San Miguel Parish
According to tradition it is the oldest temple in Andujar, because it is linked, without any documentary foundation, to the existence of a possible Mozarabic community.
St. Michael was the only temple in the city that was linked to the bishopric of Toledo, while the others were to that of Baeza, which for two decades was the civil and ecclesiastical capital of the upper Guadalquivir, a condition that it lost in favor of the city of Jaen. From that moment, the entire Andujar archpriesthood was linked to the new bishopric, including the parish of St. Michael.
Everything seems to indicate that the beginning of the works of St. Michael precedes those of St. Mary, and should be located around the second third of the fifteenth century. We are before a Gothic temple, with a basilica plan of three naves, articulated in five sections; the immediate one to the presbytery, singled out with its smaller height, is conceived like transepto and in the first section, the one of the feet, the choir in stop. The central nave, wider and higher than the lateral ones, ends in a polygonal head, while the lateral ones are flat.
The wall, of great thickness, is ashlar on its external face and plastered on the inside. It fulfills a double function: that of enclosing the building and supporting the weight and pressure of the vaults of the lateral nave. Those areas of the wall that support a greater thrust, are reinforced on the outside with buttresses, arranged in line with the pillars and with the fajones arches. In order not to weaken the wall, only small flared windows in the first and fourth sections and two doors in the third are opened in it. The result of this is that the temple lacks the luminosity of the style and lacks some of its most defining elements: the stained-glass window. Inside, the support element is the pillar, square section, with attached pilasters where the fajones arches and formeros rest.
The temple is covered, at present, with its primitive ribbed vaults, which in the central nave are starred or terceletes and on the sides with a simple ogive. In the central nave, the weight of the vault, driven by the nerves, is concentrated in the corners of each section and goes to the pillars that will transmit it to the foundations. The lateral pressure exerted by the vault, also located at the corners of each section, is canceled by the pressure exerted, in the opposite direction, by the vaults of the lateral naves, which will discharge their pressure and weight into the wall.
In the temple of St. Miguel gothic elements, such as the pointed arch and the vaults of ogives, are put in contact with pre-gothic solutions, as the way to solve the problem of the transfer of the thrusts that, in turn, condition other aspects such as: the one of the height, the luminosity, the thickness of the wall and the one of its exterior physiognomy lacking the system of flying buttresses.
In the section of the feet, on its three naves, the choir, with beautiful wrought iron balustrade of Alonso de Morales. In the sotocoro, in the central coffered ceiling, the Major and Minor Prophets and the shield of Bishop Francisco Sarmiento are depicted in bas-relief, which date the work in the last years of the 16th century. This iconographic program, the announcement of the arrival of the Messiah in the Hebrew stage, is completed with the images of the trascoro, which although conceived in its origin as a cancel of the door of the feet, in the last third of the 20th century it was placed closing the first section of the central nave. In this beautiful Baroque style door (18th century) we find carvings of Christ, the Virgin Mary, Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the pillars of the Church, and the tetramorphs, which fix the message of Christ in writing. It is, therefore, a complete iconographic program, the result of the union of two works of different chronology that time has wanted to unite.
The basilica of St. Michael was enriched by the creation of adjacent chapels open to it. In the nave of the Gospel there are:
The Chapel of the Sacred Heart or Sacramental, organized in two rooms. The first roof with edge vault. It is connected to the second section of the temple by means of a pointed arch decorated with plateresque stuccoes that, in their day, were polychrome. The second room is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes. Its baroque decoration was designed by Jeronimo de Pedrajas. It is connected to the first section by a beautiful grid that houses the heraldry of the Reinoso-Pañuela. In this second room there is, at present, a baroque altarpiece.
The Baptismal Chapel, from the late eighteenth century, of neoclassical style, was made in the years in which the first body of the tower was reinforced. In it there is a beautiful canvas in which the Inmaculada (Immaculate) is represented, with the formal aesthetic of Sevillian baroque of the second half of the seventeenth century and which has now been placed in the nave of the Gospel.
The Sacristy, rectangular section covered with elliptical vault, was made in the early years of the seventeenth century by Juan de Aranda. The Apostolate in oil that decorates the vault is probably the work of Garcia Reinoso.
The door of the feet is Plateresque style, was made in the time of Bishop Merino, whose shield is in the frieze and allows us to date it in the first third of the sixteenth century. Professor Dominguez Cubero points out the authorship of Juan Lopez de Velasco or Jerónimo Quijano. (1) In the niches there were sculptures of the round bulge: the archangel St. Michael in the center and St. Peter and St. Paul in the lateral ones. In the spandrels of the spandrels the busts of Adam and Eve. The northern portal is located in the transit between the Gothic and the Renaissance and is decorated with the coat of arms of the Bishop of Jaén, Don Luis de Ossorio (1483-1496). The southern portal has a folded ogee arch flanked by pinnacles. On the key the image of the archangel St. Michael, on him the shield of bishop Ossorio and on his left the shield with checkered field of Cardinal Cisnero, Primate of Toledo, which alludes to the link that the temple had to the archbishopric of Toledo. The authorship of this door is attributed to the teacher Pedro Lopez.
The tower built at the end of the sixteenth century, has undergone numerous reforms, the most important, for having affected more to its appearance, which suffered in the second half of the eighteenth century, which were lined their first two bodies, very deteriorated for the effects of the Lisbon earthquake. In 1778 the tower threatened to ruin, demanding an immediate action (2), which would not be done until 1791, as Antonio Ponz tells us in his trip to Andalusia and that brought him to these lands of Andújar. It has great similarity with that of the parish of St. Bartholomew, so it is logical to think that it is due to the same author, probably Francisco del Castillo, the Mozo.
Association of Friends of the Patrimony of Andujar
Plaza de España, s/n
953 50 01 29
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