Legend has it that the walls of this church were built using the stones thrown from afar by the "gentiles", giant mythological beings with massive strength. The presence of these fictitious personages helped to explain one of the mysteries of this church: how it came to be built in this location.
La Antigua was built in a strategic spot
As you yourself will have noticed, we are on a high point that looks out onto a broad swathe of land. And it is a fact that Santa Maria La Antigua was built in a strategic location.
It was built of stone. In the Middle Ages this material was reserved for the most important buildings in the community such as the church.
La Antigua has not always been the same size
At first the church must have been smaller than the present one. As time passed, the church was gradually extended until it acquired the appearance it has today. Owing to the type of stone and technique used, as many as seven building periods have been identified.
Different types of stone were used to build it
The type of stone and technique used varied in each building period. Everything depended on the availability of the material and the buying power existing at that moment.
Mostly sandstone and boulders were used in the first church. As the church grew, limestone was used.
The master quarryman was responsible for the works. He was in charge of the gang of workers who went to work and put the stone in place. Cranes, ladders and a varied set of tools were operated by these workers.
To produce a block of stone with the desired shape, the quarrymen used a tool known as a pitching chisel for Santa Maria. This tool used to leave a characteristic series of dots behind on the stone.