March 21, 2006

Global Seminars & Invited Speaker Series


protocol Pamplona's funeral in the Modern Age

Mr. José Luis Molins Mugueta.
Municipal Archivist of Pamplona

José Luis Molins Mugueta, Municipal Archivist, analyzed the funeral protocol dedicated by the City of Pamplona to people of royal lineage, throughout the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Starting from antecedents that he traced back to classical Roman antiquity, speaker analyzed the funerals of the Navarrese monarchs of the Evreux dynasty, Charles II and, singularly, Charles III, as important milestones in the shaping of the later ceremonial. He pointed out that the Cathedral of Pamplona, scene of coronations and burials in the twilight of the Age average, was then determined as the religious environment of choice for the celebrations that the institutions of the Kingdom -Virrey with the Royal committee and Courts, on the one hand, and Regiment of the City, on the other-, dedicated to the deceased monarchs, spouses or members of their families, belonging to the Austrian and Bourbon dynasties, reigning over Navarre. He then made accredited specialization to the so-called "solitude of the kingdoms", a circumstance that occurs in the Monarchies of the Modern Age, when the aggregation of different kingdoms and territories necessarily determines for the most the distance of the Court, which can only be located in one of them. The "absent king" paradoxically becomes "present" on the occasion of his death, because it gives occasion to the protocol and theatrical staging of institutions, personalities and people, in intensely codified funeral rituals and loaded with deep symbolic meaning. Through the examples of Paris and Rome exposed the propagandistic purpose and image that this funeral subject intended to achieve in foreign courts.

Throughout the exhibition could be seen how the abundant documentation preserved in the Municipal file can reliably reconstruct the funeral protocol Pamplona. Singularly the manuscript called Book of Ceremonial and Functions gives an account of the details of this process, in which were concerned about provisions such as the adoption of the mourning, the preparation of wax and the raising of the mound, property of the Regiment and main piece of the funerals organized by Viceroy, committee and Courts and, in workshop following, the City. The streets were then witnesses of three sorrowful processions: of condolences, to the royal palace of the Navarrería; of eve and funeral mass, to the cathedral. All of them, with beginning and end at the town hall.

The catafalque was the object of special treatment, both in its typology and evolution over time, as well as in its symbolic character. Thus, the lecturer adduced reasons to consider the tumulus as a political and social expression of the Monarchy, a symbolic building of personal virtues of the deceased, a reflection of the dynasty and personalization of the sovereign; and, as such, a witnessed object of honors and deference.

José Luis Molins ended his dissertation alluding to the set of 101 "hieroglyphs" conserved in the Municipal file , painted on paper, corresponding to four series of symbolic emblems, which illustrated the tombs of Felipe V, Bárbara de Braganza, Isabel de Farnesio and Carlos III. Due to its rarity, this set from Navarre is of singular importance, if we take into account that, as far as the Hispanic Monarchy is concerned, practically all the originals of this subject have disappeared on both sides of the Atlantic. Recently they have been the object of a complete restoration work, prior to the diffusion of its knowledge.