Historical Churches in Malaga, Part II (Self Guided), Malaga

You will surely fall in love with Malaga, a city that will charm you with many of its religious buildings. The churches of this Spanish city are stunning architectural structures, some of them dating back to the 15th century. Take this walking tour and discover some of the most impressive churches of Malaga.
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Historical Churches in Malaga, Part II Map

Guide Name: Historical Churches in Malaga, Part II
Guide Location: Spain » Malaga (See other walking tours in Malaga)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Author: HelenF
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Santuario de la Victoria
  • Iglesia de San Lázaro
  • Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol
  • Iglesia de Santa María del Sagrario
  • Catedral de Málaga
  • Iglesia de los Mártires
  • Iglesia de San Felipe Neri
  • Parroquia Divina Pastora Y Santa Teresa
  • Parroquia de Cristo Rey
Santuario de la Victoria

1) Santuario de la Victoria (must see)

This Shrine of Santa Maria de la Victoria is one of the principal churches in Málaga. Saint Mary of Victory is the patron saint of the diocese and the city. In 2007, it was made a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.

In 1487, when King Ferdinand II, the King of Aragon laid siege to conquer the city of Málaga, he camped at the location where the church now stands. After the conquest of the city, the King ordered that a church dedicated to Santa Maria de la Victoria be built at the site. At first, it was a convent and chapel established by the Order of Minims. Another church was built in the 16th century. The structure proved inadequate and the present building was constructed between 1693 and 1700. The church was dedicated in 1700.

The Santuario de la Victoria has one of the first dressing room towers or Camarin Torres in Spain. Other features include a magnificent Retablo and a chapel with a small statue of the Virgin and Child made in the 15th century called Santa Maria de la Victoria, given to King Ferdinand by the King of Germany. The crypt contains the tombs of the Counts of Buenavista. It is decorated with white plaster skeletons representing death. The church has an overcoat for the virgin with many jewels attached donated by Anita Delgado, a flamenco dancer from Málaga who became the Maharani of the former Indian State of Kapurthala.

Why You Should Visit:
The basilica itself is lovely, but its real treasures are the Crypt and the fantastically ornate Heavenly Tower.
You may have seen many churches in many countries over the years, but these two features are certainly worth looking at.

You have to go round to the garden to get the Crypt tour, which is a must do, as there is no cost except for a minimum 2 euro donation if you wish.
You can only see the whole of the Tower on this tour. Fragments can be seen from inside the basilica itself, but to see the entire Tower, just do the Crypt tour.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 8:30am-12:45pm / 6-8:30pm; Sun: 8:30am-1pm
The Crypt is open Tue-Sat: 10am-12:30pm
Iglesia de San Lázaro

2) Iglesia de San Lázaro

This church was once the chapel of a connected hospital. The Iglesia de San Lazarus stands on a busy commercial area of Malaga. The church is dedicated to St. Lazarus. The order of St. Lazarus is an ancient order that ran hospitals and provided medical care to patients suffering from leprosy.

The Iglesia de San Lazaro in Malaga was established by Christian rulers of Spain after they defeated the Moors. The building was damaged by the floods of 1628. The order of St. Lazarus provided extensive services to the people of Malaga during the great plague of 1637. The Brotherhood of Rescue made the church their home from 1706 to 1962. Today it is the principal church of the San Lazaro Parish.

The architecture of the church is in Mujedar style. This design was influenced by Islamic architecture and flourished from the 12th to 16th centuries. The church has a single nave with individual chapels. There are many murals with death as the theme. The church was expanded in the 17th century but fell to disrepair after the expansion. In 1948, the Brotherhood of Rescue and the civil government of Malaga funded the restoration of the church under the direction of architect, Enrique Atencia.

The church has a congregation of over 12,034 parishioners from north and central Malaga. Between 1997 and 2004, the structure was enlarged and modernized once again to meet the demands of a vibrant and modern membership.
Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol

3) Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol (must see)

Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol is a Christian Catholic temple built in the late 15th century. The church’s Gothic-Mudéjar style is an exponent of two artistic moments of vital importance. The historical value of the construction is strongly linked to the city’s history. In 2009, restoration of the façade was completed and this change brought to light the architectural drawings made in the 18th century. Also recovered were the openings of four windows, which had been walled up in the early 12th century, thus giving more interior lighting to the temple.

Why You Should Visit:
Though it looks like any other church from outside, the interior decor is very nice, full of sculptures and ornaments.
Has some serious history attached to it as well – you can view the documentation that shows that Picasso was baptised here in 1881.
Iglesia de Santa María del Sagrario

4) Iglesia de Santa María del Sagrario

The church of Santa Maria is a small Tabernacle church adjacent to the cathedral of Malaga. The interiors are richly carved with many spectacular works of art.

The small church was partly built over an ancient mosque. The papal bull of 1488 authorized the construction of the cathedral and this church. The construction style is Isabelline Gothic that was popular for Christian buildings constructed after the defeat of the Moors. The richly carved façade of the church was originally intended for the frontal portion of the cathedral. The church has one rectangular nave with a flat head. The building is home to one of the fraternities that take out a procession on Holy Week called the Brotherhood of Christ Maimed.

