Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación

Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación
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Construction of the Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación began in 1491, on land that was previously occupied by the Moorish Mezquita Mayor mosque, and initiated by the Archbishop of Málaga as Granada did not yet belong to the Christians. 

The church was built following the Gothic-Mudéjar model prevalent at the time and consists of a main nave with transversal arches supporting a Mudéjar frame and that leads to chapels separated by pointed arches covered by rib vaults over which there are stained glass windows.  

At the foot of the nave there was originally a Gothic chevet, but this disappeared after the church was enlarged to hold more people as the population of Loja increased with people arriving from other parts of Spain. 

These works to enlarge the church were interrupted for two centuries, and it was not until the 18th century that the great triple chevet and the current Neoclassical bell tower were finished, and in which great master architects like Ventura Rodríguez and Domingo Lois took part, leading to the church having a variety of architectural styles depending on when each part was built.

In one of the chapels in the Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación you will still find the original altarpiece, the work of Pedro de Machuca in 1535 and the original font. There is also a 5th-century altar stone belonging to the Paleochristian basilica of St Peter and St Paul found in the Gibalto de Loja mountains. 

A fire caused in 1936 during the Civil War resulted in the loss of a number of images, stalls and altarpieces. 

The Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación is currently classified as a National Historic Monument. 


Monday to Saturday: 7pm. (mass: 7.30pm). Sundays and public holidays: 11am. (mass: 12 noon) and 7pm. (mass: 7.30pm)

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Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación
Calle Real, 1, 18300
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