Priory Church

The Priory Church of El Puerto de Santa Maria is located at the Plaza de España. The patrons of the church were the Dukes of Medinaceli. The church construction started in the 13th century and used sandstone from the San Cristobal Sierra, but was finished only in the 17th century. The location of the church is at the highest point of the town. The church has three naves that are topped with groin vaults and has side chapels. The main entrance to the church is a Baroque doorway called Sol. This doorway looks like an altar and has Plateresque elements. There is a niche in the middle with the image of Nuestra Señora de los Milagros, the patron saint of the town. On the right side of the church is a small tower with a clock. The other doorway is also Baroque and called Forgiveness. The first architect was Alonso Rodriguez. The earthquake of 1636 caused much damage to the church. The reconstruction was done in the 17th century by Anton Martin Calafate and Francisco de Guindos. The church has a wonderful altarpiece of Mexican silver built in 1682 by Jose Medina of San Luis de Potosi in Mexico, and this is located in the Chapel of the Tabernacle. Another beautiful altarpiece is in the Chapel of the Virgen de los Milagros and is Baroque and made in the 16th century. The choir chairs were made by Juan Bautista Vazquez el Joven. There is a large baldaquin with a Neoclassic style in the center of the presbytery that was made by Torcuato Benjumeda. In 1982 the church was declared a Property of Cultural Interest.