The San Filippo Neri church was commissioned late in life by Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy, and completed after his death in 1675 with the patronage of his widow Maria Giovanna Battista of Savoy-Nemours. The original design was by Antonio Bettini, however, the roof of this original church collapsed in 1706 during the fierce Siege of Turin by French forces.
The church was rebuilt (1715-1730) according to designs by Filippo Juvarra. The main altar (1703) was designed by Antonio Bertola with six Solomonic columns surmounted by statues of Faith Hope and Charity by Carlo Francesco Plura. The altarpiece was painted by Carlo Maratta, and the tribune and choir framed with putti sculpted by Stefano Maria Clemente [it]. One church chapel has a canvas of Beato Valfrè by Ferdinando Cavalleri. The sacristy was frescoed by Luigi Vacca. The adjacent oratory (to the right of the facade) was designed by Bettini. The painting of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin was painted by Sebastiano Conca with frescoes by Gaetano Perego.
The imposing Neoclassic pronaos (1823) of the facade, designed by Giuseppe Maria Talucchi has four monumental columns, flanking advanced wings with pilasters, and triangular tympanum. The sober linearity clashes with the decorative interior with its playful, shell-shaped Juvarrian window frames. The six chapels have elliptical domes. Juvarra designed the polychrome marble pavement of the presbytery. Along the nave are medallion bas-reliefs by Giovanni Battista Bernero.
The oratory, located to the right of the facade, is mainly used for concerts and theatrical performances. On the outer (street-side) pilaster of the oratory facade, nearly three-quarters towards the top, is a cannonball embedded in the wall during the French siege of Turin in 1799. The oratory was designed by Antonio Bettini, although likely inspired by a prior design by Jurvarra. To the left of the oratory is the baptistry which houses a marble medallion of the Baptism of Christ. The oratory is rich in paintings. The main altar is a St Phillip with an Immaculate Conception by Sebastiano Conca. On the walls are four canvases depicting episodes in the Life of Mary, completed by Conca, his brother, and their studio. The ceiling fresco, depicting the Coronation of Mary, is attributed to Gaetano Perego.
For special feasts, such as Christmas, Pentecost, and the anniversary of the consecration of the church, an altar plate (paliotto) is displayed, made of mother of pearl, ivory, tortoise shell, and hard-wood. It was donated by the artist, Pietro Piffetti (1700-1777), to celebrate the first century of the congregation.
Between Christmas and Epiphany, the entrance to the church is decorated with a presepe consisting of 30 life-sized mannequins, dressed in period costume, sculpted by Anton Maria Maragliano (1664-1739).References:
The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.
The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.
There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.
In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.
After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.
The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.
Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.
Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.
Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.