Curiosities of Alarcon!!!

Doing my road warrior way thru Castilla La Mancha was awesome, we spent several summers here and always in our minds to come back. Memories flashing in my mind hard to come up with words but we still remember those gone from our lives but not our minds. Alarcon is one memorable town. Of course, I have written more in my blog. It is about 87 km from Cuenca, the province capital city. Let me tell you about the curiosities of Alarcon!!

The Church of Santa María is located in the center at No, 25 Calle Doctor Tortosa, The church as built between 1520 and 1565. It was erected in Plateresque style with tracery vault in the Gothic way. The cover is from the middle of the 16C, the altarpiece with scenes from the life of the Virgin and the sacristy. It is a large church, built in ashlar masonry, in the corners, buttresses and door and window lintels, being able to include them within the Renaissance style, although in the Diocese of Cuenca is spoken of in the Plateresque style. It is a work of transition, in which the passage from the forms of the Gothic to those already fully Renaissance is observed.


It is a columned church, with a hall floor plan and three naves covered with a ribbed vault. In the central nave, the ribs of the vaults form radiated stars, while in the lateral ones are simpler. It has a five-sided polygonal apse, flanked by columns that present a curious ornamental motif, a large shell ,a motif linked to the Order of Santiago, located at the intersection of the base and the shaft of the column. Said apse contains an important altarpiece dated around 1572, in which notable carvings can be found and where the main altar is located. On both sides of it there is a chapel and the sacristy.


The main entrance opens on the south side of the Church of Santa Maria. Outside, a large triumphal arch shelters the portico. This semicircular arch protrudes from the façade and reaches the height of the cornice of the building The temple is accessed through a semicircular vain door, with voussoirs and flanked by a pair of Corinthian columns between which there are two niche floors with a niche of shells, In the second body on the separating impost, corbels support a richly decorated balustrade, The north door is flared, with a lowered arch divided into quadrangular form and circular mirrors on the spandrels. On the west side of the church there is a small door in a semicircular vain with four attached ribbed archivolts.


The city of Alarcon on its churches, see Santa Maria :

The Castilla La Mancha region tourist office on the Church Santa Maria

We, also, got to see the 13C  Church of Santa Trinidad  at Calle de Santa. Trinidad, 1, as you entered the town after the castle. It is the oldest church in Alarcon with Roman and Gothic elements. The church is in a rectangular laidout with two naves, one from the 13C and one from the 16C, although the vault of the oldest nave is from the 15C. They emphasize in her the fajones arcs and pointed formeros, a triumphal arch of entrance to the presbytery, and a Renaissance altar. The cover is typically plateresque; It exhibits the shields of the Marquis de Villena, Diego López Pacheco, and of which he was bishop at the time, Diego Ramírez de Villaescusa. The tower stands on the so-called Arco de la Villa. The current apse is rectangular and replaces another circular Romanesque.  The square tower has three bodies: the first open with a semicircular arch on which there is a split triangular pediment that houses a mirror and a stone cross in its center; the second rectangular with a square window in the center; the third destined to be a bell tower with a bell hole on each side with a semicircular arch, topped by an entablature cornice; on the cornice there is a perimeter parapet of ashlar masonry, carved as a balustrade.


The Church of Santa Trinidad has two naves and three adjoining chapels. It is the result of various constructive interventions, from its origin, as a church with a single nave erected in the 13C, to which another smaller width was added at the beginning of the 16C. In this last century, the current portal, two chapels and the tower were also erected, while in the 17C a chapel was created next to the head of the second nave. Between 1964 and 1967, the church was restored.

The City of Alarcon on its churches, see Santa Trinidad:

There is another interesting church that of Church of Santo Domingo de Silos in late Romane style from the 12C which we had no time to see on this trip. However, will tell you some as the history I like. The Church of Santo Domingo de Silos still maintains architectural elements from the 15C and 16C, such as the transverse arches, the former walls and the transitional Proto-Gothic portal, as well as a Renaissance-style tower. It preserves some of the treasures found in Alarcón, such as the Gothic vault in the shape of a triangle that still preserves part of the 15C polychromy.

The City of Alarcon on its churches, see Santo Domingo de Silos

There was another surprise inside a former church! The Center for Contemporary Arts on mural paintings sits right in the former church of San Juan Bautista, located at Plaza Infante don Juan Manuel, s/n,  The current construction dates from the 16C and replaced another of Romanesque style. It has a single nave covered with a barrel vault, a cover of Juan de Herrera (Herrera style) and a tower that has endured from the primitive church. The side walls are stiffened by buttresses that, contrary to the usual, are manifested by the interior delimiting spaces that pretend to be small chapels.


Ruin, abandonment and desolation invaded the church of San Juan Bautista for centuries, a beautiful Herrerian building erected at the end of the 16C in the main square of Alarcón, In 1994 the young Spanish painter Jesús Mateo initiated the project to cover the entire old building with a set of wall paintings, The work is defined as other worlds prior to the presence of man on Earth, at the same origin of life, to the world of dreams, in which anguish, life and the end are mixed among many others, a plastic language full of drama. This contemporary work has been officially sponsored by UNESCO since 1997 for its high world artistic interest, It is considered one of the high peaks of contemporary world art. 

The official Mural of Alarcon webpage:

The Cuenca province tourist office on the center for mural paintings

The Castilla La Mancha regional tourist office on the center for mural paintings

There you go folks, a dandy pretty old town of Alarcon in the province of Cuenca, Castilla La Mancha autonomous community of the kingdom of Spain. The town is conveniently in the direction of Valencia and the beaches from Madrid along the A3 expressway worthy of a stop. Hope you enjoy the post on the fortified town of Alarcon.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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