Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Barcelona, Royal Chapel Minor, Interior. Santa Maria de Palau, 4 Ataulf Street. Four Atulf Street. Templar Origins

Interior, Chapel, Palau Reial Menor 
Royal Chapel Minor, Barcelona 
Santa Maria de Palau
Lesser Royal Palace

Once Templar

Arrive at 4 Ataulf Street after dusk, after a long site hunt through alleyways, enter to find a small service in process, wait and feel welcomed. A very old priest, perhaps five worshippers, all old, old.  Polite photographs, each time gesturing for permission as the equivalent of the altar guild closed up.

Barcelona, Altar, Interior, Chapel, Palau Reial Menor, Royal Chapel Minor,  at 4 Ataulf Street. The Lesser Royal Palace.

This Chapel was once a Templar place of worship, although it has undergone renovations, and even been moved to this location.  What is original?  I am still looking for a comprehensive assessment somewhere.

Templars being exonerated. The Templars were declared heretic in 1307, tortured and killed, and the Order dissolved in 1313.  I understand that the Vatican is in process of exonerating them, update October 5, as Pope Clement found them innocent of heresy long ago -- and suppressed the order.  It has been found, misfiled.  See a history by an ongoing group,

1.  On the walls were several Cross Alisee Patee shapes, Cross forms, like a engraved stencil perhaps, re-darkened, but not deeply carved into the stone.  FN 1.

Templars held no monopoly on crosses like these.  See variations of this rounded, encircled variation also known as cross formee or cross formy, but these shapes frequent their places.  Do a search, in images.  A motorcycle club has adopted it for its protective symbolism, see  

Crosses Alisee Pattee:

More crosses alisee pattee at the Santa Maria de Palau.  This niche is stoned up.  Would that make the cross affixed more likely to be original, but where does the door go?
The chapel itself was moved to this location after 1859 when the rest of the palace had been demolished or was crumbled, see the long history of this chapel and the Templar history at 

2.  Chapel history, roughly:

1099          Bernard of Clairvaux establishes the Templars, see chronology at Crusades continue.
1134         Templars establish a "garrison-fief" along the city wall, to continue and enhance their influence over Aragon, capital Barcelona. A larger church was built outside the city, at Palau -Solita. See (click to translate)
1246-48   Chapel built by Templars
1282         Templar commanderie moved from Palau-Solita to this location
1312         Catholic Church and King decimate, killed most of the Templars, in a hunt that went on for years, and confiscated their property for their own coffers
to 1400     While a convent was being constructed for Dominican Sisters, the Chapel here was given over for their use. Entrenchment, conversion, of the institution's ideas and policy to further weaken Templar influence, even in memory.
 1500's -
1850's or so  The powerful Recasens family take control 
1542        Recasens family builds larger tower and Gothic vaulting, stonework
1859        Old palace torn down, as part of tearing down old walls, expanding the city.  Area given over to Jesuits, chapel renamed Our Lady of Victory.  Jesuits tore down the tower and added a second story for their library.
2001 +/-  Restorations.  Mass once a day.

3.  Number 4 Ataulf Street, Atulf Street, Barcelona.  At the time of the renovation in the 1600's or so, how much of the original chapel,although later moved, was left even then? These numbers could be part of the stations of the cross, and not the building address number for the post office, is that so?

Interior, 4 Ataulf Street, Chapel, Palau Reial Menor, Barcelona

Station Number 4 would be where Jesus meets his mother on the way to the cross.  To be checked. Need to enlarge, etc.

4.  The Black Madonna, the Virgin of Montserrat. Niche at Royal Chapel Minor

Why is.The Black Madonna of Montserrat here?  The original is a centerpiece of a monastery some 30 miles to the northwest, and is reproduced in many places. Pope Leo in the late nineteenth century declared this carved Black Virgin to be the patron saint of Catalonia. Does the original date from the early Church in the Holy Land, even carved by Luke, or is it merely Romanesque from the 12th Century?

