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Church of El Carmen

Diputación de Málaga

Church of El Carmen

Declared as a National Historic and Artistic Monument, nowadays only the church is left. There are some magnificent altarpieces on the inside.

Built between 1583 and 1663, this church, that belomged to the Orden de los Carmelitas Calzados was first conceived as a convent. Nowadays, it has a avery simple faèade of which the only real outstanding element is its Mannerist style front.

The church’s layout follows the pattern common to Moorish churches from the Granada school. It has but one nave, a very clearly defined main chapel and independent side chapels. The nave belonging to the Cofradîa de la Soledad was added in the 18th century.

The rectangular Mudejar coffered ceiling with butterfly decorations is an outstanding feature of the inside as it covers the central nave However, what really makes them remarkable are the three enormous altarpieces, especially the central one, which is full of saints from the Orden Carmelita, polychromed angels. The entire piece of work is not finished off as the original designer would have most probably intended as the architectural structure was not lain with gold as desired by Antonio Primo, the artist in question. This altarpiece is considered as one of the most beautiful and significant examples of Baroque altar work from the 18th century. It marks the entrance to the central image room, which is exquisitely polychromed, and houses the ancient image of the Virgen del Carmen.

The side altarpieces are also richly decorated in laid gold and polychrome. The hexagonal image chapel which is next to the Gospel nave has an image of a kneeled Ecce Homo. It is considered to be one of the most achieved pieces of rococo work that ever came out of Antequera..

Six independent side chapels open off the central nave. Although it would be possible to talk in depth about these, only the most outstanding are to be mentioned. For example, the original image of Virgen del Socorro from the end of the 15th century, which is said to have been given to the town by the Catholic Kings. Then there is the image of the Virgen de la Soledad, a lovely dressed image from the 18Ith century.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jesús Romero Benîtez, Guîa Artîstica de Antequera

Monuments and Art > Hermitage and Chapel
Plaza Convento del Carmen, 36, Zip Code 29200