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Church of St. Anne

Diputación de Málaga
Iglesia parroquial de Santa Ana. Archidona

Church of St. Anne

In 1462 the Christian troops conquered Archidona and set up residence within the walls of the Moorish city. They remodelled the mosque into a new church where the image of Santa Maria stands today.

From the 16th century on, the population started to increase and the village grew out along the side of the hill to form what is called Villa Baja, which is a part of Archidona today. In order to attend to the inhabitants spiritual needs, the church from the Villa Alta was not sufficient, and so at the beginning of the 16th century the church of Santa Ana was edified on the outskirts of the village. The Town Hall was also erected there and it slowly became the centre of life in the locality.

The Iglesia de Santa Ana was built true to Flemish Gothic style and had only one nave covered by a Gothic ribbed vault, which today has disappeared. The head of the church, one of the few elements that have been preserved from the original work, has a polygonal layout and is covered by a star-ribbed vault.

The sacristy was added in the 18th century next to the head. It is square and has a central column off which run some half-pointed arches that rest on the pilasters of the walls. In the last quarter of the 18th century the choir was built at the foot of the central nave and it was given a half-barrel vault. However, in 1883 the temple was in a terrible state of repair, as is stated clearly on a commemorative stone that is preserved in the sacristy. The archdeacon Carlos Sánchez de la Fuente y Escovar paid for some important construction work to be done that transformed the church. Two side chapels were added with their respective ribbed vaults that were like the Gothic style of the original church. The central nave was raised up so the original gothic ceiling disappeared. In order to do this the columns were reinforced by making them square and the original ones were lost. The original columns of the ribbed vault became decorative features.

The large altarpiece, that is similar to ones from the first half of the 18th century, is really outstanding, however, it is thought to have been built at the end of the century when the choir was built. It is built in gold plated wood and decorated with asymmetrical polychrome motifs. It has three separate aisles and is like the ones in the Convento del Carmen in Antequera. The entablement supports a highly decorated large pointed arch that adapts to the gothic structure at the end.

The order of the icons is quite easy to understand. On the upper part, the white dove, which is the Hoy Spirit is present during Mary’s lessons-she is the child of Santa Ana, head of the church, represented by a small group of sculptures from the XVIth century, which is re-used in this altarpiece and situated in the central vaulted niche. The Eucharist is housed in a small temple that opens up just below, which is currently occupied by the Virgen del Rosario. On either side there are images of the apostles Peter and Paul who are witnesses to this redemptive work. A canopy of cloth that takes up the entire space of the chapel surrounds the altarpiece and has geometric and floral motifs on it.

A unique triangular brick bell tower rises against the side of the head of the church and is buttressed. It was the first work of the 16th century. It has two tires separated by cornices that are very steep and covered with tiles. The main stone front from, the last part of the 18th, century is very simple. A half-pointed arch opens up betweeen Doric columns that are set on high bases. These support a pediment that contains a Papal Coat of Arms. This pediment is finished off on either side by pinnacles and a cross in the centre. The whole structure is finished off by some small open window slots and some gothic-looking windows on the upper part windows.

How to get there

C/ Don Carlos, s/n
Zip Code 29300

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