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Northern Granada Places of Worship Tour (Self Guided), Granada

The churches of Granada are living history pages, carved in stone. This tour is all about the fifteenth century monuments telling the story of remarkable men and their city, starting from the Arab empire to the Christian conquest. With the highlight of religion and history, this tour provides glimpses of the past life. Also, you can treat yourself to the breathtaking panoramas of the city from the Miradores near some of the churches.
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Northern Granada Places of Worship Tour Map

Guide Name: Northern Granada Places of Worship Tour
Guide Location: Spain » Granada (See other walking tours in Granada)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: anna
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Church of Santos Justo y Pastor
  • San Jerónimo Church
  • San Juan de Dios Church
  • Iglesia de San Andrés
  • San Ildefonso Church
  • San Miguel Bajo Church
  • Monastery of Santa Isabel la Real
  • Church of San Nicolás
  • San Salvador Collegiate Church
Church of Santos Justo y Pastor

1) Church of Santos Justo y Pastor

The Church, or Iglesia in Spanish, of Santos Justo y Pastor is one of the many ornate churches found in Grenada, particularly around the Almoravid and Albayzin districts. These Catholic places of worship were built after the Conquest of Granada in 1492. Granada was the final city in Andalucía to be reconquered by the Catholic monarchs, Spanish royals who brought a religious crusade to the region. Prior to this date, the region was known as Al-Andalus, and was ruled by the Moors, a Muslim people that settled in Iberia. Granada was ruled by Emirs, who lived in the Alhambra palace which still overlooks the city.

This church is located opposite the main campus of the University of Granada, and was once the university chapel. It still remains popular with students, as a result. It is notable for its elegant façade, with a large stone engraved decoration around the portal. Inside, you can view a stunning altarpiece designed by Bocanegra. Construction on Santos Justo y Pastor began in 1575, roughly halfway through the period when most of Granada’s churches were built. This also marks the era of the Spanish Inquisition, when many non-Catholics were executed as part of the Reconquisition of Spain by the Catholic monarchs.
San Jerónimo Church

2) San Jerónimo Church

The San Jerónimo Monastery is located on Calle Rector Lopez Argueta, in the historic centre of Granada. It was the first monastery to be built in the city, following the Christian conquest of Granada in the Middle Ages. It was first founded in 1492 by Catholics in nearby Santa Fe, but was moved shortly afterwards to the city, the capital of Andalucía. Construction began on the current building four years later, next to an area known as the Almoravid, which now houses the city’s main hospital. It was built using the demolished Elvira gate, during Moorish rule of Granada.

The main chapel and transept were created by Jacopo Florentino and Diego de Siloé. The church holds many tributes to Gonzalez Fernando de Cordoba, the ‘great captain’ of Spain’s Christian conquistadors, who ended Islamic influence on the Iberian peninsula with the conquest of Granada. The building’s exterior is adorned with his coat of arms, whilst a sepulchre of the military leader can be found inside the monastery, close to the ornate altarpiece. The building is open to the public from Monday to Sunday in summer, closing on Sundays throughout the winter. Opening hours are 10am to 1.30pm and 4pm to 7.30pm in summer, closing an hour earlier in winter. Admission to the monastery is 3.50 Euros.
San Juan de Dios Church

3) San Juan de Dios Church (must see)

The San Juan de Dios Church is located on the street of the same name. Both are named after Juan Duarte, a local monk who arrived in Granada in 1536. In a time of hardship for the city and surrounding region, Duarte dedicated his life to caring for the sick and needy. He died in Casa de los Pisa in 1550, and was later canonized. The city’s main hospital also bears his name. Inside this stunning baroque church, you can see the silver urn, held within a raised shrine, which contains his ashes.

The church was erected in the 17th century, as a sanctuary and crypt for Juan Duarte. It was designed by Jose de Bada y Navajas, the high master of cathedrals in Granada and Malaga. Designed in a Latin cruciform plan, it is notable for its collection of paintings and sculpture, added soon after the church was completed. The main altar was designed by Francisco Guerrero, and is made from gilded wood. A four room chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary can be found above the sacristy, close to the shrine to San Juan de Dios.

The church of San Juan de Dios is located in the very centre of Granada. It is open from 10am until 1pm, and from 4pm to 7pm, in summer. The church closes at 6pm during the winter months.
Iglesia de San Andrés

4) Iglesia de San Andrés

The Iglesia de San Andrés is one of many historic churches in Granada, and is considered to be one of the finest. Built in the Romanesque style in the 15th century, it was extensively redeveloped in the 18th century. It has been a Spanish national monument since 1923. Lacking the intricate decoration found on many of the city’s churches, it is notable for its simple, elegant design. A three naved church, the Iglesia de San Andrés has a striking apse, decorated in chequerboard black and white tiles. Many valuable paintings and engravings can be found inside the building, including works by Alonso Vàzquez and Gàspar Nuñez Delgado. The church’s most famous artwork is a depiction of an apparition of the Virgin Mary appearing before Saint Bernard.

