Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

Nuestra Señora de las Nieves Parish Church

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The Santa Maria de las Nieves Church was built in the fourteenth century; however, it had to be rebuilt after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake as the naves collapsed. The side chapels on the Epistle side, the choir and the belfry were also built during this period. The architects Pedro de San Martín, Tomás Zambrano and Pedro de Silva carried out the reconstruction. The reconstructed central nave is covered with a plain wooden ceiling and the side naves with groin vaults, separating with lowered arches. The chapels on the right side are likely from the late 18th century.

This Mudejar church has a Latin cross plan with three naves supported by pillars, with a ribbed vault presbytery. There is a high choir at the west end of the church, and chapels on the Epistle side of the nave, mentioned before.

The three-panel, baroque main altarpiece was made between 1725 and 1734 by Francisco de Acosta and Bartolomé García de Santiago. The master gilder was Francisco López, a native of La Algaba. The 16th-century titular image is Our Lady of the Snows, who presides over the high altar. Next to her stand the images of Saint Bartholomew, who was highly revered in the past, and almost forgotten today, Saint Peter, Saint Ferdinand, Saint John the Baptist and Saint Sebastian.

The church is also home to sculptures of little merit, except for the Christ of the Star, transferred here from the local Franciscan convent, a 17th-century bust of the Ecce Hommo and a statue of Saint Martha, patron saint of La Algaba, from around 1590. The organ is also noteworthy. The organ’s casework was made by Francisco de Acosta in 1779. The goldwork is quite elaborate and abundant with elements carved by Francisco de Alfaro.

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