Santiponce Itálica

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Santa María de la Mota Church

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The Santa María de La Mota Church is located within Marchena’s old Islamic citadel (Alcázar). This walled area, situated in the town’s highest point, is segregated from the rest of the city; hence, its name “La Mota”. It was built around 1356, after King Fernando IV of Castile bestowed the Señorío de Marchena upon Fernando Ponce de León on 18 December 1309.

It is the oldest Church in the town, with one nave and two aisles and a polygonal Gothic-Mudejar apse. The Church was converted into a chapel when the Alcazar was renovated as the residence of the Ponce de León family, first, and, later, the Dukes of Arcos. In fact, it was connected to Alcazar by a gallery. At the foot of the Gospel nave is a stone-and-brick tower with four levels, each level smaller than the level below. Worthy of note are the checkered panels, spheres and mirrors in the Mannerist tradition. The bell tower dates from 1580. In the main altarpiece is the image of Our Lady of Goodness from the late sixteenth century.

In 1623, the rooms adjacent to the Church were occupied by a community of Poor Clare nuns that still exist, even today. These rooms were connected to the Church through the rooftops.

Extensive renovation works were carried out in 1670 on the interior decoration, Presbytery and main altarpiece. Plasterwork was also added to the walls, and the Chapel of La Soledad was built.

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