Photographer's Note

The Convent of Agustinas de Santa Mara Magdalena in Alcal de Henares is also known by the name of Santa Mara la Mayor or Our Lady of Consolation, it was originally founded in the 16th century as a shelter for women, to fight against prostitution, that she had been attracted to Alcal by the dense student population. It initially functioned as a Reception House and had the protection of Cardinal Gaspar Quiroga.

Later it changed its location and became a closure of Augustinian nuns between 1668 and 1672, at the initiative of Don Andrs de Villarn. Inside is the image of the Virgen de las Mercedes, who is the patron saint of the city. The carving is a copy made in the year 1938, of the previous Renaissance carving.

The plan of the church is of a Latin cross in a rectangle and is divided by arches into five sections, a large brick vault plastered with mortar, simulating stone ashlar. The arches rest on the outer buttresses and, between these, the small side chapels rise. Its brick faade with stone decorations is of the Encarnacin de Madrid type

However, what most attracts attention and gives it its personality is its beautiful dome, with a slender lantern and a sharp capital, which protrudes from the cover.

An important corner of the church, located on one of its sides, is worth mentioning. We refer to the Toril, the old cloister of the Franciscan convent with a large square patio, which, as a result of the confiscations, passed into private hands.

The church is attributed to the architect Fray Lorenzo de San Nicols and was completed in 1762. Its perspective from Calle de Santa rsula is one of the most beautiful Baroque images of the city of Alcal.

Despite being saved from the confiscation of Mendizbal in the year 1936, it was almost completely destroyed in the Civil War, having remained nothing of it but its skeleton and a Mudejar roof, it was rebuilt during the postwar period.

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El Convento de Agustinas de Santa Mara Magdalena en Alcal de Henares tambin es conocido con el nombre de Santa Mara la Mayor o Nuestra Seora de la Consolacin, fue funda originariamente en el siglo XVI como casa de acogida para mujeres, para luchar contra la prostitucin, que haba venido atrada a Alcal por la densa poblacin estudiantil. Funcion, en un principio como Casa de Acogida y cont con la proteccin del cardenal Gaspar Quiroga.

Posteriormente cambi su ubicacin y se convierte en clausura de monjas agustinas entre 1668 y 1672, a iniciativa de don Andrs de Villarn. En su interior se encuentra la imagen de la Virgen de las Mercedes, que es la patrona de la ciudad. La talla es una copia hecha en el ao 1938, de la anterior talla renacentista.

La planta de la iglesia de es de cruz latina en un rectngulo y est dividida por arcos en cinco tramos, una gran bveda de ladrillo enlucida con mortero, simulando sillera de piedra. Los arcos descansan en los contrafuertes exteriores y, entre estos, se levantan las pequeas capillas laterales. Su fachada, de ladrillo y con adornos en piedra, es del tipo de la Encarnacin de Madrid

Sin embargo, lo que ms llama la atencin y le confiere su personalidad es su hermosa cpula, con una esbelta linterna y un afilado capitel, que sobresale de la portada.

Es digno de mencin un rincn importante de la iglesia, situado en uno de sus laterales. Nos referimos al Toril, antiguo claustro del convento franciscano con un amplio patio cuadrado, que, a raz de las desamortizaciones, pas a manos privadas.

La iglesia se atribuye al arquitecto fray Lorenzo de San Nicols y se finalizo en 1762. Su perspectiva desde la calle de Santa rsula es una de las ms bellas imgenes barrocas de la ciudad de Alcal.

A pesar de salvarse de la desamortizacin de Mendizbal en el ao 1936, qued casi completamente destruido en la Guerra Civil, no habiendo quedado ms de l que su esqueleto y una techumbre mudjar, fue reconstruido durante la posguerra.

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Additional Photos by Luis Garcia (adramad) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8273 W: 5 N: 14905] (66332)
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