PLA DE NADAL
To our collaborator Germán Anastasio, who has provided us with much of the images in this sheet and the bibliography used to make the text.
- Large aulic villa built within a palatine complex 20km from Valencia by the Visigoth dux Teodomiro in the late 7th century and/or early 8th century.
- Discovered in 1971 by turning the environment into a field of orange trees and after the destruction of a very important part of its structures.
- Excavated between 1981 and 1989 with consolidation projects between 1999 and 2003, it continued with the restoration and enhancement of the site, including its musealization. It was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1991.
The last phase of the Visigoth monarchy was a time of great conflict, of great weakness of the kings, in which the magnates of some territories came to have such an important power that allowed them, after the Arab conquest, act independently in their relations with the emirate of Córdoba, with cases as significant as that of Casio, Visigoth count of Spanish-Roman origin, who ruled in large part of Aragon, converted to Islam and became vassal of Al Andalus preserving his domains, where he created the Banu dynasty Almost dominated that area until later in the 10th century. A very different case is that of Duke Pedro de Cantabria, territory that remained independent after the Islamic invasion. His son Pedro married Ermesinda, daughter of Don Pelayo, which gave rise to the dynasty of the Asturian kings.
Another very important case, but of lesser duration, was that of Dux Teodomiro, noble Visigoth who, being governor of a region in the east of the peninsula, fought alongside Don Rodrigo in the Battle of Guadalete and in 713 reached an agreement with the Arabs to maintain, under vassalage, the domain of the so-called Cora de Teodomiro, territory that included a wide area of the Hispanic southeast, from Valencia to Lorca. In return, he had to rule on behalf of the Caliph of Damascus and his emirs of Cordoba and collect taxes for them. Its territory was reduced by 740 until Valencia, and with it Pla de Nadal, were destroyed by the army of Emir Abderrahman I around 778-779. Not to be confused with another Teodomiro, the bishop of Iria Flavia discoverer of the tomb of Santiago at the end of the 9th century.
In its greatest splendor, possibly in the late 7th and early 8th centuries, Teodomiro built a large palatine complex in what we now call Pla de Nadal, about 20 km from Valencia, as evidenced by two epigraphies found in excavations that indicate that the promoter of its construction was the<em> Dux Teodomiro.</em>
Unknown until 1971 that, by turning the environment into a field of orange trees and after the destruction of a very important part of the structures discovered, the Prehistoric Research Service of the Diputación de Valencia received the first information about what was happening. The destruction of what remained was halted, excavation work was carried out between 1981 and 1989, which was followed by several consolidation projects, and between 1999 and 2003 work continued on the restoration and enhancement of the site, including its musealization. The end result is due to a multidisciplinary collaboration of researchers from different specialties and from different companies and agencies.
Forming part of a palatine complex, the Visigoth villa of the Pla de Nadal was a large palace inspired by the Roman villas, but with portico, galleries and advanced towers. It had at least two floors as some Byzantine palaces; while the ground floor, rustic in appearance, was dedicated to the storage of agricultural products such as grain, wine or oil, the upper was residential, very luxurious, profusely decorated with stuccoes, paintings and with lots of friezes and other architectural elements, from which have been recovered about 800 pieces of carved stone, of them 400 correspond to structural elements and the other 400 to ornamental pieces. However, they have not disposed of remains of furniture, which indicates that the palace was looted before burning it.
Although one part is made up of reused Roman material, in most cases they are pieces created for the building by several hands or workshops, carved to bevel following the Toledo sculptural model with a theme generally based on veneras, Acantos and trifolias, carved in lattices, decorated plates and capitals of visigoth invoice and cubic form or troncopiramidal, forming the most important set, both for its quality and for its quantity, of the visigoth Hispania, and perhaps of all the western European at that time.
It is important to note that among these pieces have been found two epigraphies that are preserved in the Prehistory Museum of Valencia, with the name of the building’s promoter: a cruciform monogram in which you can read: TEBUD[IN]R, and the word TEUDINIR in a graphite on a venera, which attribute to Teodomiro the construction of the building.
The destruction of much of its remains to plant orange trees prevents know the structure of the original building, but thanks to a multidisciplinary work and with the help of a laser scanner has been obtained a model in relief in a 3D printer of the known part, and the infographic reconstruction of the entire palace, in which details such as balustrades, windows, porticos, facades and towers, have been obtained from the original pieces found.
As seen in the theoretical reconstruction, the building, symmetrical around the north-south axis, consisted of at least two floors that would reach 12 m in height, with a portico on the main side, the southern one, protected by a wing of the building on each side, and two other smaller porticos to the south of the eastern and western sides, also protected by side compartments, all covered by flat and curved tiles to different span><span<span=”>water, with evacuation pluvial by gargoyles.
From the remains found it is known that the ground floor was dedicated to rustic tasks and the storage of agricultural products, with very little decoration while the upper, residential noble floor very decorated and paved with a ground of opus signinum, would belong to most of the sculpted pieces that have appeared.
The central nave, rectangular 17 x 5.30m. it had windows on the two major sides and was flanked by two large towers of square plan and very careful aesthetic, finished on a third floor with four windows on each side, communicating with the main hall through interesting horseshoe arches of low fascia.
Another detail to note is that within the same palace complex, existed about 300m south of this villa, another building, possibly of religious character, totally destroyed in 1989! to make a road, from which only a few remains of decoration, very similar to those of Pla de Nadal were saved.
It seems evident that we are before a set of palace and church, of great parallelism with the little we know of the Vega Baja de Toledo, with the formed by Los Hitos and San Pedro de la Mata and the exceptional Asturian ensemble of the Naranco and its mysterious architect, which we believe is closely related to Visigoth art, which he must have known when many of its monuments were still standing.
Other interesting information
Coordenadas GPS: 39.49994N – 0.536024W
Teléfono de Información: 34 962 772 184.
Oficina de Turismo: c/ Cisterna nº 30, Rivaroja.
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Yacimiento Visigodo Pla De Nadal
Museo Visigodo de Pla de Nadal – MUPLA –
Recuperando el palacio visigodo de Pla de Nadal
Pla de Nadal El Palacio de Tevdinir