Medina Sidonia – Parish Church Matriz de Santa María La Mayor La Coronada
Parish Church Matriz of Santa Maria La Mayor La Coronada
The Parish Church Matriz of Santa María La Mayor La Coronada is located in the Andalusian town of Medina Sidona, next to the Castle, the Caballerizas del Duque and just few minutes from the Jesus, Mary y Jose Convent.
After the Christian Reconquest of Medina Sidonia from the Muslims (which was leaded by King Alfonso X, the “Wise” on 22th September 1264) the mosque which existed here was christianized and adapted into a first Mudejar style church. It was dedicated to the virgin Santa Maria la Mayor, La Coronada. There are references of this church since the end of the 14th century.
The present church, also consecrated to Santa Maria la Mayor la Coronada began to be constructe during the first half of the 16th century in Gothic-plateresque style with Mudejar nuances, inspired byt the cathedral in Sevillae.
The temple´s new and large constructions is mainly due to the fact that on one hand Medina Sidonia housed the chapter of the cathedral in Cadiz since 1492. On the other hand it is also due to the fact that Don Enrique de Guzmán, II Duke of Medina Sidonia, contributed to the construction at the intended to turn his dukedom into the definitive seat of the bishopric.
This building became a reference in the local religious architecture, even generating influences in other temples from the region. By the time of Carlos III the church was declared “Maior et Matrix” by a royal decree on 6th March 1788. On the 9th of August 1926 it was stated Historic Artistic National Monument by order of the council (4th June 1931).
The Cloister: Built at the end of the 15th century, in a Gothic-Mudejar style, it is one of the most important parts of the building. Its dating has been possible thanks to the coat of arms preserved on the exterior cover, belonging to Bishop Fernández de Solís. The Cloister has a square floor plan and has a perimeter gallery covered with a groin vault, supported by stilted arches, locked in powerful buttresses; all executed with a brick factory, which accentuates its Mudejar aesthetics. Intended for meditation and recollection, it may have been part of the ablution courtyard of the primitive mosque.