Church of the Holy Martyrs Ciriaco and Paula
This church has undergone many changes during the past five centuries. Once a small building, constructed in Gothic-Mudejar style with ogival arches, at the beginning of the 16th century, it has evolved into a Rococo style church, as a result of building works carried out during the 18th century which, albeit with some changes, can still be admired today.
The continual repairs and extensions mean that the church we see today bears little resemblance to the original temple, with the exception of the Mudejar style timber framing, now hidden under the Baroque style vault.
It was customary at the time that a cemetery would be located next to the church. The cemetery for this temple spanned the entire main façade surrounding it on the side of the tower as far as the chapel next to the side door.
The 18th century witnessed the church’s great transformation, when its structure was completely altered. A complex reconstruction was necessary due to the participation of individuals and confraternities in the remodelling of chapels, the purchase of adjacent sites with a view to extending the church and especially after the earthquake of 1755, which also damaged the tower. This reconstruction entailed adding a crossing nave whose arms, together with the main chapel, are arranged with an apse layout in a dynamic and harmonious structure. This structure was extended to the whole interior making the temple one of the most representative Rococo churches in Malaga.
Later works on the gate and atrium of the main entrance were carried out after 1777. The parish website http://www.santosmartires.es/visita/recorrido.html has a wonderful animation showing how the church would have appeared at the end of the 18th century, based on the map drawn by Jose Carrion de Mula in 1791.
Great losses occurred during the attacks and looting of 1931, with the result that the archive, the lower choir, an image of the Dolorosa of Pedro de Mena and images of the patron saints San Ciriaco and Santa Paula were lost forever.
The reinforcement of the foundations between 1942-1945 and the decision to preserve the vault and high choir (having established that, contrary to initial beliefs, they were in good condition), were of great importance.
Between 1999 and 2007 the restoration work was completed in two phases and focused on waterproofing the building and carrying out repairs to the façade. This work revealed two parts: the lower part, built using a Castilian bonding technique (the original tower) and a second part, built with a brick in which some traces of rust coloured pigment can be seen.
Translation: Lingua Futura
Autor: José Mayo. Translation: LINGUA FUTURA