History

At the end of the XII century, after the reconquest, the first christians inhabitants of this land built a church. We don`t know almost nothing about that primitive building. Maybe it was built in the Romanic style, and, it was probably smaller than ours. Nevertheless, we are sure, that it was built in the same place than the current one.
In 1307 the bishop of Zaragoza became the owner of these lands, and he started to think about the possibility of building a new church. This new edifice was built in the architectonical style more common in that age: The gothic style.
 The Works started around 1314 and continued until 1348. The bishop in this period was Pedro Lope de Luna, who was the great promoter of the works in this stage. His coat of arms, can be seen still today above the door that gives access to the temple`s tribune.

In the middle of the XIV century, the Black Death devastated these lands, and forced to stop the job, when the new church had been constructed only to the second section.
The medieval inhabitants of Valderrobres had to wait until 1390 to see the Works restarted. This was the age of García Fernández de Heredia as Archbishop of Zaragoza, his promotion to the Works will bequeath to Valderrobres the best of his monumental heritage.
At the same time that he was transforming the old defensive tower into an impressive palace, he started to build the third section of the church, the belfry and the fourth section which never was finished.
Sadly, the archbishop Heredia was killed in 1411 and he never could see the ending of his projects.
His death didn`t stop the works. The pope Benedict XIII sent around seventy saracen slaves to continue the works. The slaves remained three years in Valderrobres, until 1415.
The conclusion of the church didn’t come until 1430 when a new archbishop became the lord of the territory, Dalmau de Mur y Cervellón, promoted the last stage of the Works in the church (he ruled out the fourth section, and ended the building in the third one) the belfry and the access to the castle.
In this stage, the castle and the church got a look very similar to the one we have always known. Just the sacristy would be added in 1720. Nonetheless, the defects in the structure of the third stage, the leakages and other flaws changed the look of the church as the years went by.
In the eighteenth century we began to find evidences of troubles with drips and leaks in the roof of the third stage and from nineteenth century forward the condition of this stage is described as ruinous.
In 1859, the priest and the town hall asked for help to repair the church, but their petition was rejected by the bishopric. Finally in May of 1877, without any other option, they decided to pull down the roof and an important part of the third stage.
When the winter came that year, they started to build a wall to separate the ruined stage from the others parts of the church the same way they started to build an elevated wood chorus to the people who usually was settled in the third stage.
In 1936, the Spanish civil war came to Valderrobres and the church is severely damaged.
Most altars, altarpieces, and chapels were destroyed. The images in the walls are destroyed or severely damaged, so his look is deeply altered.
As soon as the war ended, the first attempts to repair the church started. Maybe, the most important one was the copy of a renaissance altarpiece hired to Albareda brothers to replace the one which was lost during the war.
But the main restoration took place in 1965 when the priest Vicente Hostaled was capable of convince all the town about the need of restoring the church. The most citizens from Valderrobres worked in that restoration and each one of them did whatever they knew to do.
This time they look for recover the gothic look that they considered the original one, rejecting all the other restorations made after the war. This way, the Albareda brothers altarpiece is rejected, as are rejected too the wood chorus and many other wood elements. 
To help in this restoration they hired the sculptor Amadeo Paltor Voltá, from Olessa de Monserrat (Lerida). He sculpted the giant Christ that still today is after the Main Altar and the heads of the four figures in the main entrance.
The restoration was completed with a new floor, now made with floor tiles, a new altar, sculpted from a giant mil Stone, and new alabaster coverings for the windows.
This way, the church gets in its first stages the look that we can see still today. But the recovering of the third stage was still pendant.
In the year 2003 was created the heritage recovering Valderrobres association “Repavalde” and its first objective was the recovering of the third stage of the lost stage of the church.
The association began to look for supporters to its objective. They started to talk with the bishopric, the political parties and other authorities to get funds and permissions to start the restoration.
After three years of preparations, the Works started in 2006 and were concluded in 2009.
Today the church of Valderrobres is a reference inside the gothic architecture of Aragon and a basic element in the heritage of Valderrobres.
Website created by the Valderrobres Heritage Foundation
Plaza de España nº 1 44580 Valderrobres (Teruel) castillodevalderrobres@yahoo.es - 679634438