The castle of Gormaz is located on a hillside and dominates the Duero River valley in the province of Soria; it is one of most important caliphal fortresses in Europe. At the foot of the hill sits is a small and austere chapel that contains Romanesque mural paintings. These paintings along with those of San Baudelio de Berlanga, are exceptional examples of the pictorial art from this time period. The chapel was declared Property of Cultural Interest in 1996.
The chapel was built with masonry and the structure was made of limestone and pebbles. It is composed of a single nave, a square shaped chancel and a belfry. It is considered, as well as San Baudelio, a pre Romanesque building.
The paintings in the chapel of San Miguel are an authentic display of drawing, color and the education of Christians in the Middle Ages. They are all are made with exquisite technique and expression.
The walls of the chancel and at the front of the nave are full of magnificent paintings made with the same techniques as those used in San Baudelio. On the ceiling of the apse a Christ in Majesty surrounded by an aureola and other representative figures can be seen. Iconography elements such as the Ancianos del Apocalipsis or the Agnus Dei can be seen on the walls of the apse. The northern wall of the nave displays scenes associated with the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, along with warlike representations in different spaces separated by borders with geometric shapes. On the southern wall the paintings consist of the Three Wisemen and Herod, the Massacre of the Innocents, Hell and the splendid but frightful scenes of dragons and snakes devouring condemned people.
Passing through the portico of unknown origin and the medieval necropolis in which it is located, a Romanesque portal built at a later time leads inside the chapel. The primitive portal, located on the south side, is small in size and has a horseshoe arch shape with caliphal voussirs. The chancel is covered by a barrel vault and the nave by a wooden beamed structure. The stone on the chapel floor is carved and a horseshoe arch gives way to the apse.
THIS CHURCH IS INCLUDED IN THE SORIA ROMÁNICA INTERVENTION PROGRAM. PROJECT SCHEDULED FOR 2007-2010.