Santillana del Mar (Santander) - interior capital.
Cantabria in Northern Spain has a rich assortment of amazing depictions
of lust and lechery. Two Collegiate churches especially feature such
carvings - presumably for the education of the student priests - at
Santillana and at Cervatos to the south in Palencia. The larger carvings
at Santillana are on interior capitals and concentrate impressively
on the phallus, while at Cervatos, close on 100 exterior corbels (plus
some exterior capitals) feature exhibitionist acrobats and apes, megaphallic
men and coupling beasts and humans (both hetero- and homo-sexual).
It is possible that the 12th century 'Reconquest' of most of Northern
Spain and Portugal involved a great deal of raping and looting. On
the other hand, the number of megaphallic, circumcised apes (often
yoked or chained) clearly indicates the usual dreary Christian triumphalism
The acrobatic female and megaphallic male below are two of the
corbels at Cervatos.
The illustrations on this page come from Románico Erótico
en Cantabria (1988) by Ángel del Olmo García
(Licenciado en geografía e historia) and Basilio Vara Verano
(Médico-sexólogo), whose bibliography includes
no book published outside Spain.
Santillana del Mar: a megaphallic harp
photo by Fernando Garcia Gil
Another corbel from the same Santillana church, preserved in the little museum.
photo by Carmen
Compare the megaphallic masturbator on a corbel (canecillo) at
Elines, not far away...
...and the female exhibitionist acrobat on an interior capital at Villanueva
de la Nía in Palencia.
for a web-page in Spanish about "erotic Romanesque carvings" in
with photos, including one of the female exhibitionists on window-capitals