The Former Church of Santa Cruz of Cuenca!!

Well if you have been reading my blog, for which I thank you; you know my sentimental attachment to Cuenca and many family vacations. I ,also, have, several posts on the city and surrounding areas in Castilla La Mancha autonomous community. However, there was one older post crammed with several churches of great architectural and historical value that I have decided to spin off into individual posts giving them the credit they deserve in my blog. Hope you enjoy each of them as we did!

The Church of Santa Cruz or Holy Cross of Cuenca was one of the first parishes in that city. It was a modest construction, a nave, which was made of masonry and covered with wood. An important remodeling was carried out in the 18C, as it was then that the church was vaulted, The church has a nave, in the shape of a hall, which is divided into six sections by means of buttresses with attached pilasters, and has a polygonal apse. The lack of space , as the church overlooks the Huécar gorge forced the sacristy to be placed under the main chapel.


In the 16C the Church of Santa Cruz was covered with a wooden coffered ceiling which, in the 18C, was replaced by a half-barrel vault with lunettes, built with tuff stone, which collapsed due to the lack of solidity of the walls raised in the 16C. The cover of the church is a work of the 16C. With a very simple layout, it is made up of a semicircular arch, between Ionic embossed pilasters. The upper body, which has a niche between two ces, must have been altered in its layout and decoration. Traces of 18C painting have survived inside. Currently, only the façade and the perimeter walls remain of the temple, Inside is the sepulchral Chapel of Luís Valle de la Cerda, an illustrious promoter of the Montes de Piedad. (charitable org),

In the 21C it was rehabilitated to become an exhibition center and for a time it functioned as the Regional Center for Exhibitions and the sale of handicrafts. It currently houses the Roberto Polo Collection.

The Roberto Polo Collection displays 107 works by 60 international artists in the desecrated church of Santa Cruz, showcasing historical European avant-gardes and aims to become a “vital” resource for the city. The one in Cuenca is the second headquarters of the Center for Modern and Contemporary Art of Castilla-La Mancha (Corpo). The other part of the Roberto Polo Collection has been in the former convent of Santa Fe de Toledo since March 2019.

Precisely, the Roberto Polo Collection wants to establish a parallelism between the artists who promoted the Museum of Abstract Art in the city in 1959 and their European and American contemporaries, according to the Cuban-American patron Roberto Polo in an emotional intervention before the media. Among the creations that can be seen in the Holy Cross, there are works by painters such as John Atkinson Grimshaw, Félicien Rops, Alexandre Seon, Joseph Granié and Edgar Degas. Also a work in Chinese ink on paper of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, by Pablo Ruiz Picasso; and «The Soldier», an oil on canvas by Eugène Delacroix, which draws attention very close to the entrance. Meanwhile, on the second floor, which was occupied by the choir of the old church, there is an exhibition of contemporary sculpture and photography, as well as a room dedicated to abstraction.

The Castilla La Mancha regional tourist office on the Church Holy Cross :

The Colleccion Roberto Polo webpage:

There you go folks, a dandy nice Church of Santa Cruz in wonderful Cuenca; we love it. There is so much to see in this Unesco World Heritage Site indeed. Hope you enjoy the post as much as I did. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “The Former Church of Santa Cruz of Cuenca!!”

  1. I need to go back to Cuenca.

    Liked by 1 person

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