Santiponce Itálica

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Gelo Shrine

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The 15th-century Gelo Shrine was built in the Mudejar style, and its slender bell gable was added in the 17th century. The shrine is located three kilometres from Benacazón, on the road linking Seville with Villamanrique, opposite the Hacienda de Gelo.

The shrine is a simple rectangular building with a gabled roof that was renovated in 1939. Inside, it is divided into a nave and two aisles by two rows of rectangular pillars. The chancel holds the square high altar covered by a groin vault on squinches and two rooms, one on each side.

The Cathedral Chapter of Seville presided over by Dean Francisco de Monsalve, met on 3 February 1631 to discuss the urgent need to build a belfry for this Mudejar building located on the outskirts of Benacazón, as there was a clear need ‘to call the faithful’. The bell gable was designed by the Cathedral Chapter’s master-builder in the typical style of belfries built for convents in Seville at the time. The brick structure with a plaster render crowns the portal below. The design is similar to those found at La Caridad and Santa María la Blanca churches in Seville.

The bell gable consists of two levels, the upper being smaller than the lower, with a base framed by wide mouldings. The two bell openings are framed by semi-circular arches on imposts, flanked by pilasters topped by an entablature with decorative circles. The same type of pilaster is found at the sides of the bell gable. The work was paid for by Luis Ramírez de Arellano, the owner of the Gelo estate, with the Cathedral of Seville contributing 1,000 reals.

 

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