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Travel and Culture: The church of San Felipe de Brihuega and the Seal of Solomon

Travel and Culture: The church of San Felipe de Brihuega and the Seal of Solomon

January 2020 · 4 min read · Castile-La Mancha

A former teacher and an invaluable friend said that when the river of tradition sounds, it is undoubtedly carrying historical water.

History and tradition usually go hand in hand, in a country, Spain, which was already old when gods and semi-gods disputed the supremacy of the ancient world, to the point that there are many historians who still insist on placing the mysterious Atlantis of Plato, in that mythical city of Tartesos, which is supposed to be located at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, before Hercules-Herakles dropped down through the Garden of the Hesperides, stole the oxen from Gerion and eliminated the giant Breogán, on whose corpse the legend tells that the symbol rises par excellence of La Coruña: the Tower of Hercules.

Guadalajara, despite the fact that for many years it was administratively listed as part of Castilla la Nueva, it has a history and traditions, which are as old and fascinating, as those that were giving character and identity to numerous places on the Peninsula Iberian

One of the most fascinating areas of Guadalajara, where to begin looking for those legendary mysteries that can make a trip much more attractive and fascinating, is located in a region, the Alcarria, which despite the books of Camilo José Cela and the Excellent quality of honey, its star product par excellence, is still quite unknown to the traveler in general.

One of its main capitals, is the old town of Brihuega, in medieval times important fortified bastion, which like the famous Hercules Cave of Toledo or the soriana city of Medinaceli, also has in its fascinating legends with the famous Tabla or Mesa of King Solomon, lost, according to the chronicles, shortly after the Muslim armies of Tariq invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the seventh century after Christ.

Brihuega is famous, in addition, for the quality of its three Romanesque churches, which although late and situated in that transition that historians consider as protogothic, show an interesting attraction, consolidating, in passing, a meritorious cultural aspect, where it may stand out, for its beauty, its elegance and its mystery, the church of San Felipe.

By its outline, the church of San Felipe could be comparable to the church of Santa María de la Oliva, located in the urban area of ​​Villaviciosa, in Asturias and that one, possibly also sponsored by the Portuguese Templars of the Order of Christ, called I am far from thinking about coincidences, also as Santa María dos Olivais.

Also, like those two mentioned references, a symbol, located in its western part, occupying the space destined for the rose window, above the cover, draws attention and comes to reinforce, even in a subjective way, the relationship of the place , not only with the mysterious Knights Templar, but also, with the aforementioned legend of the Table or Table of King Solomon and one of the possible places where it remained hidden to prevent it from falling into the hands of Muslims.

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Be that as it may, whether or not it is created in the relative value of the legends or traditions, there is no doubt that this unique temple will not disappoint the traveler who is anxious to make his trip an eminently cultural adventure, move to this charming corner of the Alcarria, and observe, in the elegance of its plant and in the height of its arches and arbotantes, the magic of those builders, precursors of a style, the Gothic, to which the great German poet, Goethe, defined as seekers of God in the highest.

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