It is located in the Navarrese Pyrenees
at the entry to the Salazar and Roncal valleys, in the only almiradío
that is conserved in Navarre. The mediaeval distribution of the land in Navarre contained this geographic figure; the areas were headed by a tenente
(lieutenant) or 'almirante' (admiral) appointed by the king of Navarre. The chapel of Santa María del Campo is one of the main relics of this historic territory.
Influenced by the Jaca school of architecture, it is a building with ashlar stones that has harmonious proportions and a stone slab roof. It has a single nave with three sections and a semicircular header. One unusual element, due to its special location in the middle of the nave, is the belfry. Square and slim, it opens up to the outside through large pointed geminate windows.
Another striking feature of Santa María del Campo
is its collection of corbels sculputed with popular themes. Generally well conserved, they show beasts, birds, characters that look down on the observer or are in movement - like the man with the urinal or the acrobat doing a somersault. Some of them are clearly related to theRomanesque Puerta Speciosa of the Monastery of Leire
. Both constructions have a naked women combing her hair (personifying lust), lions with "design"
long legs and claws or mouths and birds of plumage that peck at their feet, representing souls that wish to escape.
Access to the interior of the chapel is through a pointed arch with two archivolts in the form of a chessboard and a christogram of the Jaca school. The first thing that draws your attention on entering the church is the height of the vaults and the narrowness of the nave. The Romanesque
sobriety of the interior is interrupted by pointed arches, schematically sculpted capitals and a 16th-century baptismal font.