Point of interest 1/6
People’s Square and Church of Santa Maria
Audioguide in text
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Welcome, in this audioguide you will learn some anecdotes that contain peculiarities of our town that I am sure you will like to know. Firstly, I will introduce you to the Church of Santa María, we will walk through a few streets in a circular route, and we will get to know the stories of its most representative buildings and the lives of some of the most illustrious characters of 19th century Albox.
With the oral tradition of the municipality, it has been possible to preserve these valuable testimonies, which uncover the foundations of the culture, customs and way of life of the Albojenses of this period.
We begin our visit from the town square, we can see the oldest religious building in Albox, the Parish Church of Santa Maria. It began to be built for the devotion of the Virgin of the Rosary between 1718 and 1728 under the direction of the Masters Juan Lopez de Robles and Alfonso Gutierrez.
With additions in the following centuries.
This church with Latin cross plan has a baroque front very similar to that of the convent of the Puras in the city of Almeria, Tuscan columns can be observed in it. On its lintel there is an entablature formed by garlands and a stately coat of arms crowned in the center. To the left of this the original stately shield is conserved displaced.
It is necessary to point out that the main door of the church was the so-called colorá door, located on the side street to the right of the church, because the alley that can be seen on the right, did not exist, it was a house of the administrator of the Marqués de los Vélez and he authorized the opening of that alley to give exit to the square.
The entrance to the church being la puerta colorada (the red door), the first chapel to be found was that of perpetual help. Initially it was the main altar. The church of Santa Maria was famous above all for the use of iron. In the main altar there was a railing, in addition to the railing of the choir and the pulpit, both of wrought iron and ornamented.
Now enlarged, its roof has barrel vaults and a slender dome. During the second half of the 18th century, several private chapels were added to the parish church of Santa María, which notably enlarged the temple’s floor plan. The first altar, when accessing to the right, is the chapel of the Virgen del Carmen. Just in front of it, in the upper part above the arch, it has a balcony, with its railing, where the organ was hung. This organ, which dates from the 18th century, was unfortunately destroyed and nowadays only its furniture remains, which is part of the altarpiece of the Virgen del Carmen.
The rise of Albox and its rebirth took place with the arrival of the bishop of Almeria, Don Claudio San Torres Ruiz de Castañeda, who was the one who together with the feudal lord of the time, the Marquis de los Velez, decided to devote part of the income of the church and the income of the Marquis, to add value to the church. The current altarpiece, recently renovated, was built because the previous one, which according to the story was outstanding for its great beauty, was sold during the Civil War to make firewood, as it is said in the popular language “a 8 gordas la arroba”.
Did you like to know all this information? Well, go to the house to the left of the church and join me to continue revealing curiosities that you will love about other corners of our town.
We will continue talking about the Antigua Casa del Cura and the Calle de la Reja de la Cárcel.