San Miguel Church

Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain

 Visited 9 October 2008

Another church under reconstruction was San Miguel’s, a block or so from the Plaza del Arenal. Its tiled tower rises above the surrounding buildings. As shown in the top picture, the tower is centered at the front entrance -- not usually the case in Andalusia.

Baroque -- and Plateresque -- on the side

Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain

This is a building with elegant entrances on three sides. The building started in Ferdinand and Isabella’s realm, around 1484, before they had permanently driven the Moors from Spain. They visited the area and felt the small chapel there was inadequate for the parish’s needs. Early work was Gothic but as centuries elapsed and building continued, Renaissance (nice dome!) and Baroque elements were added.

Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain

Above the ornate center entrance  -- between door and steeple -- the warrior/archangel Miguel triumphs over the decapitated head of the devil -- Plateresque decoration from the 17th century.

Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain

The European Union is funding the restoration of this elegant façade: the work of a Jerez native architect, Diego Moreno Meléndez who worked on Jerez’s cathedral but is buried here. Original construction took up the last 3 decades of the 17th century so let’s hope the remodeling is faster as we hope to get inside San Miguel’s some day. He was assisted in designing the doorway by the Seville’s master of the Baroque entrance, Leonardo de Figueroa. We’ll see a lot of Figueroa’s work when we share the Seville photos.

And a Gothic side

Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain

Above left: a side door (appears to be earlier -- and Gothic and includes this statue of the Immaculate Conception (right) under a Gothic canopy.

Perhaps a chapel

Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain

The opposite side contains what may be the entrance to the Baroque chapel between Corinthian pillars and elaborate and well-preserved religious statuary...

Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain

with a few secular statues including this one (above left) with grapes -- not a bad icon for this center of viniculture. At the center of this statue group is this deep niche (above right) with a statue of the Good Shepherd complete with lost sheep wrapped around his neck.

An Andalusian tower

Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain

San Miguel's three-tier tower starts square and rises into an octagon with its azulejo-tiled roof, common in Andalusia (and very common in Jerez).

Next we visit some of the interesting exteriors in the old town. Please join us by clicking here.

Please join us in the following slide show to give Jerez de la Frontera the viewing it deserves by clicking here.

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Previous:  Plaza del Arenal            Next:  The Streets of Jerez

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