Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

Santa Maria Church

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The 18th-century temple was built on an old Mudejar temple from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, destroyed by the Lisbon earthquake. The project was completed, among others, by José Álvarez, a neoclassical architect who gave the church its current appearance and style.

The church has a hall plan and consists of three naves covered by vaults, the main chapel with a barrel vault and lunettes and a sacramental chapel attached to the Gospel nave. The transept is covered by a dome on pendentives, which provides abundant light to the whole temple. Attached to the left side are several buildings, namely the sacramental chapel, a cloister, the vestry, the archive and the parish library. 

The interior is profusely decorated with sculptures and paintings, both the altarpieces and walls. Worthy of note is the retable in the Rococo high altar with the interesting panel paintings of the Virgen de la Antigua from around 1575, attributed to Villegas Marmolejo, the choir stalls by Juan de Mesa and Andrés Díaz, between 1628 and 1632, and two altarpieces in the right nave with a 16th-century, life-size Crucified Christ and a panel with San Lorenzo de Villegas y Marmolejo from 1579.

This Parish Church also has a remarkable collection of sacred art, such as the Rococo chest of drawers in the Sacristy, plentiful and richly embellished liturgical vestments, a significant collection of choir books and many goldwork objects. 

Next to the vestry and the left nave is the church courtyard, with a fascinating collection of prehistoric, Roman and Arabic archaeological remains featured under the arcades.

The tower, clearly inspired by the Giralda, stands on one side of the façade. It consists of two square levels and a cylindrical cupola. It was extensively renovated after the 1755 earthquake when the belfry was destroyed. The current belfry alternates between lintels and semi-circular arches decorated with blue, oval tiles.

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