The iglesia mayor de Santa María de la Encarnación (Santa María de la Encarnación principal church) was built over the former main mosque between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. It therefore exhibits different architectural features from different styles, something that can be observed very clearly in the church’s interior. Part of the Arabic mosque’s mihrab (sacred niche indicating the direction of Mecca) is preserved, the entrance arch, decorated with gesso artwork from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The church was begun in 1508 in the late Gothic style, and the central of its three naves used to have a Mudéjar roof that was replaced with semi-spherical vaults after the earthquake of 1580, which caused structural damage to the church. There are seven chapels at the front of the church, which is done in Renaissance style, and many other details are clearly Baroque.
The choir room merits special note. It was built of walnut and cedar around the first third of the eighteenth century. The Virgen de los Dolores (Virgin of Sorrows), who looks down from one altarpiece, is attributed either to Martínez Montañés or to La Roldana, who whatever the case were both excellent image artists. The main Gothic façade is nearly hidden by the sixteenth century balcony, while the square-based tower is in the Mudéjar style. The Casita de la Torre (Little House of the Tower) next to the bell tower is a small Mudéjar-style chapel in whose decoration can be seen blind horseshoe arches.
- Recommended for families
- Located in an urban area
- Inland area
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