Church of Sant Ponç de Prades de la Molsosa
The Church of Saint Pontius is in the north-east of the municipal area and comes under the Church of Santa Maria de la Molsosa. The curious bipartite structure of the interior indicates that it is the result of an extension of the original temple, most likely in the seventeenth century, when the nave on the northern side was annexed, connecting to the Romanesque part through two large arcades.
Three baroque altarpieces (dedicated to SS Abdon and Sennen, Saint Pontius and Our Lady of the Rosary)
The three altarpieces also date from the seventeenth century. On the eastern wall is the piece depicting the patron saint of the church, Saint Pontius, and that showing Our Lady of the Rosary; such devotion was very popular in the late sixteenth century. On the southern side are Abdon and Sennen, patron saints of farmers. This dedication was particularly widespread in rural areas; also it later gave over to the worship of Saint Isidore, who was canonised in the early sixteenth century.
These are three interesting examples of altarpiece art adapted to the means of the more modest communities and churches, but of worthy value. In particular is the piece depicting SS Abdon and Sennen, Persian princes and martyrs. The cut of the piece, the free-standing sculptures and the reliefs on the predella, showing scenes of three episodes in their lives—in particular the scene of the two saints burying Christian martyrs, show the work of a skilled sculptor, who has achieved an ensemble of remarkable force of composition. In regard to the other two pieces, their most obvious values lie in the meticulous architectural design and the variety of subjects they depict between figures and paintings. This is particularly clear in the Rosary piece, which shows the fifteen mysteries that made up the brotherhood’s prayers. It is interesting to note that the images on the canvases depicting the fifteen mysteries were based on a method that was very popular in Catalonia, the use of copies of greater works (estampes de traducció), which enabled local painters to transport new developments in European art to places like La Molsosa. Unfortunately, all three remain anonymous today.