Sepulcro de Sancho VII el Fuerte en Roncesvalles

Point of interest en Roncesvalles

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Sepulcro de Sancho VII el Fuerte en Roncesvalles

Sepulcher of Sancho VII the Strong, image from Wikimedia Commons

Sepulcher of Sancho VII the Strong, image from Wikimedia Commons

Sancho VII the Strong was king of Navarre between 1194 and 1234. That nickname was not given to him in vain, since it is believed that he could have been more than two meters tall. Of course, a king of these heights deserved a comparable tomb. His remains reside in the Royal Collegiate Church of Roncesvalles, in a mausoleum of intimidating size and Gothic style. They are a highly recommended visit before leaving on a pilgrimage along the Camino Frances route.

The sculpture of Sancho VII the Strong

The size of the sculpture is equivalent to that of the king himself, even when he was old. Although it is said that he was 2.28 meters tall, current estimates place him at 2.10 meters of height. He was still a giant, especially in his time.

The tomb represents Sancho VII as a monarch, but also as a warrior. His hand rests on a gigantic sword that touches the meter and a half. Something unconventional about this statue is that its pose is cross-legged, which apparently refers to the fact that it participated in a crusade: the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.

The sculpture of the king dates from the 13th century, with Gothic aspects, but the rest of the sepulcher is much later. The funerary ensemble was moved in the 17th century, and the slab with the king's relief was split and buried in its original location. It was not found until 1890, and in 1912 the rest of the mausoleum was restored and built.

This sepulcher does not only consist of the mausoleum. The stained glass windows of the chapel in which it is located represent the battle of Navas de Tolosa, which, after all, was the greatest event that this monarch starred in. This funerary ensemble invites you to relive the most praised campaigns of the Middle Ages.

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