Detail from the Parable of the Careful Virgins, Iglesia de Sant Quirze de Pedret (Bergueda)
c.1100 Musuem of Catalan Art, Barcelona

Mozarabic Spain, that area under Muslim domination, developed styles of dress distinct from those of the rest of Christian Europe. Unlike the previous period, there is more evidence in miniatures as to styles for this period of Spanish history. Bernis first mentions the camisa, but does not explain the nature of this garment, except for the mention of camisas lineas (linen) and camisas siricas (silk) and the fact that these were white and other colors. There is, however, more information on tnicas. In Spain, unlike the rest of Europe, these were seen in great variety and many had names of Arabic origin. The mutebag was tight and sleeveless while the mofarage or mofarrex was split and open from the waist, leaving the legs bare.

The Roda Bible (cat.158, fol.66r) Biblioteque Nationale, Paris
Scenes from the Book of Daniel.11th
The upper class wore tunicas in different lengths which were worn over each other (and outer tunics were called pintelles, or aljubas, a term that is used in succeeding centuries to designate an outer garment. There is also reference to the adorra, which was buttoned down the front, probably the earliest reference to buttons. There are also seen tnicas that are open in front to an inverted point, those that are lengthened in back to the ankles (sometimes in points) and those with a rectangular train in the back. Tunicas were made of wool and linen and, in the Kingdom of Leones, they were seen in expensive colored silk. (Muslim Spain at this time was in competition with the Orient in the manufacturing of silk fabrics.) Garments were decorated with strips (possibly of embroidery) on the cuffs, sleeves, and shoulders, and a single garment could be made of several different colors of cloth. Fabric was decorated with small overall patterns, especially groups of three dots, and also with larger patterned stripes.

Left: Robing of Adam and Eve. Reliquary of Saint Isidore.
1063 or earlier. Real Colegiata de San Isidoro, León


Right: Ferdinand I (?). Reliquary of Saint Isidore. 1063 or earlier.
Real Colegiata de San Isidoro, León

Left: Monastery of San Millán del a Cagolla (Legroña) . 1060-1080. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.




Right: Abiside, in the Iglesia de
Stan Pere de Bugal, Lérida
end of 11th century

Museum of Catalan Art, Barcelona

Mantles also developed a great variety and were mobatana (fur-lined), barragan (wool), and alifafe (made of different furs). Common furs were weasel, rabbit, and lamb. A peculiarly Spanish style, probably originating from the Roman paenula, was completely closed, was shorter in the back than in the front, and had a band decorating the lower front edge. Another traditionally Spanish style, worn by both men and women, is one that had an opening for the left arm. Also still seen is the short Visigothic cape.

Beato. Catedral de Burgo de Osma

Masculine Spanish fashion is distinguished by garments for the legs, especially loose-fitting pants gathered at the ankles, seen in pictures of knights and other important figures; a shorter version of these are worn by the lower class. These pants could possibly be descendants of the Visigothic femaralis, or might show Muslim influences.

Most names for footwear do show this influence, such as ballugas, which rose up around the ankles, and soccos, albacas, and zapatones. (Zapatas came to be one of the generic name for footwear through the Renaissance.) There are also mentioned sandalia, obviously from the Romans, and we see shoes with curled pointed toes, showing Arabic influence.

Left: King Ramiro and a Companion (plaque from a reliquary of Saint Aemilian) 1060-80.
Monastery of San Millán del a Cagolla (Legroña) . State Hermitage Musuem,
Saint Petersburg

Right:Monastery of San Millán de la Cagolla (Legroña) . 1060-1080.



Various types of headwear are shown in miniatures, from the tall, pointed mitres of the bishops to the semi-circular, crested silhouetted of the king. Also seen is the tall, round headwear of the upper class and the pointed helmet (?) of the soldier. Turbans are also evidenced, and this could explain what looks like a disc around the heads of some figures. Also described is a hood that covers the head and neck, held to either with a large band called an almaizar.

11th Century Image Gallery