The Royal Treasure

Un tesoro
digno de reyes

Royal Treasure

The kings of León collected an important treasure thanks to the Canons of the monastery that have last to nowadays.

One of the most important pieces is “the Ivory casket” made in 1059. It was the Reliquary Box of St John the Baptist and St Pelagius. It was made here in Leon because the King Fernando the first and the queen Sancha created here one of the best workshops of ivory in Europe at that time. You can notice how ivory is carved with great detail, and mark the folds of drapery falling. To detail is all feet, hair ... There are also two types of arc-shaped Romanesque semicircular arcs, and Islamic horseshoe arcs. The eyes have inlays of jet black. The lower part represents the 12 apostles and in the center of the lid is the Mystic Lamb surrounded by the heavenly court. This casket was coated with gold also disappeared in the nineteenth century and inside is also coated with Arab embroidery.

King Ferdinand the First sent for the relics of Saint Isidore of Seville to consecrate the Church under his patronage in 1063. To transport the relic he commanded to do this casket. It has a wood core covered in sheet silver and gilder silver with reliefs on some sheets, specialy scenes of Paradise. We can see the history of Adam and Eve. The lining of the lid is an arabian embroidery with figures of birds and quadrupeds, while the body of the box is lined with Andalusian cloth.

Royal Treasure

Another casket came from Limoges. This city in the middle of the 12 th Century is known because of the art of enamels. It resembles a cruciform church showing Christ on the Cross and his Majesty, Mary and John, The Tetramorph, angels and Apostles. The chest is made of wood (oak) and is coated with 17 copper sheets. The blue is made of cobalt oxide, then they add glass powder and all of them gets into an oven at high temperature. This casket reproduces the shape of a temple gabled roof with the cruise.

There is a collection of arabian boxes some pf them made of Wood, other of ivory and some of silver. We underline one that is fatimí.

A piece full of mistery is a small box made of reindeer antler with the shape of a dragon. It is the unique Vikin pices that we can see in Spain.

Image gallery

The Basilica of St Isidoro The Chalice’s Chapel

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