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Iglesia de San Juan Evangelista - Mancha Real

Iglesia de San Juan Evangelista - Mancha Real

The church is the most significant cultural asset of Mancha Real, and its design and construction is credited to numerous prestigious architects from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, such as Andrés de VandelviraJuan de ArandaEufrasio López de Rojas and Ventura Rodríguez.

Several researchers have suggested the intervention of Andelvira in the church’s design, based on a study of similarities with the right side of the Cathedral of Jaén. This theory is thrown into doubt by the church’s columnar structure, a model absent from any of Vandelvira’s other works.

Nonetheless, the four sections with spherical vaults in the central nave and grooves in the sides could well attribute the church to Vandelvira and his school. In addition, the works were interrupted in 1575, the year of his death. The works resumed in 1614 and, by the middle of the century, at the initiative of Cardinal Baltasar Moscoso, the pace and quality of the works intensified.

The reorganization of the internal space was proposed by Juan de Aranda, designing a high choir to take advantage of the wide gap that remained between the stirrups, but which he left unfinished. He designed the main portal, of extraordinary workmanship and beautiful composition, mannerist both in concept and in ornamentation, exquisitely carved in stone and structured like an altarpiece.

From 1670, López de Rojas worked on the choir, covered the basement with a barrel vault with lunettes and traced the tower, another of the outstanding highlights of the temple, which he placed on the southwest side, further emphasizing the two doorways of the temple. Its base is quadrangular and the first body, devoid of decoration, is supported by strong stirrups.

In 1775, he took charge of raising the second body of the Ventura Rodríguez tower, which left its mark on the balconies with a semi circular arch over imposts, boxed pilasters and triangular pediments with a shield on the tympanum. The body of bells, later restored, presents vases in the four corners on which the octagonal body rises, which supports a pyramidal spire.

The complex and ornate temple was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1983.


Located in Plaza Constitución.


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