The Royal Collegiate Church of the Saint Mary
This building is of utmost importance given the date of its construction (1514 to 1550) and it is considered as the first church built with a true Rennaisance style in Andalucia. It is declared as a National Monument.
It is an exceptional piece of work because of its dimensions and mixture of architectural styles. The foundation is laid out true to gothic style, while it was finished off more in line with a Rennaisannce building. Pedro López y Diego de Vergara were some of the master builders involved.
Its facade is totally made of cut stone using stones from the ancient Roman city of Singilia. It is constructed based on the Italian gothic style with three aisles separated by butresses in each one which have doors in them. However, when the entire structure is looked at carefullyt it obeys Rennasaance design more than gothic.
Today, it is vertually empty of altarpieces and other decorative elements. It has an impressive basilical hall with large Ionic columns on which five half-round arches sem to dance along. These are decorated by pearls true to the typical gothic style of the Catholic Kings. The central nave is higher than the side ones and almost twice as wide.
The Main chapel has a rectangular shape and is covered by a gothic-mudejar vault. The rest of the chapels are dated from different periods, but the most interesting is perhaps the Sagrario in the Gospel nave. It preserves a precious decoration very much like Mannerist style.The three mudêjar wooden frameworks that cover the naves built before the half of the 16th century. The central one is considered as one of the most beautiful in all of Andalucîa.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jesús Romero Benîtez, Guîa Artîstica de Ante
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