Religious sites in Spain

Santa María La Antigua

Under the current Santa María La Antigua church foundations have been found remains of a Roman hypocaustum. The church was likely founded in 1095 by Count Pedro Ansúrez, although there are no remains of this original structure. The oldest parts of the current temple date to the late 12th century: the gallery in the northern side of the building and the tower, both in Romanesque style. The tower, one of the symbols o ...
Founded: 1095 | Location: Valladolid, Spain

Córdoba Synagogue

Córdoba Synagogue is a historic edifice in the Jewish Quarter of Córdoba, built in 1315. The synagogue"s small size points to it having possibly been the private synagogue of a wealthy man. It was decorated according to the best Mudejar tradition. After the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, the synagogue was seized by the authorities and converted into a hospital for people suffering from rabies (hydrophobia), the Ho ...
Founded: 1315 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes

The Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes was founded by King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile to commemorate both the birth of their son, Prince John, and their victory at the Battle of Toro (1476) over the army of Afonso V of Portugal. Toledo was chosen as the site for building the monastery due to its central geographic location and because it had been the capital of the ancient Visigoth kin ...
Founded: 1477 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Santa María la Blanca Synagogue

The Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca  was erected in 1180, according to an inscription on a beam, it is disputably considered the oldest synagogue building in Europe still standing. It is now owned and preserved by the Catholic Church. Its stylistic and cultural classification is unique among surviving buildings as it was constructed under the Christian Kingdom of Castile by Islamic architects for Jewish use. It ...
Founded: 1180 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Santiago Church

Iglesia de Santiago is the oldest church in Málaga, built in 1490 to the site of older mosque. This church is noted for its tall Mudejar style steeple and baroque interior which contains some notable chapels. Pablo Picasso"s baptismal certificate is on display here. Pablo Picasso was baptisted there in 1881.
Founded: 1490 | Location: Málaga, Spain

Pamplona Cathedral

The site of the Pamplona Cathedral (Santa María la Real) is the oldest part of the Roman Pompaelo. Archaeological excavations have revealed streets and buildings from the 1st century BC. The oldest cathedral was demolished in 924 during the invasion of Abd-al-Rahman III, Caliph of Cordoba. During the reign of Sancho III (1004–1035) the church was reconstructed. That church was demolished from 1083 to 1097, and the Roma ...
Founded: 1394-1501 | Location: Pamplona, Spain

Igrexa de Santiago Church

Church of Santiago (Igrexa de Santiago) is one of A Coruna"s oldest buildings, the . Originally built in the 12th century, it was modified in the 14th and 15th centuries and has huge historic significance on account of a 13th century statue of Saint James which it houses. Some of the more prominent aspects of the churches detailing originate from the fifteenth century and are gothic in design. The photo to the right ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: A Coruña, Spain

Iglesia de San Pablo

The Iglesia conventual de San Pablo or San Pablo de Valladolid is a church and former convent, of Isabelline style, in the city of Valladolid, in Castile and León, Spain. The church was commissioned by Cardinal Juan de Torquemada between 1445 and 1468. It was subsequently extended and refurbished until 1616. Kings Philip II and Philip IV of Spain were baptized in the church, and it was visited by Napoleon. ...
Founded: 1445-1616 | Location: Valladolid, Spain

El Escorial

The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, commonly known as El Escorial, is a historical residence of the King of Spain about 45 kilometres northwest of Madrid. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and has functioned as a monastery, basilica, royal palace, pantheon, library, museum, university and hospital. El Escorial comprises two architectural complexes of great historical and cultural significance: the royal ...
Founded: 1563 | Location: San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain

San Juan Bautista Church

Founded in 1490, the San Juan Bautista church"s baroque style tower above the main entrance was added in 1770. Inside are several fine chapels and a rich altarpiece. The 17th century figure of San Juan is the work of Francisco Ortiz.
Founded: 1490 | Location: Málaga, Spain

