Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

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Shrine to Nuestra Señora de Cuatrovitas

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This building was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1931. The Shrine to Nuestra Señora de Cuatrovitas or Cuatrohabitan is built on the site of an Almohad mosque. Only the minaret of the old mosque remains. It was adapted for Christian worship following the Reconquest.

The main vertical elements of this medium-sized shrine are the gabled roof, bell gable and bell tower –the minaret of the former mosque.

The front façade is shielded by a porch with three lowered semi-circular arches on pillars and extends beyond the porch. The side façades belong to the extensions attached to the shrine’s aisles.

The shrine is accessed through a doorway at the front, covered by a porch built to shelter the pilgrims. The door of standard proportions is set in an architraved opening framed by a lowered arch and flanked by wide pilasters.

What differentiates this shrine from others in the region is its orientation. Contrary to the traditional orientation of Christian buildings in an east-west direction, the Cuatrovitas Shrine points north, suggesting the possible reuse of the old mosque as a Christian temple, since the building’s orientation was usually changed when they were Christianised. This reuse of the building is also evident in the freestanding tower that would have served as a minaret.

In addition to the shrine and tower, the area surrounding the Cuatrovitas Shrine is an important archaeological site for pottery and architectural structures. The chapel now houses the image of Our Lady of Cuatrovitas, the patron saint of Bollullos de la Mitación and of the table olive-growers guild of the Aljarafe region.
 

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