The Real Colegiata de San Isidro of Madrid !!!

This is Madrid as close as you can get, have been inside several times but many years ago, finally got around to show my young men the heritage , architecture and history of my dear Madrid . I am updating this wonderful post with text and link for you and me, This is the Patron Saint of Madrid , San Isidro and this is his home. I like to tell you about a place you need to come if really want to know Madrid, the Real Colegiata de San Isidro or Royal Collegiale of Saint Isidore.


The Collegiate Church of San Isidro, also called Collegiate Church of San Isidro el Real, located in the historic center at Calle de Toledo no 37 . It was the provisional cathedral of this city until 1993, the year in which the Almudena Cathedral (see post) opened its doors. The building was built in the 17C as a church of the former Imperial College of the Society of Jesus, which is attached to the building. In it, the mortal remains of San Isidro, patron of Madrid, and his wife, Santa María de la Cabeza, are guarded.


A bit of history I like

The Collegiate Church of San Isidro is due to a 1620 design and the works began two years later, until 1633 ,and completed construction with others in 1664. The Collegiate Church of San Isidro replaced the parish of St. Peter and St. Paul, from the 16C, which was demolished, next to the primitive Imperial College, following the instructions left in his will by Mary of Austria ,daughter of Emperor Carlos I. The Empress bequeathed her fortune to the Society of Jesus in order to build a new church on the site of the demolished church. The church was consecrated on September 23, 1651. In 1767, with the expulsion of the Jesuits, it became a collegiate church. Two years later, by order of King Carlos III it was under the invocation of San Isidro.  In 1885, with the constitution of the diocese of Madrid, it became the provisional cathedral of this city, a rank that it held for more than a century, until 1993, when the current Almudena Cathedral was concluded and San Isidro recovered the condition of Collegiate Church. In 1936, the church was set on fire as soon as the Spanish Civil War began. The fire destroyed numerous works of art, including the main altarpiece, as well as canvases by Francisco Ricci or Luca Giordano. The fire also caused the sinking of the dome, the first  vault with structure of recycled wood, canes and gypsum. After the war, the entire Church was restored. The process developed slowly over two decades, trying to recover as much as possible the original elements, until culminating in the 1960s with the elevation of a new section in the towers of the main façade. Since 1978 the Church of San Isidro  is the canonical seat of the Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus of the Great Power and Mary Most Holy of Hope Macarena, who collects the witness of these two Sevillian devotions and makes its processional departure from Holy Week on the afternoon of Holy Thursday.

The Collegiate Church of San Isidro is one of the most representative religious architecture in Madrid of the 17C. It was built in Baroque style by Jesuit architects, who followed the model defined in the Church of the Gesù, in Rome. Its single-nave Latin cross plan, with side chapels, cruise and dome, denotes this influence. The main facade, which overlooks Calle de Toledo, stands out for its monumental air with palatial reminiscences. Made of granite, it integrates a central body of four Corinthian columns, chaired by a sculptural group with the effigies of San Isidro and his wife Santa Maria de la Cabeza.


On the nave the dome rises, is the first example of a boxed dome, a type of false dome drawn on a wooden frame covered with plaster, which, given its lightness, facilitates its support on walls of small thickness. The interior of the church rich in works of art, lost much of them in the fire of the early 20C (Spanish Civil War by Republicans). However, the sarcophagus was saved with the relics of San Isidro, which is guarded in the main altarpiece, and some paintings and sculptures; thus, an excellent altarpiece chaired by La Sagrada Familia (Holy Family), also called Las dos Trinidades (two trinitaires) , in the Pilar chapel; or several paintings by the baroque, among them the one that represents the conversion of San Francisco de Borja, in the altarpiece of the left arm of the nave.  The pulpit is also interesting, made in a combination of polychrome marbles. The great main altarpiece, which is in Neoclassical style, was grazed by the fire and replaced after the Spanish Civil War with an exact copy; In its central part it houses two sarcophagi that contain the relics of the patron Saint of Madrid and his wife, also a Saint.



The official Mass of the Royal Collegiate Church of San Isidro :

The Madrid tourist office on the Collegiate Church of San Isidro

There you go folks, a must when in Madrid, even if not into religion, this is the architecture and historical center of the city, the meaning for all its residents and you will leave knowing more about Madrid than ever. Hope you enjoy the post on the Royal Collegiate Church of San Isidro! 

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

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