The Church of Sant Joan de Caselles is one of the many historical sites visitors to Andorra should make a point of visiting. Dating back to sometime between the 11th and 12th centuries, it’s on the way out of Canillo heading towards France.
Photo by Ferran Llorens
Sant Joan de Caselles church is typical of the architectural design and construction of the Romanesque churches in Andorra. The church is typical of the period. All tend to have rectangular naves with a wooden roof, and semi-circular apses. The square bell tower was not part of the original church building.
The three tier bell tower was built separately from the rest of the church and at a much later date, probably during the 14th century. It has Lombard style windows on the upper two levels, but only on three sides .
Other later additions to the exterior of Sant Joan de Caselles are the two porches that were most likely built sometime in the 16th or 17th centuries.
The interior retains some of the stucco portraying a Romanesque portrayal of Christ in Majesty which is most probably 12th century, so likely to be the original stucco added during construction. There’f also a mural pictorial scene representing the crucifixion, with Longinus and Stephanus accompanied by the Sun the Moon. Behind the altar grill there’s a 16th century altarpiece likely dating back to the Italian and German Renaissance period. It depicts scenes from the life and eventual martyrdom of Saint John, the patron saint of the church.
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