The Santa María Parish Church
The Santa María Parish Church represents a turning point between Muslim and Christian Mojácar. Probably built on the site of an old Arab mosque it served a dual purpose: religious and defensive fortification.
“The lookout has alerted us that an unknown ship has disembarked on the coast. Alonso picked up his little sister in his arms while his parents rescued the few valuable things from their house: the hoe, the doublet, some knife and a blanket. They quickly made for the church, where they are protected from the increasingly more common raids.” Built at the end of the 16th century from 1560 onwards, by the master builder Sebastián Segura, the old tower was almost completely restored at the end of the 20th century. The defensive character of this fortification is one of the main characteristics of this Renaissance-style building, declared a Monument of Cultural Interest.
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A large building with a simple exterior and wide stone pillars, it is one of the few examples of architecture of this kind in the province.
The construction has a regular floor with thick stone walls to which a chapel was added to one side, and on the other, the sacristy was added. The latter has access to the tower, connected visually with the coastal watchtowers.
Inside we find the original structure from the Muslim period, to which has been added a series of elements from the Christian cult, among them the images of the Virgin of the Rosary and Saint Augustine, both patron saints of Mojácar.
The original alter piece disappeared during the Civil War. In its place we find a significant fresco created in the 1980s by the German painter Michael Sucker.
In a beautiful corner of the plaza one finds the exact recreation of one of the scenes from the Re-conquest, which is recreated in the masonry of the choir of Toledo Cathedral. It was handcrafted by the artist Itziar Ortúzar.
The side door of the church leads to a stone staircase which goes down to the Parterre Plaza, an old Arab necropolis, where the tombs were turned to Mecca. Today it is porticoed.
In front of the church one finds the image of the Mojacan woman, dressed in the typical costume which the women of the municipality wore for centuries.