Church of
Saint John Baptist

Detalle portada s. XVI. Dios Padre bendiciendo.
It remains (the ruins of) the stone tower square, brick walls, and the Renaissance gate.

The gate shows an arc, scenery in the spandrels with two medals of the Virgin with the boy and Saint John Baptist with the Lamb of God, flanked by columns fluted on high plinths; entablament with angels, and triangular fronton, in whose center there is the figure of the Eternal Father, in attitude of blessing. It is possible to be dated in 1554. Its style falls within the art of Miguel de  Espinosa, - possible author who by those years worked the southern facade of the temple of Santiago in Medina de Rioseco, where are observed evident analogies in the way to be treaties the reliefs.

At the end of the last century, it was still open to the cult. It was described this way by the cronist Andrés García Perez: " It shows a white stone tower, a graceful gate of jonic style and a caissoned ceiling on four heavy arcs that lean in the center of the church in two cylindrical pillars, relatively so thin, that at first sight it seems, that they do not maintain, but that hang of these arcs ".

Torre y portada de la Iglesia de San Juan (siglo XVI)

At the end of the 40 decade of our century, it seemed to some politician that two churches were too many for a town like Tamariz, so they decided to disarm this church (that it was in perfect state, being used for liturgical acts in some occasions) and to use some of its elements for other places. It was like the saying "to undress a saint for dressing another one".

Torre de San Juan

The greater, baroque altarpiece, was took to the Cathedral of Santander, where it was cut, gilded and changed the images (Saint John Baptist, San Jeremías, Santa Isabel, San Joaquin and Santa Ana) by another ones that agreed to the devotion of the place. Today it occupies the greater altar of this Cathedral.

To the right of the greater altar was the one dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary, whose altarpiece was took to the Asturian village of Argüelles (next to the town of Noreña), where recently has been restored and shines better then it had ever got in our town. The image of the Virgin of the Rosary complied in a hornacina of the Church of San Pedro.

To the left of the greater altar was the altar dedicated to San Antón (San Antonio Abbot), altarpiece that showed a great linen cloth representing this sant, and also a wood stature. I do not know what happened to this altarpiece, whereas the stature is in the Church of San Pedro.

In the South wall of the church, opened a door, that after lowering steps took to the Chapel of the Christ, place for meditation and praying. The altarpiece that lodged the image of the Christ was took to a hermitage of Noreña (Asturias), where today it has an image of the Virgin.

The organ, that was on the baptistry, disappeared few years before the dismantling of the Church, it is said that in one of the repairs of the organ of San Pedro (the other church), as payment for the repair. The baptismal font remained some years outdoors, until a day somebody came with a van and bought it from the priest. The wood caissoned ceiling disappeared, although it is said that a part was used by somebody to decorate a room of his house. The floor tiles of the lateral ships were sold and were used in a pigeon house. The wood that covered the interments with the central ship was used in a particular house. The stone was used by the city council in fixing the Main Square and making the foundations of two houses. The bells were tried to lower, with so bad fortune that some fell and were broken. At 1997 half of the tower collapsed, 450 years after its construction and after 50 years of abandonment.

Documents on the church of San Juan

Main page


What to visit