of each of the three words that form the title.

First of all, if we analyse the whole title and consider that the architecture that we refer to is the religious one, we should ask ourselves which role plays religiousness in this area and its origin. Secondly, we should make an assessment of the architecture with a humble interpretation. At the same time it should be an interpretation full of feeling and connection to the land that shows us some elements that identify the development and character of the people in this area. And finally, we need to interpret the word ‘popular’ in its vastest sense of peoples, population dimension and human being development in both daily and spiritual aspects. We will be able to develop and understand this work from the interpretation and understanding of these premises and their correlation.

Then we are going to see which reasons cause this religiousness and how it develops until understanding it as we live it today.

Although this presentation can be extrapolated anywhere in the country, we are going to focus on the vestiges that have been contributing different samples of religious worship to the territory of Artesa de Segre since the Neolithic.

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