Religious sites in 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

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

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

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

San Vicente Basilica

Outside the city walls, the Basilica of San Vicente was built in Caleno granite in a way that was greatly conditioned by the lie of the land and in the place where tradition situates the martyrdom and burial of Vincent, Sabina and Cristeta. It is the prime model of the Romanesque style in Ávila and its measured proportions make it a unique example of the Hispanic Romanesque style. With its outside influences and the infl ...
Founded: c. 1120 | Location: Ávila, Spain

Santo Tomé Church

The Iglesia de Santo Tomé is a church located in the historical center of the Toledo, and was founded after the reconquest of this city by King Alfonso VI of León. It appears quoted in the 12th century, as constructed on the site of an old mosque of the 11th century. This mosque, together with other mosques in the city, were used as Christian churches without major changes, since in the taking of the city there was n ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

Convento de las Dueñas

The Convento de las Dueñas is a Dominican convent located in the city of Salamanca. The convent was founded in 1419 by Juana Rodriguez Maldonado in her own palace. The church and the cloister were built around 1533. The convent preserve same of the original mudejar gates of the palace. One of them leads to the cloister. The capitals of the uppeer story are among the more prominent examples of the Plateresque.
Founded: 1419 | Location: Salamanca, Spain

Basílica de San Isidoro

The Basílica de San Isidoro de León is located on the site of an ancient Roman temple. Its Christian roots can be traced back to the early 10th century when a monastery for Saint John the Baptist was erected on the grounds. The original church was built in the pre-Arab period. Following the conquest of the area by Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir (938-1002), the first church was destroyed and the area devastated. León was ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: León, Spain

Convento de San Marcos

The Convento de San Marcos is today an operating luxury parador hotel. It also contains a consecrated church and museum, and is one of the most important monuments of the Renaissance in Spain. It is one of the greatest architectural jewels of León. It has a highly ornamental plateresque facade. The origins of this building lie in the twelfth century, in the days of Alfonso VII of León. His sister, the Infanta Sa ...
Founded: 1514 | Location: León, Spain

Synagogue of El Transito

The Synagogue of El Transito is famous for its rich stucco decoration, which bears comparison with the Alcazar of Seville and the Alhambra palaces in Granada. It was founded as a synagogue by Samuel ha-Levi Abulafia, Treasurer to Peter of Castile, in about 1356. The founder was a member of a family that had served the Castilian kings for several generations and included kabbalists and Torah scholars such as Meir and ...
Founded: c. 1356 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Astorga Cathedral

The Cathedral of Astorga edifice was begun in 1471, within the same walls of its Romanesque predecessors from the 11th-13th centuries. The construction lasted until the 18th century, thus to its original Gothic style appearance were added elements from later styles, such as the Neo-Classicist cloister (18th century), the Baroque towers, capitals and the façade, and the Renaissance portico. The interior houses nume ...
Founded: 1471 | Location: Astorga, Spain

Zamora Cathedral

Built between 1151 and 1174, Zamora Cathedral is one of the finest examples of Spanish Romanesque architecture. A previous church, also entitled to El Salvador ('Holy Savior') existed at the time of King Alfonso VII of Castile, but it was apparently in ruins, so that the king donated the church of St. Thomas in the city to act as cathedral. The church was built under bishop Esteban, under the patronage ...
Founded: 1151-1174 | Location: Zamora, Spain

Jerez de la Frontera Cathedral

The Jerez Cathedral is a beautiful building from the 17th century which combines Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical styles and stands above the earlier Great Mosque of Jerez and the old Church of El Salvador. The chapels of La Inmaculada, El Sagrario and Las Ánimas stand out inside, the latter dedicated to the famous Cristo de la Viga, from the 14th century. The bell tower, which is outside, was possibly built over ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Convento de San Esteban

Convento de San Esteban is a Dominican monastery situated in the Plaza del Concilio de Trento. The Dominicans settled in Salamanca in about 1255, but their original monastery was demolished to construct the parish church of St. Stephen in 1524, at the initiative of Cardinal Juan Álvarez de Toledo. Construction took until 1610. Although the church is considered to be an excellent example of the Plateresque style, ...
Founded: 1524-1610 | Location: Salamanca, Spain

Co-Cathedral of Santa María

Co-Cathedral of Santa María, popularly known as La Colegiata, is one of the best examples of religious architecture in Vigo, an exponent of neoclassical art in Galicia and the city’s most important temple. It is the co-cathedral with Tui Cathedral. Located in Vigo’s Old Town, it was built in 1811 over the remains of a previous church and commissioned from Melchor de Prado y Mariño. This basilica with three naves ha ...
Founded: 1811 | Location: Vigo, Spain

San Domingos Convent Ruins

San Domingos Convent was founded around 1282, although the work on the conserved temple did not begin until 1383, continuing through the 15th century. Following the introduction of the exclaustration law, the convent was closed in 1836. The building gradually deteriorated until it fell into ruin and by 1846 some of its materials were being used to pave streets. In 1864 a chapel was demolished and between 1869 and 1870 th ...
Founded: 1282 | Location: Pontevedra, Spain

Monasterio de San Jerónimo

The Royal Monastery of St. Jerome is a Hieronymite monastery in Granada. Architecturally, it is in the Renaissance style. The church, famous for its architecture, was the first in the world consecrated to the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The monastery was founded by the Catholic Monarchs Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon in Santa Fe outside the city of Granada, during the siege of the latter city, ...
Founded: 1504 | Location: Granada, Spain

Ciutadella de Menorca Cathedral

The Cathedral Basilica of Ciutadella de Menorca was constructed on the orders of King Alfonso III of Aragon, the conqueror of the island, in 1287 on the site of an old mosque. Construction started in 1300 and was finished in 1362, creating a building of the Catalan Gothic style, and is notable for the width of the nave, flanked by six chapels to each side. The five-sided apse is oriented to the east. After the d ...
Founded: 1300-1362 | Location: Ciutadella de Menorca, Spain

Mosque of Cristo de la Luz

The Mosque of Cristo de la Luz is a former mosque in Toledo. It is the only one of ten that once existed in the city that remains largely as it was in the Moorish period. Legend has it that a shaft of light guided the king to a figurine of the crucified Christ that had been hidden for centuries. He left his shield there with the inscription, 'This is the shield which the King Alfonso VI left in this chapel whe ...
Founded: 999 AD | Location: Toledo, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Klis Fortress

From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.

Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.

In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.

Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.