Church of the Magi, Javierrelatre, and Saint Michael’s, Latre – Iglesia de los Santos Reyes de Javierrelatre y San Miguel de Latre
Where: Village centre.
How to get there: From the N-330 from Sabiñánigo to Huesca, at Hostal de Ipiés, take the turn-off for Javierrelatre.
Spatial orientation: Village centre
Javierrelatre’s 12th Century Romanesque church dominates the hill on which the village sits, and is known for its impressive and beautiful apse.
Little is left of the original structure: only the apse, the north wall and part of the south wall; the rest is from the 18th Century when the Church was extended and completely transformed following a fire. The apse is magnificent; it is semi-circular with three windows, splayed on the inside; the outside openings are flanked by two columns ending in two capitals decorated with geometric and plant motifs, as well as some mouldings that run around the whole building with the Jaca chessboard pattern. This pattern is also repeated on the inside of the Church. Under the eaves, there are a number of very ornate corbels decorated with modillions, balls, pineapples, and the animals that were known during the Middle Ages, etc.
Inside is a small Museum of Sacred Art (Museo de Arte Sacro) which shows the Church of the Magi at the height of its splendour in the 18th Century. The liturgical art on display is remarkable both because of its beauty and the richness of the art, in stark contrast to today’s austerity.
Latre is near Javierrelatre, and also has an interesting Romanesque church to Saint Michael. Its apse is semi-circular with a central window and is quite austere. However, there is a significant number of corbels, of which four are decorated in a style similar to those at Javierrelatre. There is a Chri-Rho in the entrance doorway which must have been part of the original church.