The church of Santa María la Mayor

Colmenar de Oreja, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid.

Dating of the building: 13th - 19th century.

Applicant: Maria Antonia González-Valcárcel and Francisco Landínez.

Reason for the award :

For the complex restoration of this church, carried out with exceptional expertise and precision, and which has also led to the discovery of significant heritage treasures.

Archaeological studies in the church revealed the existence of the original Colmenar slab pavement, and the church floor was lowered 30 centimetres.

The Order of Santiago erected the primitive church of Santa María la Mayor in the 13th century, profoundly reformed during the 16th century. The roof, the tower, and three monumental entrances, attributed to the design of the great Renaissance architect Juan de Herrera, were in a sorry state of conservation and urgently required intervention. The archaeological investigation revealed details of the original plan of the building, as well as remains of the organ, which disappeared during the Civil War. As a result, the floor was lowered 30 centimetres to its original foundations, thus recovering the Colmenar stone slabs. The columns and rib vaults were also cleaned up and consolidated, eliminating the materials and mortars added in the 19th century, consequently recovering their original height. Remains of paintings from the 16th century were also restored, after their discovery in the presbytery and on the altarpiece in the central nave.

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