Scholars disagree, see

Somebody could take a chip and date this, but apparently it has not been done. Still, why would it appear in a Templar chapel, renovated in the 16th Century, except that later believers apart from any Templar roots wanted it?

This stone niche is more approachable than this fenced-in Black Madonna. Same church?  Coloring and gilt are all different, so I have to check.  Meanwhile, no label. My son and I swapped cards as my more "advanced" camera finked out, and his soldiered on.

5.  Ironwork, interior door, Palau Reial Menor.

Again, I believe this ironwork door was from the interior of Palau Reial Menor, but the swapping of photocards makes it uneasy.

I was interested because of a similar door -- would you believe -- in a Templar round church in Denmark. See it at Now, look specifically at the lock forms.  A variation on the usual crosses.  Still checking that.

5.  Place-holder photograph while I check.  These have no embedded identification until I find more definitively what they are. Those of us who travel on our own, with cameras, and sloppy notebooks,  make mistakes, but want to preserve a record for later correction-additions.

Bear with us, and do try this kind of travel, on your own.  Adrenalin, brain synapses and fun,  can result from these kinds of hunts. for some of us.

Questions from our poor record-keeping in our sloppy but well-meaning logs:

Is this from this church, or another?  Here for now, unlabelled until sure.  There is a 1748 in it, and reference to ____ de Ramon. Earlier Ramon connections could be to the Counts of Barcelona, see  But this one?

Also here as a placeholder. Which church? With fiddling, perhaps I can type this one out and translate.

Also not sure.  Looks too fancy for here. Dan and I had to swap cards sometimes when my untrusty camera died on and off.

Closeup of black madonna from photograph of whoever above.


Symbol of the crescent, connected with Black Madonna; or perhaps another figure, Sara la Kali,.  See Gdansk at another site of ours, at  Tracking groups' dogma and narrative is one thing, and usually leads to ambiguities that do not fit.  Go there yourself, pose the question, and see what else you find. 

Follow along:  now go back to Denmark's Rundkirke, and find the crescent also on the headgear of Saint Lawrence, at

Do those anomalies, coincidences, repeated theme symbols, add up to anything?  We stay interested, and surprised at the lack of first hand information we find.  Everyone seems to quote from other sources and conclude that those, because antecedent, must be correct.  Nuts.

6.  Skull and crossbones. 

Hold this image.

This church or another?  The symbolism is explored, vet it yourself, at

It is hard to imagine that this would survive not only 1312's slaughter and confiscations, but also possession by the Catholic Church and the rest of the history here.  Did it?

7.  Heraldry on the wall, high up, Ssanta Maria de Palau 


In close-up, there are four quadranats, with a diagonal going from high left to lower right, facing the sigil. In the top right quadrant are four it looks like horses, a checkered sheild is in the center, and two animals (also horses or are the necks too short?) in the lower left quadrant.

There is a heraldry institute of Rome. I looked up the Recasens family, but came up dry, at This shows Recasens, but no similarities with this simple quadrant and diagonal cum horses. See

8.  Stonework by interior door, renovations-repairs apparent.  Need to do a close-up. And what is the M?

Close-up of other portal work, see


FN 1
  • Missing from this otherwise fine site for interest-routes available to tourists in Spain is anything to do with the Templars.  Are the guilty institutions still so fearful of them, while the rest of us remain horrified at the bloody revenge taken upon them beginning 1312 for their acquisition of power and development of whatever they developed, on their own? See Templars.  Denied even the memory, the fate of those deemed heretic and whose property was confiscated to enrich the powers; and is that why the fictions grow? 
  •  Needed:  A route that will root in Templar fact, if any can still be found after the destruction.
  • Shall we examine exactly what was heretical about them, and why differing beliefs should justify mass murder, as it does and did?  The heritage of crusade:  that those who deem themselves right can kill of the others, and do so without societal consequence.

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