Santa María de la Cabeza

Ávila, Spain

Built outside the walls to the north of the town, Santa María de la Cabeza was consecrated in 1210 and is the last example of the Romanesque style in Ávila. Its upper end was begun in Romanesque style and was followed by the construction of the naves in unquestionable Mudejar style. The three apses, which open into three naves, were built in granite on the outside and finished off with a small, plain cornice in Caleno granite.

The three-nave body with double formerets in brick, the arches in the chapels in the apses and the distribution of the south front point to a later date and to the Mudejar tradition. The south front is finished off with a small steeple and a triangular front with a niche containing the statue of the Madonna of La Cabeza. The west entrance was crowned with a solid-built steeple in 1708.

The sculptures that decorate the fascias in the presbytery are characterised by plaits with diamond-shaped tips and reveal the influence of traditional Islamic motifs.

In 1834, the municipal cemetery was moved to this area of the town and the church was used as a chapel. It was later downgraded to a shrine when the cemetery was moved to its current location in the 20th century.

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Founded: 1210
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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