Santa María la Real

Santa María la Real is a Gothic-style, Roman Catholic church, located on Plaza Teobaldos in Olite. The church was erected during the 13th through 14th-centuries. It stands adjacent to the Palacio Real de Olite, much favored by King Charles III of Navarre (1361-1425). The interior has a retablo depicting the Virgin Mary and the Christ of la Buena Muerte. The 14th-century Christ statue may derive from the former chur ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Olite, Spain

Church of San Andrés

The Church de San Andrés is located on the site of a former church from the times of Moorish occupation. The former church had been frequented as a parish church by the patron saint of Madrid, San Isidro Labrador, and his wife Santa María de la Cabeza, who lived nearby. The adjacent chapel of San Isidro was built at the site of the saint"s house. Its construction began in 1657, after the saint was canonized ...
Founded: 1657 | Location: Madrid, Spain

San Idelfonso Church

The Iglesia de San Idelfonso is a Baroque style church located in the center of the historic city of Toledo. Its construction took more than 100 years. Work began in 1629 on lands acquired by the Jesuits of Toledo in 1569. It was the birthplace of Saint Ildefonsus. Its approach followed the example of the Jesuit churches of Palencia and Alcalá de Henares and that of the Church of the Gesù, in Rome. It is t ...
Founded: 1629-1718 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Ourense Cathedral

Ourense Cathedral, dedicated to St Martin, was founded in 550. The first structure was restored by Alonso el Casto. The present mainly Gothic building was raised with the support of Bishop Lorenzo in 1220. Its local patroness is Saint Euphemia. There is a silver-plated shrine, and others of St Facundus and St Primitivus. The Christ"s Chapel (Capilla del Cristo Crucificado) was added in 1567 by Bishop San Francisco Tr ...
Founded: 1220 | Location: Ourense, Spain

Santillana del Mar Collegiate Church

Santillana del Mar Collegiate Church has its origins in a monastery dating from 870. Tradition has it that it was home to the relics of Santa Juliana. Over the course of the 11th century it was transformed into a collegiate church, although the building visible today dates from the 12th century. It has three naves, with dome, transept, three semi-circular apses and a tower. The transept and apses conserve their original ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Santillana del Mar, Spain

San Antonio de los Alemanes

San Antonio de los Alemanes church was built in the Baroque style and was designed by Pedro Sánchez. The highly decorative High Altar and three side altars belong to the 18th century and were commissioned by the last Habsburg kings of Spain. The church was built in the 1620s-1630s by King Felipe III along with a hostel and hospital for the Portuguese migrants who moved to Madrid when Portugal was under Spanish rule. ...
Founded: 1620-1630 | Location: Madrid, Spain

Lugo Cathedral

Saint Mary"s Cathedral in Lugo was erected in the early 12th century in a Romanesque style, with Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassicist elements. A church existed in the site from 755. In 1129 Bishop Peter III commissioned a new edifice in the latest architectural style from Raimundo, a local architect and builder. This Romanesque structure was completed in 1273. Later renovations and restorations added elements in ot ...
Founded: 1129 | Location: Lugo, Spain

Basílica de Santa María de la Asunción

Santa María de la Asunción Basilica was built in the 15th-16th century. History of this church site dates back to the 8th and 9th centuries. It was built on the remains of a former Moorish mosque. The main facade is in Gothic-Plateresque architectural style with the neoclassical tower being the newest addition.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Arcos de la Frontera, Spain

Church of Saint Anthony the Great

The Church of San Antón is dedicated to Anthony the Great. It is featured, along with the San Antón Bridge, in the city"s coat of arms. The estuary of Bilbao flows next to it. The church was built at the end of the 15th century on a plot where there had been a years a warehouse for three hundred years.  In 1300 Diego López de Haro gave the municipal charter. The river and the plot were incorporated to the new ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Bilbao, Spain

La Peregrina Chapel

The Capela da Virxe Peregrina is a highly unusual building situated in the Praza de Peregrina (square of the pilgrim) in Pontevedra city centre. This chapel is unique and distinctive and attracts the attention of everyone who sees it. It was built in 1778 and is positioned on the main pilgrim"s route that leads to Santiago de Compostela from Portugal. The chapel is a fusion of Baroque detailing with some neo classi ...
Founded: 1778 | Location: Pontevedra, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.

Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.

The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.

Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.

The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.