SAN ANTONIO DE LOS ALEMANES: THE JEWEL OF THE SPANISH CROWN
The small church of San Antonio de los Alemanes (1624-1633), hidden behind austere walls in the Malasaña district, is far from the tourist trail, yet it is one of the most impressive whorship places in Madrid. The elliptical vault is in fact covered with splendid frescoes, made by Luca Giordano among others. Here are represented episodes from the life of Saint Anthony of Padua, patron saint of travelers, poors, masons, stationers and sterile women. The building was built at the behest of King Philip II who wanted to pay homage to the large Portuguese community residing in Madrid with a place of worship dedicated to their most important saint.
The Church of San Antonio de los Alemanes
San Antonio is a small jewel: the small size (you can admire the vault by simply turning around with the nose up) and the richness of the decoration make it the place to immerse yourself in the Spanish painting of the second half of 1600s.
Initially the church, together with the small adjoining hospital, was to serve as a place to welcome and care for the poor Portuguese who came to Madrid. With the independence of Portugal in 1640, the building fell into disuse until Mariana of Austria, wife of King Philip IV, decided to open it again and attached a hospital to welcome and care for the soldiers of the king’s regiment, and subsequently the indigent Germans arriving in Madrid. This is how the it changed its name to San Antonio de los Alemanes (Sant Antonio of the Germans). The church, which King Philip V called “la joya de la corona” – “the jewel of the Crown” -, was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument in 1972.
intersection between Calle de la Puebla and Corredera Baja de San Pablo (n.16)
Monday – Saturday from 10.30 to 14
Full: 2 euros
Reduced: 1 euro
How to get there:
Metro: Callao (Lines 3 and 5), Gran Vía (Lines 1 and 5)
Bus: 1, 2, 44, 46, 74, 75, 133, 146, 147, 148
Extra-urban service (Cercanías): Madrid-Sol