Sant Baldiri's church

Description

The Sant Baldiri of Taballera chapel is part of the architectural group made of the church, the priest’s house and the annex chambers; enclosed in a circular watchtower and partially fortified grounds.

It could be accessed through two gates: one lead to the house of the monk and the other to the church through an indoor patio. The two gates were accessed through two small bridges over a water channel parallel to the southern side of the building.

The church and the tower are the most meaningful elements of the building. The circular tower dates from 1558. It is catalogued as Cultural Property of National Interest. It is partially preserved because the existent part has been consolidated. The southern part collapsed circa 1963and the remains of the big blocks are piled at the side toward the mountain slope. One part is accumulated on the space that previously was the house of the priest. In the sectioned tower we can see the remains of a semi-circular structure and the opening to access the upper floor. The church is the element that shows a wider chronology. Its walls are testimony of a lot of modifications. At the exterior of the apse, remains of an ancient Pre-Romanesque nave can be found. The ground plan of the current apse and the ground plan of the building show the reformation that took place in the first half of XVIII century. The building has one nave with a five-sided polygonal head; the cover has not been preserved, but two round diaphragm arches, and the centre at the western side of the building. This western side of the ground plan is not aligned to the rest of the plan.  The presbytery is around 20 cm higher. It can be found in the apse remains of an underpitch vault made of tiles and Baroque decoration with decorative remains, of plaster for moulding and dies. At the southern side of the apse the sacristy is situated. In the southern wall the entry gate can also be found.

 

Location

The chapel of Sant Baldiri de Taballera is located near the municipal district of el Port de la Selva, in the Cap de Creus Massif, about 5 Km from the city centre.

It can be accessed through el camí del masos (the trail of the country houses) in the Natural Park of Cap de Creus. Currently this trail is part of the trail of long distance GR11. One must leave the town in direction to Cala Tamariua and following the signal  “totes direccions” (all directions) until reaching the forest trail that joins el Port de la Selva to Cala Taballera, where after Mas Puignau is a fork in the path that leads down to the chapel.

Lately there has been work on the consolidation and restoration of the church. Nowadays there is a pending archaeological excavation.

 

History

The reference documents of Sant Baldiri are always linked to the Count Family of  Empúries, the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes and Girona Abbey, inside the temple of  Selva de Mar.

The first document that mentions Sant Baldiri is a document from 974 of the King Louis II d'Outremer in favour of the abbot Hildesind of St. Pere de Rodes. It appears also in the same year, in a document of the Count of Empúries-Rosselló, Gausfred, where it widened the properties of Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes. From this point on, reference to Sant Baldiri of Taballera and its hermit can be found in all the middle-age period. In the modern age, in 1558 there is a document where the master of houses Bartomeu del Mar built the tower “to protect the chapel of Sant Baldiri de la Selva” from the threat of pirate raids. The pastoral visits of XVIII century show the reformation process that the building went through, much deteriorated at the end of XVII century. A new ground plan was built and new liturgical elements were acquired. After the second half of the XIX century, the activity in the chapel must have decreased because it does not appear in the pastoral visits of the area. Although it still charged a census to the farmer tenants in the area for the maintenance of the temple. In 1936, the soldiers destroyed the ceiling of the church. According to photos from the twenties, the annex buildings had already started to crumble.

Basic Bibliography

Badia i Homs, Joan; Sant Baldiri de Taballera. Romanesque Catalonia. Empordà II. Fundació Enciclopèdia Catalana. Barcelona. 1999. p.647-649

 

Protection measures

The building is located inside the area of protection of Cap de Creus Natural Park, in the category of Natural Landscape of National Interest.

The tower of Sant Baldiri has been declared Cultural Property of National Interest since 1985 and the building of the chapel of Sant Baldiri is catalogued since 2006 as Cultural Property of National Interest.