Monastery of Our Lady of los Remedios
Classified as a church, it features a main altar dominated by an enormous Baroque altarpiece with Solomon columns whose exuberance is in stark contrast to the building’s simple exterior. It is dedicated the town’s patron saint and has been declared a National Monument of Historical and Artistic Interest.
Legend has it that the apostle Santiago gave an image of the Virgen de los Remedios to Fray Martîn de las Cruces and that this image was brought to Antequera in rogation in response to a number of different calamities and disasters. As a result of the immense popular devotion to her image, the Virgin was declared the town’s patron saint and in 1607, the monks of the Terceros Franciscanos established a monastery in Calle Estepa, in the centre of Antequera.
The present-day Iglesia de los Remedios was designed by the master architects González Yañez and Fernando de Oviedo. The construction work begun in 1628 was not completed until 1697.
The exterior, which is of relatively original design, is preceded by a Mannerist-style wall. The walls of the church itself are comparatively simple, the highlight being a porch whose roof is supported by two Tuscan columns and the exquisite bell gable made entirely of stone and which dates back to 1630.
The church’s ground plan is of the Latin Cross variety with naves, side chapels and a flat chevet. The central nave, which is considerably higher than the others, is covered by a half-barrel vault divided into five sections by double sash arches. The crossing is covered by a half-orange dome.
Generally speaking, the architecture of the interior reflects a sober and elegant Mannerist style, in contrast to the attractive decorative elements which adorn the church’s walls, vaults and Baroque main altarpiece.
The sculpture of the Virgen de los Remedios is an early XVI-century work of art that bears witness to the transition from Gothic to Renaissance style.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jesús Romero Benîtez, Guîa Artîstica de Antequera
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