For centuries, the church has been the home of Los Panaderos, a Catholic brotherhood of local bakers. They originally laid the foundation stones for the original building, and continue to form the guild of the church and participate in the city’s famous Easter celebrations. The church is free to visit, though it is closed to the general public during services. It is generally open to visitors from 10am to 6pm from 1st May to 16th October, closing during the traditional siesta period from 2pm to 4pm.
San Ildefonso Church

5) San Ildefonso Church

The church of San Ildefonso is a small church built between 1553 and 1559, outside the walled city of Granada, in an area previously called llamada de Rabadasif, which is near the Elvira gate. The Baroque style exterior is impressive and in the altarpiece you can see the statues of St. Ildefonso, archangels San Miguel and San Rafael, Santa Catalina and Santa Ines in the bays, and San Antón and San Jose in the center. These were all added later, in 1717.
San Miguel Bajo Church

6) San Miguel Bajo Church

San Miguel Bajo Church loosely translates as “Low St. Michael’s Church”. Despite its lofty altitude among the Andalucía hills, this is because it is the lower of two San Miguel churches in Granada. The other – San Miguel Alto – is perched near the top of a hillside above the city. It is found in the historic Albayzin area of the city. Despite its unassuming exterior, the church and adjoining plaza hold a number of treasures which tell the diverse history of the city. The interior of the church does not open to the public, and can only be seen during and after Mass on Sunday mornings.

The fountain on the church’s flank is in a red brick design, lending weight to the theory that San Miguel Bajo was a mosque during the reign of the Muslim Almohads. There is a suggestion that parts of the building may in fact be much older, as two marble columns, representative of the Roman era, can be seen on either side of the fountain. Across the plaza, there is a statue of Christ on the cross, known as ‘Christ of the Lilies’. Look closely, and you’ll see that the statue is held together with iron clamps. The statue was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, hidden away by the townspeople, and then put back together in peace time.
Monastery of Santa Isabel la Real

7) Monastery of Santa Isabel la Real

The Monastery of Santa Isabel la Real stands on the Camino Nuevo de San Nicolás, next to San Miguel Bajo church. It was built on the site of Dar al-Horra, a former Moorish palace. It was founded by Queen Isabella of Castile following the conquest of Granada. The monastery was designed in the Gothic style, known locally as ‘Isabella’s style’ due to its popularity with the Queen. It was completed in the 16th century, and bears her coat of arms on the entrance door.

The church’s interior is notable for several unusual items. These include a Mudejar ceiling above the nave, comprised of fretted woodwork in a style associated with Moorish craftsmen. The church also houses the tomb of sculptor Bernardo Francisco de Mora. The font is formed from the remnants of a fountain recovered from the remains of the palace. The statue of the Virgin Mary, along with several wooden crosses seen on the walls of the monastery, is carried by the resident nuns through Granada’s streets for the Easter parade. The nuns that live at the monastery can be heard singing next to the nave each evening at 7pm. They also sell pastries, which can be bought through a revolving window within the church.
Church of San Nicolás

8) Church of San Nicolás

The Mirador de San Nicolas is located in the Plaza Mariana Pineda. Translated as the viewpoint of Saint Nicholas’, it is perhaps the best place from which to enjoy a view across the picturesque city of Granada. Located amongst the foothills of Andalucía, Granada is one of the most historic cities in Spain, and perhaps in all of Europe. The city centre is immaculately preserved, and largely unspoiled by modern development. It is also a place of huge significance for architects and followers of religious history, as it combines Arabic architecture brought to the city by the Moorish invasion, and medieval Catholic churches built following the Reconquisition of southern Spain.

From the Mirador, you can see many of the historic buildings that fill the city’s skyline, including the world famous Alhambra building, constructed whilst the city was ruled by the Almohads. Other buildings visible from the Mirador include the Peinador of Reina, the Church of Santa Maria, and the palaces of Nazaries and Carlos V. The Greater Mosque of Granada, one of the city’s most prominent Muslim places of worship, can also be seen, as well as three towers – Coseas, Vela and Bermejas. Centrally located and with a bird’s eye view over many attractions, the Mirador de San Nicolàs is a great place to start a walking tour of Granada.
San Salvador Collegiate Church

9) San Salvador Collegiate Church

San Salvador Church stands on the site of the old mosque, which was built in the 9th century, replacing Granada’s first cathedral. The mosque was built by the Almohads, Muslim crusaders who conquered the region, naming it al-Andalus. The site of the church is reflective of the city’s turbulent religious history. The church courtyard and the base of the tower are the only surviving remnants of the mosque.

The building of San Salvador church began in 1674, nearly two hundred years after the conquest of Granada. Designed by Esteban Garcia, it was completed by Jose Granados and Leonardo de Figueroa. A hall church divided into four sections, San Salvador has been refurbished several times throughout its history. The colonnades which surrounded the former mosque courtyard were restored in the 17th century. The church’s main façade is in the Mannerist style, an unusual architectural period sandwiched between Renaissance and Baroque.

The church’s interior is known for a number of ornate individual sections. These include the Chapel of Christ the Helpless, with its roof decorated with Baroque murals, and the Sacramental Chapel, with a huge, intricate altarpiece which incorporates an entrance door. The main altarpiece is one of the most richly decorated in the city, and perfectly captures the elaborate, dazzling artworks found in Baroque religious decoration.

Walking Tours in Granada, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Granada

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Central Granada Places of Worship Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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