Religious sites in Spain

Archbishop's Palace of Alcalá de Henares

The Archbishop"s Palace of Alcalá de Henares is now home to the Diocese of Alcalá de Henares. It is located in the Plaza del Palacio and this form part of the monumental set declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The building set dates from 1209. Two thirds were destroyed as a result of a devastating fire in 1939, during the Spanish Civil War. Is preserved is what is left intact after the 1939 fire, the dam ...
Founded: 1209 | Location: Alcalá de Henares, Spain

San Francisco Church

San Francisco Church was rebuilt in the 14th century on an earlier 13th-century structure. It has a floor plan in the shape of a Latin cross, a single nave, chapels in the apse and a gabled roof. The outside is arranged in staggered heights, with three windows at the top. The main doorway is a pointed arch, and the archivolts are decorated with plant and geometric motifs. The tympanum has a representation of the Adoration ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Betanzos, Spain

Santa Marina Church

Santa Marina is one of the so-called 'Fernandinean Churches', edificated in the city after Ferdinand III of Castile conquered it from the Moors in the 13th century. The structure combines proto-Gothic, Mudéjar and, to a lesser degree, late-Romanesque elements. The church, one of the oldest of the Fernandinean group, was built in the second half of the 13th century where previously a Moorish mosque and before t ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Iglesia de Santa María del Conceyu

The church of Santa María was founded in 1240 and the construction continued until 15th century. The three-nave church was three apses.
Founded: 1240 | Location: Llanes, Spain

Basílica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga

Basílica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga was designed by the German architect Roberto Frassinelli and built between 1877 and 1901 by architect Federico Aparici y Soriano. It is a Neo-Romanesque church made entirely of pink limestone. In 1777 a fire destroyed the old temple, which stood adjacent to the Holy Cave where Our Lady of Covadonga is revered. It was then decided to raise a new church as a monumental sa ...
Founded: 1877-1901 | Location: Cangas de Onís, Spain

Guadix Cathedral

Guadix is believed to be one of the oldest diocesan seats in Spain; tradition has it that the diocese was founded by Saint Torquatus of Acci in the first century A.D. The cathedral sits on the site of an earlier Hispano-Visigothic church extant in the 10th century, and which functioned during the Islamic period as a mosque. During the Reconquista, Guadix was captured by the Christian forces in 1489, and the Hispan ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Guadix, Spain

Tudela Cathedral

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Tudela was originally a collegiate church. It became a cathedral with the creation of the Diocese of Tudela, which existed 1783-1851 and again 1889-1956. It is now a co-cathedral in the Archdiocese of Pamplona and Tudela. Christians under Alfonso the Battler conquered Tudela in 1119. The city had been under Muslim control, although three religious communities were living there. In t ...
Founded: 1168 | Location: Tudela, Spain

San Miguel Church

San Miguel Church is built in the Romanesque to Gothic transitional style, apparent in the combination of elements from both styles inside. The richly ornamental northern front is in the Romanesque style and is considered one of the best in Navarre. The most interesting elements are the reliefs on either side of the front, which represent scenes from the Resurrection and the struggle of the Archangel St. Michael. The inte ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Estella, Spain

Santa Bárbara Church

Santa Barbara church was built in 1757 for the Convent of the Salesas Reales, housing nuns belonging to the order of St. Francis de Sales. The convent was founded in 1748 by the Queen Bárbara de Braganza, wife of Ferdinand VI of Spain. The church, which stood next to the convent, was designed by Francisco Carlier in collaboration with Francisco Moradillo. In 1870, the monastery was closed, and the government used ...
Founded: 1757 | Location: Madrid, Spain

Church of San Pedro Apóstol

The Church of San Pedro Apóstol is considered a National Historic-Artistic Monument in Vitoria from the 13th-14th centuries. The temple was attached to the western wall of the medieval town, which is why the walls on the west are very thick. In the central nave the walls form a tower which is visible from the outside of the temple. Gothic façade dates from the 14th century, accessible from Calle Herrería. The entrance ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Almería Cathedral

