Santiponce Itálica

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Santa María Magdalena Church

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This 19th-century neoclassical church was built over an earlier 14th-century temple (Shrine to Our Lady of Solitude), demolished in 1800 by the Count of Altamira. The church has a rectangular plan, a central nave and two aisles. The central nave, which is larger than the aisles, is covered with barrel vaults and the aisles with groin vaults. Adjacent to the transept of the right aisle is the Tabernacle Chapel that holds the titular images of the Confraternity of the True Cross (Our Father Jesus of the True Cross and Our Lady of the Greatest Sorrow).

The 16th-century main altarpiece, from the now-extinct Franciscan convent, was made by Diego López Bueno, a disciple of the famous sculptor Martínez Montañés. The images of San Francisco and San Pascual Bailón are located in the lower niches. There are four more niches. The upper two hold the statues of Santa Regina and Santa María Siríaca, and the bottom two those of San Zenón and San Sebastián.

The centre of the altarpiece houses a magnificent four-section reliquary and a gable, topped with a Lignum Crucis enclosed in a diamond-shaped rock crystal. This reliquary has two doors, each with the anagrams of the Franciscan and Dominican Orders in the centre.

There are also twin altars from the old Franciscan convent. One has a statue of Saint Joseph, attributed to Martínez Montañés, and the other an image of the Immaculate Conception by Juan de Astorga. Also worthy of mention is a rococo altarpiece of San Antonio, and a baroque one of Our Lady of El Rocío.

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