Santiponce Itálica

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Shrine to Nuestra Señora de Guía

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This shrine was built during the Almohad period. Its construction is dated to 1147-1269. The building was renovated in the 16th century and again in the 19th century.

It has the structure of a small shrine-like building typical of the Islamic world –known as a maqam or marabout, rábita in Andalusia– similar to a roadside oratory on the outskirts of towns. The alms of the faithful covered the upkeep of these buildings.

Its present name is taken from the statue of a Virgin Mary found next to the wall in May 1525. She is venerated in this shrine as Our Lady of Guidance.

Since 1634, and until the abolition of the seigniorial system in the 19th century, the shrine belonged to Pedro de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares and his heirs since he had bought Camas.

The original building was in danger of collapse and had to be reinforced with a rectangular extension and a gabled roof. It was restored between 1974 and 1975 by Alfonso Jiménez.

The chancel, from the original structure, is square and covered by an octagonal dome on squinches. The interior is decorated with small, mixtilinear and pointed blind arches supported by columns.

The central section became the nave when an extension with a gabled roof was added to the building.

The walls to the right of the dome-bearing wall are graced with 16th-century paintings.

An altar with a 17th-century candelero bust of Our Lady of Guidance with the Child Jesus in her arms can be found in the chancel. Other notable images include a 17th-century Saint Lucy, a late 16th-century medallion with a relief of the Eternal Father, and the Christ of the Three Falls, a statue of Christ carrying the Cross from the 20th century.

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