Church of Santa Maria de la Encarnacion of the Alhambra


In 1308 the Moorish King Mohamed III built a mezquita in the Alhambra. When the Christians conquered Granada, they destroyed the mezquita and built the Church of Santa Maria de la Encarnacion of the Alhambra. This was a common practice at that time and occurred in many places all over Spain. The church was designated as the first cathedral of Granada, but later lost this designation when the Granada Cathedral was constructed. This church is located beside the Carlos V Palace.

The church was designed by Juan de Herrera in the Renaissance style and was started in 1581 by Ambrosio de Vico and finished in 1617. The ground plan follows the Latin cross, with one central nave and with three chapels on each side of the nave. There is also an elegant bell tower. The facade of the church is made of brick and stone. The pulpit was created by Martin de Aranda and there is a baptismal font in the form of a shell, which used to be the base of a Moorish fountain. This dates back to the 13th to 15th centuries.

The main altar is Baroque in style and was the work of Juan Lopez Almagro, created in 1671. There are four large Solomonic columns on its facade. The center of the altarpiece is occupied by a sculpture of Our Lady of Anguish. On top of this image is a large Crucifixion that was created by the sculptor Alonso de Mena in 1634. On each side of the sculpture of Our Lady of Anguish is the sculpture of Santa Ursula and Santa Susana, also by Alonso de Mena.

In the chapel on the left side of the main altar is a sculpture of Ecce Homo (Christ) that was made by Pedro de Mena. In the right chapel there is a sculpture of St. Joseph and the Christ Child, created by the sculptor Turcuato Ruiz de Peral. On the left side of the nave is a throne of the Cofradia de Santa Maria de la Alhambra that is used for Holy Week processions. This throne is a model of the Alhambra done in silver and gold. On top of it is placed the statue of Our Lady of Anguish.

Hours:

Sunday: 10:00 to 13:00H. Mass at 10:30H.

Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00-13:00, 16:00-18:00H.