Madrid is full of churches, hermitages, parishes, oratories and chapels. Some emblematic, and others, practically unknown, whose heritage, secrets and curiosities are worth knowing. We present some of them.
Church of San Antonio de los Alemanes
Popularly known as the Sistine Chapel of Madrid and is located at Calle de la Puebla, 22. The Church of San Antonio de los Alemanes was built between 1624 and 1633. However, the interior decoration we see today was added forty years later.
In the beginning, together with the attached hospital, he dedicated himself to treating sick and Portuguese pilgrims passing through Madrid. For this reason, the temple was originally called San Antonio de los Portugueses.
With the independence of Portugal in 1640, the church fell into disuse. Later, Mariana of Austria, wife of Felipe IV, promoted the cession of the temple and the hospital to attend soldiers of the regiment of the king and Germans. Hence his name change to San Antonio de los Alemanes.
The church that in its day Felipe V described as “the jewel in the crown” for its inner beauty, and that in 1972 was declared a national historical-artistic monument, offers worship in the afternoon and is dedicated to visits of tourist interest in the mornings .
German Church of Peace (Friedenskirche)
Did you know that a church is hidden behind the wall that gives the number 6 of the Paseo de la Castellana?
The Church of La Paz was constructed between 1907 and 1909 by order of Guillermo II (last kaiser of the German empire), and since then it lodges a protestant congregation. The space chosen was the adjoining estate of the German embassy.
The reason why the German evangelical church is not seen from the outside is because at the time of its construction the Protestant cult in Madrid was not well seen and they avoided building towers or outstanding elements that could be seen from the outside.
Inside is the image of the Christ Pantocrator, located in the vault of the apse, and the two Gothic rosettes adorned with stained glass windows on the main facade. Also stands out the Visigothic style lamp, located on the benches to highlight the importance of the faithful, and a pulpit, large for the size of the church, carved by Riegelmann.
The temple is full of columns, whose carved capitals represent a large number of symbols: eagles, lions, man-eating monsters or Emperor William II. In addition, a portrait of Martin Luther hangs from one of the galleries.
Royal Basilica of San Francisco El Grande
This monumental basilica of neoclassical style stands out for its artistic richness, with canvases by Goya or Zurbarán. In addition, its dome is the largest in Spain and the fourth in Europe.
The temple was built on the ground that was offered to San Francisco de Asís after passing through Madrid in 1214 during his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. In that same place up to three temples were built after the current one during the 17th century.
Between 1761 and 1784, after the temple was demolished in 1760, Francisco Cabezas and Francesco Sabatini built what we can now see. In addition, in 1980 it was declared a National Monument.
San Ginés Church
In the heart of Madrid we can find one of the oldest churches in the capital and the ones that have more stories and legends in its walls.
It was built in 1645 and, as they say, on the remains of a Mozarabic hermitage.
Its current main facade, made of brick and stone in 1870, was originally plateresque in style, although, after being destroyed during the Civil War, its original ornaments were removed after the restoration made after the contest.
The Church of San Ginés stands out, above all, for its artistic heritage. There are many faithful and tourists who come to visit this place daily, witnesses, among other events, of the baptism of Quevedo and the marriage of Lope de Vega. or to admire emblematic works that it welcomes in its interior, like the purification of the temple, of the Greco, or to venerate and ask favors to the figure of San Judas Tadeo.