San Juan Bautista is a religious space that is originally from the Visigothic period.
Later it was a center of Muslim worship, and Christian church.
Once the temple is no longer used for worship it becomes a graveyard.
After more than a century of abandonment, in the first decade of the 21st century some recovery and consolidation works were realized.
In order to begin with the tasks for the recovery of the church, the first step was the gathering of historic data for obtaining the necessary information.
Techniques like geo-radar and electric tomography were used to deduce the better way of intervening in the site.
Once the necessary results were obtained, archeological explorations were realized in three different areas: the area of implementation of new buildings, the church and the space of the old sacristy, that has not been preserved.
The exhumated remains and other materials were taken to the laboratory and later were moved to the current municipal cemetery.
San Juan Bautista.
Capilla central y capillas laterales.
This church owns its name to Saint John the Baptist, a revered saint for the Templars. It is located to the northwest of the population, between the San Juan and Espiritu Santo streets. This last street takes its name from the hospital that existed attached to the religious building.
Iglesia de San Juan Bautista has three entrances, one in the Espíritu Santo street and the other two to the west. Between these two, one was made during the recovery tasks in the building, and through it, the Center of Interpretation of the Order of the Templars can be accessed.
The central chapel presents a very developed heading, with two spaces separated by an ogival arch. The chapel has a mix of styles with the predominance of the Gothic-Mudejar style. The first part presents a ribbed vault, and the second one a skullcap that rests over scallops. Two facing windows are notable, carved in a block of granite with four circles disposed in the shape of a cross. The access to this chapel is done through a pointed arch of triumph. From the heading, the sacristy can be accessed.
The bell tower is built in the 16th century, where two bells that would replace the primitive bulrush were placed. Its floor plan is squared, and it is the higher element of the architectonic set.
The central nave of the temple, that is no more, had a tile roof over wood. This nave was an irregular space and was divided in three parts separated by pillars. Although the pillars are not preserved nowadays, its location is recreated in the pavement.
It has three chapels placed in the Epistle side: Capilla de la Consolación, Capilla de San José and Capilla del Cristo.
The first one, and also the oldest, is Capilla de la Consolación o de la Encarnación, from the 10th or 11th century.
This chapel was originally a rabita or morabito. Its constructive typology is a Muslim qubba, a little building of squared floor plan and circular cupola that would be used as a place of worship. After the Reconquista, this place is transformed into a Christian church. For that, they tried to eliminate all the Islamic elements, as can be observed in the modification of the primitive horseshoe arches in order to turn them into round arches.
Don Alfonso Fernández de Vargas, lord of Burguillos, that lived and died in the village, chose this chapel as his burial place. His marble grave is there. Due to that it is also known as Capilla de Vargas.
This choice had a symbolic character, given that it was the most sacred place of the population. Its central, squared floor plan is covered by an eight paneled skiffed vault. The west wall has stairs that lead to the building's roof. In the south wall there are two blind arches of a funerary character, and a niche that was originally a window.
The east wall is orientated to Mecca, the point to which the Muslim conduct their prayers.
The second one is Capilla de San José, from the first half of the 17th century. Its facade is made entirely of granite and it opens with a half-point arch topped with a cross. Its floor plan is rectangular, and offers an important pictorial space, though very deteriorated by the passing of time.
Parte trasera de la iglesia.
The last chapel is Capilla del Cristo, from the end of the 17th century and of baroque style. It can be accessed through a reduced arch and its floor plan is rectangular, covered by a hemispheric vault. It also presents the remains of a reredo that sheltered the revered statues.
As a result of the archeological interventions, it could be proved the evolution that had this place of worship.
The origin of this church can be traced back to the 6th or 7th century. There is evidence of a Visigothic temple of basilical floor plan, with a quadrangular heading and three naves. For its construction, Roman materials were reused.
Around the 10th or 11th century the Muslim occupation is produced. The primitive building was utilized in order to build a zawiya. Since 1238, with the Christian conquest, the temple lies in the hands of the Order of the Templars.
The existent buildings would be integrated in the new Christian temple from then. In the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, the heading is widened and more height is given to the building.
New rooms are built, such as the sacristy. In the middle of the 16th century the bell tower is build and a refurbishment is made in the nave.
In the 17th century the ossuary, Capilla de San José and Capilla del Cristo are built. Attached to the church there was the Hospital del Espíritu Santo. The temple was abandoned in the 18th century and came to be a cemetery. In the 19th century, the nave is eliminated in order to widen the burial area, and a perimetral fence is raised to protect the church. For the building of this closing are used materials that were part from the Hospital del Espíritu Santo and the north wall of the church.
In the 21st century the recovery of Iglesia de San Juan Bautista is produced, and the Center of Interpretation of the Order of the Templars is established.
The Center of Interpretation of the Order of the Templars shows the route of the Templars from its foundation after the First Crusade until its disbandment in 1312. Different topics are treated through the different rooms, such as their dressing, laws, fighting style, economic power or the history of one of their most influential characters: Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master Templar.
The history is transmitted in an entertaining way and is accessible to all kinds of public. Interactive and audiovisual resources are employed, addressing the mystery, the legends and the symbols of the Templars.
San Juan Bautista.