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Church in Baqueira, Pirineo de Lleida

The liturgical renovation movement that took place in France and Germany during the second half of the 20th century, and particularly the directives of the II Ecumenical Council of the Vatican (held between 1962 and 1965), produced big changes in religious architecture after those years, both in the interior organisation of the churches and in the architectural language, which finally cast off neoclassical evocations to commit itself to contemporary forms.

In this context, the proposal made by Josep Ribas González in the mid-eighties was radically innovative, especially within the setting where it was built, the Vall d’Aran, in the heart of the Pyrenees, and beside the most emblematic Romanesque churches. With the materials taken from the area –stone, slate and wood– and with occasional interventions of moulded concrete, he created a new type of church that combines tradition and modernity.

It is a play of very well articulated volumes, with three levels of gable roofs spaced out successively, creating a series of oblique windows that light up the inside of the building from overhead.
Two triangular windows, one on the front façade and the other on the rear façade, act as skylights and diffuse the light through the wood-covered ceiling. All these elements define an inner space that invites liturgical celebrations. From the outside, we can see a cross in negative form, inserted in a concrete pointed bell tower, giving the work identity and making it highly visible.

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