Mezquita - Ermita de la Virgen de Gracia

Mezquita - Ermita de la Virgen de Gracia
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Located in the district of Archidona, the Mosque -Chapel of the Virgen de Gracia still preserves the structure a mosque and it has the privilege of being the only one still remaining in the province of Malaga. It coincides with the Almohad period, which was the second half of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th centuries. The entrance is via a patio which aims to imitate a half-cloister half, with clear Mudejar influence. It is composed of five parallel naves supported by sturdy, rough, baseless columns, four of which are smooth and two decorated. The capitals are of plaster and brick. The roof is supported by slightly pointed horseshoe arches.

Standing at one of the corners there is a dark, brick minaret from the old mosque which is now a bell tower.

Above the porticoed gallery there is an enclosed upper floor, with windows opening onto the patio which since 2013 has housed the "Mozarabic Cultural Centre”, which provides a historical overview of the Cerro de Gracia and its surroundings.

After 1462, when Pedro Girón Master of Calatrava conquered Archidona, the old mosque was refurbished and adapted for the Christian cult. The Virgin who has been revered there since the Christian conquest, is the Virgen de Gracia.

The entrance to the chapel is made up of three parallel naves which are the remains of the mosque. There are then three naves separated perpendicularly from the previous ones, built in the 17th century. The mosque has barely suggested horseshoe arches raised over sturdy, re-used, smooth columns, two of them decorated, originating from a late Roman or perhaps Visigoth monument. The capitals have a cubic profile, whose only decoration consists of grooves in the corners. The need to build a chapel dedicated to the Virgen de Gracia was already documented in 1634, and it was built by prolonging the mosque with three naves perpendicular to those already existing. It was built on Tuscan columns, with groin vaults, and an oval centre, in the architectural style of the first third of the 18th century, remodelling the exterior with brick colonnades, brick arches and semicircular arches. The central nave of the Christian church is covered with an oval dome and the lateral naves with a groin vault. The definitive work was carried out between 1771 and 1774, by the builders Francisco Berrocal and Francisco Astorga.

According to tradition, the conqueror carried the image as a standard and, when presenting it to the first governor of the fortress, he said: “I give it to thee in Grace”, which is thought to be the origin of the dedication. It would originally have been an Italian-Gothic painting on twill using the tempera technique. That would explain the functional character of the image designed to be used as a standard.

Free entrance.

April to September: Tuesday to Sunday, 8am to 1pm and 6.30pm to 9pm. October to March: Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 2pm and 4pm to 9pm. Monday, closed

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Mezquita - Ermita de la Virgen de Gracia
Camino del Santuario, s/n, 29300
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