Church of San Antonio Frigiliana

Church of San Antonio

Church of San Antonio (Frigiliana)


It was the old Muslim mosque, from the 8th century until the 15th century . The bell tower is the old minaret of the mosque. The first six meters of the facade are from the original mosque, minus the main part. When the Christians took control, they destroyed approximately 80% of the back of the mosque and placed a baroque Andalusian church on top. This was a fairly common practice of the time. However, for some historians of art, this temple was built on the site of an old hermitage; whatever its origin, its construction was authorized.

In 1676 the works of the parochial temple were finished, paid for by Manrique de Lara , Lord of the Villa, and directed by the architect Bernardo de Godoy.

The Church

This construction occupies an area of ​​six hundred and twenty square meters and, in general, is Renaissance style. It has a Latin cross plan, with an apse in the presbytery. The main body of the building is composed of three large naves, the central being more spacious. The entablature of the ceiling is formed by a magnificent Mudejar coffered ceiling. 

This temple also has an interesting chancel, carved in wood, which separates the main door from the interior. A small episcopal shield over said door and a wrought iron fence, enclosing the access stairway, complete the building.

ceiling Frigiliana Church
Ceiling Frigiliana Church
At the entrance of the main nave is the choir, with plaster ornaments, slightly baroque and close to the empire style.
Bell Tower Frigiliana Church

The tower came to have up to five bells, of different sizes. The Modernist currents of recent times produced interior reforms of an effect not in keeping with the primitive style of the temple.

The 25 of July of 1936 , anarchist elements fitted in the Popular Front, from Malaga and Vélez, with the support of other libertarians of our people, destroyed the altars of the church of San Antonio and the Ermita de San Sebastian , burning then the sacred images and the liturgical ornament in the Cañada de la Ermita .

In 1998, during the renovation of the roof, some painted arches were discovered.

After a study, it may be that approximately 60% or 70% of the church, under the lime layer, is painted similarly. The decoration of the first of the arches is based on the life beyond the grave, with skulls and crossbones, some are covered with crowns and priestly caps, reminding us that death reaches us all. The decoration of the second one of the arches presents floral themes that have a symbolic character in which the Muslim past of Frigiliana is united, represented by the two vases with vines that there are in the lower part and that allude to Allah, with the symbol of the Christianity that appears in the upper part of the arch and means that Christ is the beginning and end of everything.

inside Church of San Antonio (Frigiliana)
Inside the Church of San Antonio

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