Odd depictions at old Templar church San Juan de la Hospital

Not far from our place  there is an old Templar church (1238) from a grant from King Jaume I, who captured Valencia from the Moors.  I’d read about a Templar church in The Templars, Knights of God (Edward Burman) but finding it in tourist literature is not so easy.

The building is much changed over time.    It is Romanesque, but also Gothic and Baroqe in style.  The tiny windows give it a Romanesque darkness and the heavy walls add to the feeling.  The Moorish influences are in the rectangular plan of the single nave and the polygonal shape of the apse, according to the fabulous four page print out the give out for free, available in well translated English.

At the street entrance there are Templar crosses painted on a wall, protected by a glass or plastic panel.    There is an attractive courtyard leading to the church entrance, on one side the old thick walls.

Templar cross at San Juan Hospital

Inside you make a sharp left and to the right are Jesus, Mary and John the Evangelist hanging together.  These are among the oddest depictions I have seen, followed in weirdness only by another painting in the same building.  The Jesus is in one scale and the other two figures are in another.  The John looks like a Mary to such an extent that I thought I was looking at a depiction of the two Marys.

Mary on the left, an effeminate John on the right.

Here is another view of the interior in black and white:

Iglesia San Juan de la Hospital

About Gary Kirkpatrick

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