Alcalá de Guadaíra – Church of Santa María del Águila
Church of Santa María del Águila
This church houses the effigy of the Virgin of El Águila, the patron Saint of Alcalá de Guadaíra, who was canonically crowned on the 3rd of June 2000. The Virgin is taken out on an annual procession throught the streets of the city during the afternoon of the 15th of August.
The church stands on a site which was part of the enclosed medieval Villa of Alcala, crowning the hilltop in which the Castle is situate. The church was constructed some time after the conquest by Fernando III in 1247. Originally it probably only had a single nave in whose frontal part hung the painting with gothic features which is now on display in the Epistola nave. The painting in a mixed technique of tempera and fresco, and depicts the moment in which Saint Mathew the patron saint of Alcala delivering hes Gospel on Santiago, who was charged with speading his doctrine throughout Spain. For many cneturies it was the main Parish Church of Alcala de Guadaíra.
The medieval construction is in the style of the gothic Mudejar churches. It has three naves, each of a diferent height, which are divided into five sections by pillars which support pointed arches. The naves are covered with wooden roofs decorated with glazed tiles which were manufactured in the 20th century, the original ones having been destroyed in a fire in 1936.
The main chapel, of polygonal plan elevated in height on the rest of the church and covered with a beautiful groined vaulted ceiling with twelve ribs supported by eight pillars with carved capitals.
Access to the church is throught two doorways, a main door, which has a pointed arch in neomudejar style which is crowned by battlements and a neoclassical side door which leads to the nave of the epístola and has brick steps.
Outside the church stands the tower, a free standing construction which is 28 metres high an 7 metres wide.