The Veracruz Sanctuary

Navalcarnero, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid.
Special mention / Diploma in the category Conservation in the year 2009.

Dating of the building: 17th century.

Applicant: Navalcarnero Town Council.

Reason for the award :

For the restoration of the complex formed by this Shrine, a centre of popular devotion, both in its architecture and in its liturgical content, an essential element of identity for the inhabitants of this population.

The hermitage of Veracruz was in a deplorable state in the 21st century, after having been used as a parish hall, movie theatre, and even as a home.

A modest hermitage or sanctuary of Veracruz was built at the beginning of the 17th century, under the protection of the brotherhood of the same name. The brotherhood organized the Holy Thursday processions and managed to transmit to the entire town devotion to the Virgin of Solitude. As a result, the hermitage underwent a profound interior remodeling in the 18th century, which covered the old structure with a raised ceiling that in the main chapel took the form of a polygonal vault. The penitential oratory was completed with wall paintings from the 18th century and a Baroque altarpiece with Solomonic columns with the Virgen de la Soledad in the main niche, and an urn with a reclining Christ, a work from 1652 of Juan Sánchez Barba. The building appeared severely deteriorated in our days due to the 19th-century neglect and the Civil War.

The awarded intervention was highly complex and took place between 2004 and 2007. The objective consisted of recovering the original space of the hermitage, eliminating the house on the upper floor and the parish halls. In the first phase, the roofs were rehabilitated, and the paintings of the altar and nave were restored. Later, the forging built in the middle of the 20th century was eliminated, the façade rehabilitated, and the modern facilities installed.

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