Santa Maria Church

The origin of the Basilica of Santa María dates back to the 14th century, and it was built over the Aljama or greater mosque of the Medina Laqant, currently the Plaza de Santa María.

Chronology: XIII – XVIII centuries

The oldest church in the city, completed in the first third of the 13th century, was dedicated to Santa María Asunta. Viravens indicates in his chronicle that the primitive Christian church still conserved the Arab access door from Villavieja street.

In principle it was a simple Gothic church, with hardly any decoration, which consisted of a single bell tower, the one on the right, which could well be a watchtower and defense or even act as a maritime lighthouse. The tower had the same L shape as it is today. The facade was smooth and had an image of the Assumption of the Virgin in a niche above the main door. In 1713 the other rectangular tower was built, and equipped with a clock.

In 1535 it is known that the church was fully restored from the damage of the fire.

From now on, the oldest temple in Alicante would suffer various damages due to wars, coastal bombardments by either French or English. On its east side you can still see the cannon impacts of the French bombardment in 1709. During the Civil War, it suffered an assault in which an image of the Immaculate Conception from the 18th century was mutilated and its organ and the Renaissance font were destroyed.

In 1721 he began to build the Baroque façade, a sculptural ensemble by Juan Bautista Borja, which we can proudly contemplate in our days, with the exception of the Archangel San Miguel that crowned the ensemble, which has now disappeared.

It consists of a single nave, without a transept, with side chapels located between the buttresses, with a total of six bays. It has a series of rooms and elements that have been attached over time to the primitive factory, among which it is worth mentioning the Rococo main altar from the 18th century, the baptismal font from the 16th century, attributed to the school of Miguel Angel and the Valencian baroque organ from 1653.


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