Santiponce Itálica


An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

Nuestra Señora del Monte Chapel


The current chapel stands on the same site as the original one, which must have been a modest single-nave Mudejar building, preceded or surrounded by porticoes, and flanked by outbuildings such as the house of the santero and the hostelry, where the people of Cazalla worshipped the Virgen del Monte at least since the mid-sixteenth century. 

The construction of the present sanctuary dates from between 1742 and 1753. The chapel shows a clear combination of features of the religious and popular architecture of the time. Thus, the interior is very classical, with its pilasters, cornices and vaults, following the lines of the official religious architecture of the time, while the exterior - of clean, bright whitewashed volumes - shares the characteristics of popular Andalusian architecture.

The new building is arranged around a nave preceded by a portico and also flanked by the house of the santero and the hostelry, although it includes a new and interesting construction: the alcove, a small space located behind the chancel which serves to house the image of the Virgin after whom the chapel is named. This arrangement also shows the influence of the Carthusian monastery, whose construction was completed precisely when that of the chapel began.

The nave of the chapel, with a rectangular floor plan, is divided into three sections plus the main chapel or chancel, behind which stands the alcove. The most outstanding feature of the interior is the main altarpiece, in keeping with the characteristics of those of the Sevillian school of the 18th century. Apart from the sculpture of the Virgin, in a niche in the Gospel wall of the chancel there is a sculpture of the Carmelite San Juan de la Cruz installed in the 1940s, when a poetic gathering promoted by José María Osuna took place in the chapel. 

The patron saint of the town is venerated in this chapel and an important pilgrimage and mass are held during the month of August, after which the image is carried to the centre of the town accompanied by a large number of horsemen, chariots and pilgrims.


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