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About Jimena de la Frontera, the province of Cadiz and Spain as a whole, focused on this small village in the mountains

Presentation of Sanctuary renovations

02.09.09 Inauguración restauración Santuario 36 (Press release) The Mayor of Jimena, Pascual Collado, and the Junta de Andalucía’s Councillor for Culture, Rosa Torres, took part this morning in the presentation of restoration work carried out on the Sanctuary of Our Lady Queen of the Angels (Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles). Restoration has taken over two years, aimed at underpinning the structure and restoring several important architectural features of the building.>PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ITEMS SUCH AS THIS MAY BE SUBJECT TO SUBSCRIPTION IN THE FUTURE but you can make a donation NOW, too! Please click here for more information on how to help us continue. (This item was translated)Present at the ceremony, also, were the Bishop of Cádiz and Ceuta, Antonio Ceballos; the Government Delegate for the province, Gabriel Almagro; the provincial Delegate for Culture, Yolanda Peinado; and the sub-Delegate for the Campo de Gibraltar, Rafael España, among others.

Renovations to the Sanctuary, which is home to the image of the Patron Saint of Jimena, was carried out thanks to an agreement signed in 2006 between the Bishopric and Jimena Council aimed at solving the lack of protection the edifice had been suffering for some time, principally because it was not within the Historic Quarter of the town.

The total cost of €1,375,000 was covered by the Junta de Andalucía (€626,819.70) and the Bishopric (€626,819.70, with help from the Brotherhood in charge of the Virgin), Jimena Council (€121,266.26).

Rosa Torres’s speech

The Councillor for Culture pointed out that her department is “enormously pleased” to have recovered an important part of the heritage of Andalucía, which “is so much part of its environment, close to Los Alcornocales Nature Park” and called it” one of the most outstanding at thee edges of the Campo de Gibraltar.” Torres related the restoration with a project her department has in hand: the creation of a ‘route’ of historical ecclesiastic buildings, within which she was “committed” to including the Sanctuary.

She also announced that, given its Baroque influences, the Sanctuary is to be included in an official listing of buildings of this period.

The Bishop’s speech

Antonio Ceballos expressed his pleasure at the culmination of “very necessary” restoration work for a place he called “the centre of pilgrimage in the Campo de Gibraltar.” He hoped that, having re-valued the building and church, “the number of pilgrims would increase.”

The Mayor’s speech

Pascual Collado thanked the various institutions involved in the work, as well as the architects, José Ignacio Fernández-Pujol and José Herrera, who oversaw the project. Nevertheless, he added, “work has not quite finished yet” as there are several interior rooms and outbuildings that will have to be finished off in the future.

The Head Brother’s speech

For his part, the Head Brother of the Brotherhood of Our Lady Queen of the Angels, José Castilla, went through the different stages of the work. The firs of these was the donation to the Brotherhood of a plot of land in 1982, which was sold and the proceeds used in the Sanctuary’s renovation.

Castilla asked that the various rooms and outbuildings be used properly, and called on the Junta for help in restoring the cupula of the Virgin’s Chamber, also in the Baroque style, and “the most significant jewel of the entire complex,” which was left out of the present renovation project.

AutistasSevilla 009 Historical religious building

The Sanctuary (often mistakenly called El Convento for it was never a nun’s convent) was originally a Franciscan monastery in the 15th century. Its Baroque features, however, were part of restoration work carried out in the 17th and 18th centuries, though the cloisters are in the Mudéjar (Spanish Muslim period, under Christian rule) style. The only remaining elements of this period can be found in the church, the cloisters and the Virgins chambers.

The church is of a single nave, while the main chapel houses the aforementioned chambers, which is also home to a stone image of the Virgin, probably of the 15th century. The chamber itself is decorated with stucco murals showing vegetation and busts of angels, while the bell tower is to the side of the front facade, an unusual feature.

In spite of its state, the Sanctuary holds weekly Masses and the annual Novena, to be held this very week, as well as serving as a concert hall for Classical Music during Jimena’s International Music Festival.

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