Thomas Becket paintings unveiled in Spain





For the first time in 30 years, wooden protective boards and a glass panel have been taken away to fully reveal a rare medieval artwork.

The paintings in the ruined church of St Nicolas in the Spanish town of Soria tell the story of the murder of the English Archbishop Thomas Becket.

The story of Becket is told in most British classrooms as part of medieval history lessons. He is remembered as the Archbishop of Canterbury who stood up to a king and for his trouble was murdered by the king's knights while he was praying.

The murder was to turn Becket into a saint. It was also one of the first big showdowns between the Roman Catholic Church and a European monarchy.

King Henry II never forgave himself for his role in the murder of his political foe and his guilty conscience found its way to Spain. His daughter, Eleanor of England, married the Spanish King, Alfonso VIII.

As a way of asking God to forgive her father, Eleanor commissioned paintings of the murder of Becket to adorn the walls of a church in the northern Spanish town of Soria.


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