Alhama de Granada – Church Mayor of Santa María de la Encarnación
Church Mayor of Santa María de la Encarnación in Alhama de Granada
Its position in the highest part of the town, and its size, makes it a true architectural landmark of the town. From the beginning of the 16th century, Catholic worship inside the former Muslim mosque was conducted. In that period it was decided to destroy it to build a new temple appropriate to the needs and Christian liturgies.
The church continues in this style with the characteristics of the late Spanish Gothic period, entirely built in stone with only one nave and three covered vaulted, arched chapels between the buttresses (only on one side), the altar and choir above and two entrances at the foot of the church.
The architectural decoration is very austere with simple plant motifs decorating the principally Gothic façade (covered at present by another constructed at the end of the 18th century) and the pulpit. For lighting, there are pointed arched windows, vertically divided into two in their interior and with a three lobed rosette form in the larger portion of a window.
- Referring to the first years of the 16th century the initial height of the tower was built. In this space fits the painting of the Incarnation and the silver sacrarium; On the opposite side, arches exist pertaining to the next constructive phase given their clear Renaissance style, sheltering different images, the majority recent works. Of note is the sculpture of the Immaculate one, whose original Baroque face and hands were placed on this new body after the original was destroyed in the civil war. Also important to Isabella (the yoke) and Ferdinand (arrows), the Catholic Monarchs.
- 1526-1559: Added to the foot of the church was a new covered by a complex stellar vault, under where the choir is found, raised on an arcade of three arches, clearly of Renaissance style. The lower choir is covered by an alfarje (criss-cross ceiling decoration) of Mudéjar design. In this area worth noting, is the painting of Christ crucified, attributed to Alonso Cano and which comes from the old convent of the Carmen.
- 1734-1751: A new vestry was built being united with the church by a corridor that crossed above the street, the lower passageway covered by a half-barrel vault. In the church´s interior there is a small museum with excellent religious pieces, textiles and precious metal