Almería cathedral was built in Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles from 1524 to 1562. Its last bell was built in 1805. It had a dual role: as a place of worship, but also to protect the citizens when pirates attacked the city of Almeria after the Reconquest. After an earthquake destroyed the previous structure, the cathedral is constructed, like so many churches in Spain, on the site of a mosque. Largely late Go ...
Founded: 1524-1562 | Location: Almería, Spain

Santa María Magdalena Church

Santa María Magdalena was built in 1691-1709 under design of architect Leonardo de Figueroa, above a medieval church built after the Christian conquest of the city in 1248. The façade has three portals, one featuring a sculpture of 'St. Dominic' by Pedro Roldán. Above the portals are an oculus, sided by two blue spheres symbolizing the mystery of the rosary, and a bell-gable (1697). All the exterior of ...
Founded: 1691-1709 | Location: Seville, Spain

Santo Domingo de Silos

The monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos dates back to the Visigothic period of the 7th century. In the 10th century, the abbey was called San Sebastián de Silos, but acquired its current name when Santo Domingo was entrusted to renovate the abbey by Fernando the Great, King of Castile and León. The abbot designed the church to have a central nave with two side aisles and five chapels attached to its apse and ...
Founded: 7th century AD | Location: Santo Domingo de Silos, Spain

Basílica de Santa María la Mayor

The basilica of Santa Maria la Mayor is one of the jewels in the crown of Galician Gothic architecture. It was built in the 16th century, by order of the Guild of fishermen. It was granted the status of small basilica in 1962, by Pope John XXIII.  The west façade that was designed by Cornelius de Holanda, has been built in the style of an altarpiece, with three ornately decorated sections. There is a massive transept i ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Pontevedra, Spain

Monastery of San Xulián de Samos

The Monastery of San Xulián de Samos  is an active Benedictine monastery founded in the sixth century. The monastery was the School of Theology and Philosophy. It is also an important stop on the Way of Saint James, a pilgrimage leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great. The foundation is attributed to Martin of Braga. It is known to have been renovated by Saint Fructuoso in the seventh century, al ...
Founded: 7th century AD | Location: Samos, Spain

St. Teresa Church

St. Teresa Church was built on the house in which Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada was born and is part of the Carmelite convent. Underground, the large vaulted burial crypt, which is currently used as the Museum of St Teresa, is the only example of its kind in Spanish religious architecture. The work was directed by the Carmelite architect Fray Alonso de San José and began in 1629. The building was opened on 15 October 1636. ...
Founded: 1629 | Location: Ávila, Spain

Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Atocha

The Royal Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha is one of the six basilica churches in Madrid. The buildings on the site have a long history. The original name refers to a lost icon from a chapel which was found during the time of the Reconquista. The old church was in disrepair and rebuilt in the 1890s in a Neo-Byzantine style designed by Fernando Arbós y Tremanti. The church was destroyed during the Spanish Civil Wa ...
Founded: 1890s | Location: Madrid, Spain

San Pedro de la Rúa Church

Built in the 12th century, San Pedro de la Rúa is the oldest church in Estella. The sanctuary dating from the end of the 12th century is still standing. It has three naves, dating from around the 13th century. The chapel of San Andrés is Baroque and has a Rococo altarpiece. At the foot of the church there are baroque stalls and a font. The exterior cloister has a square plan and in it there are decorated capitals that n ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Estella, Spain

Monastery of Saint Dominic of Silos

The Monastery of Saint Dominic of Silos (the Old) (Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos el Antiguo) is a Cistercian monastery in Toledo. It was first founded in the 6th century and rebuilt in 1085 by Pedro Alcocer during the reign of Alfonso VI of Leon and Castille. It underwent major rebuilding work in the second half of the 16th century, in which the mudéjar church was demolished. The new building was begun by Ni ...
Founded: 1085 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor

The Collegiate church of Santa María la Mayor (Church of Saint Mary the Great) is one of the most characteristic examples of transitional Romanesque architecture in Spain, the church of Santa María la Mayor is inspired by the Cathedral of Zamora, in turn inspired by the Old Cathedral of Salamanca. The tower-dome is usually listed as one of the four most typical in León together with those in the cathedrals of S ...
Founded: 1170 | Location: Toro, 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.