The church has many elaborately carved altarpieces including one that depicts the lives of Saint Paul and Saint Peter and a gilded altarpiece of the Virgen de Lourdes. The unique pulpit is made of red marble. The main altarpiece was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. It was replaced by an altarpiece from the Spanish town of Becerril de Campos. An altarpiece depicting the Virgen del Sagrario, also from Becerril de Campos was gifted to the church by a prominent family of Malaga.
Catedral de Málaga

5) Catedral de Málaga (must see)

The main church of the city, Catedral de Málaga is located near the ruin of the Alcazaba Mosque and the Moorish castle of Gibralfaro. The interiors are filled with impressive religious artwork.

The cathedral was built between 1528 and 1782. The structure has only one tower. The plan of the architect, Diego de Siloe had two towers. The second tower was not built because of financial constraints. This earned the structure, the nickname La Manquita or the one-armed lady. The cathedral took over two centuries to build; as a result, two styles of architecture were used – the exterior and façade have a Baroque style while the interiors have a Renaissance pattern. The exterior and façade have two floors. The tower is 84 meters high and the second tallest in Andalusia.

The interior plan is rectangular with a nave and 2 aisles. Works of art decorating the interior include the Gothic altar in the Chapel of Santa Barbara, the neoclassic Chapel of Incarnation and the beheading of St. Paul, painted by well-known Spanish artist Enrique Simonet. Visitors are charged a fee to enter. There is a free open-air museum in the cathedral's front gardens with many interesting and informative exhibits.

Why You Should Visit:
Rich, architecturally interesting, and thought-provoking edifice which maybe wouldn't have been better had the money been to hand to finish it?
Very interesting chapels all around inside, but the views from the bell tower from over the city and beyond should definitely not be missed if you are fit.

It is possible to access the cathedral on a Sunday at specific mass times and thereabouts free of charge; however, your visit will be a bit more restricted; there won't be audio guides available, you won't go up the bell tower, and certain sections will be roped off.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am-9pm; Sat: 10am-6:30pm; Sundays & holidays: 2pm-6:30pm (1 Apr - 15 Oct);
Mon-Sat: 10am-6:30pm; Sundays & holidays: 2pm-6:30pm (16 Oct - 31 Mar)
Iglesia de los Mártires

6) Iglesia de los Mártires (must see)

One of the four churches built by the Spanish Catholic Monarchs after the defeat of the Moors in 1487, Iglesia de los Mártires is dedicated to two martyred saints, Ciriaco and Paula who were canonized in an early Christian era. The saints, together with Our Lady of Victory are the patron saints of the city of Málaga.

Work on the church began in 1491. Don Diego de Deza increased the pace of building the structure in 1505. The architectural style was Gothic-Mujedar with pointed arches. There are three naves topped with a majestic cupola on top of the main chapel. It underwent extensive renovation in the 18th century and was rededicated in 1777. The church was damaged several times after 1777 and the present structure is a result of repairs and renovations in 1945. The brick church has many styles and the predominant design is Rococo. The tower still retains its Mujedar Moorish design. The church has 11 chapels decorated marble and stone sculpture. In 1545, Diego de Portilla installed a baptismal font. Many of the chapels have gilded altars.

This church of the Martyrs stands on a square called Martyr’s Plaza. A simple church service to honor the martyred saints takes place on 18th June every year.

Why You Should Visit:
While the outside is not too impressive, the inside is nicely decorated.
The walls and ceiling are white so the artwork shows off quite nicely.

Check out the side chapels – in particular, the one containing a life-size naturalistic sculptural depiction of the Last Supper.
Iglesia de San Felipe Neri

7) Iglesia de San Felipe Neri

This church gets its name from its location, the district of San Philip Neri in Malaga. It is also called the Church of Santa Cruz. It was home to several fraternities of Malaga from time to time. Four brotherhoods still have their headquarters here.

The Iglesia de San Felipe Neri was first a small chapel built by the Bueavista family next to a mansion, they owned in Gaona Street. The present church is an 18th century construction commissioned by the 2nd count of Buenavista. Generations of counts from the Buenavista family have made many additions and adornments to the church. The foundations of the church were laid in 1720. The Counts of Buenavista chose the order of the Philippians as the best religious order to occupy the chapel. Worship at the building began in 1785. The church was damaged during the French occupation and later during the Spanish Civil War. In the 1970s efforts were made to restore the building. Extensive repairs and restorations were carried out with the help of the City of Malaga and the ministry of Culture in 1997 and 1998.

The church has a mixture of baroque and classical designs executed by well known architect Jose Martin de Aldehuela. The entire ceiling is covered with elegant ornamentation using glazed tiles. A beautiful statue of San Felipe Neri and the shield of the counts of Buenavista greet worshippers at the entrance.
Parroquia Divina Pastora Y Santa Teresa

8) Parroquia Divina Pastora Y Santa Teresa

Parroquia Divina Pastora Y Santa Teresa was built in the 17th century, to serve as a convent for the Capuchin Franciscans. During the Republic there was an attempt by the military to demolish the church, but according to the chronicles, fortunately, the republicans of the Capuchin district opposed this action. The church became a parish in 1951. It is quite a jewel given the large sculptural heritage; one can contemplate the amazing 17th and 18th century paintings, such as the Divina Pastora and San José
Parroquia de Cristo Rey

9) Parroquia de Cristo Rey

Parroquia de Cristo Rey is located in "Garden City", the northeast area of Malaga. In 1997, the merger between two religious facilities took place; these were Iglesia Cristo Rey and Iglesia Nuestra Señora Del Rosario, thus forming the present place of worship. The church is a warm and welcoming religious venue where all come to pray to the Almighty God.

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