Saint Anthony of the Germans a hidden gem of Madrid
Saint Anthony of the Germans church is a beautiful hidden artistic and arquitectural jewel of Madrid. The fame of the most well known churches of Madrid has eclipsed its name but the bright of its inside can hardly be compared to anyother one in the city.
Madrid is packed of churches, convents and interesting religious buildings. Most of the tourist opt for the Cathedral of Almudena, but there are other attractive churches like Saint Anders, Saint Jerome, Saint Francis, the Convent of the Barefoot and some other equally beautiful. Some of them are pure gems but unfortunately these temples pass unnoticed for many. In this post we are going to discover a bit more about one of them – Saint Anthony of the Germans.
It’s located in Malasaña district, just eight minutes away walking from Puerta del Sol, in the junction of Corredera Baja de San Pablo and La Puebla street. From the outside it’s not something astonishing or striking. It’s a relatively small church, but what makes it special it’s on the inside. The inner dome is one of a kind.
The interior was designed by Michelangelo Colonna and the artist who started with the paintings of the dome was Francisco Rizzi (best known because of his contribution to the Monastery of El Escorial). This dome is also known as the “Spanish Sistine Chapel”. The resemblance is there. The wall was painted by Lucas Gordano and the altars were made by Eugenio Cajés. Other important elements are the organ or the tombstones of some infants of Castile.
The church was built in 1624 by the Saint Anthony of the Portuguese institution, and it was a hostel and hospital giving shelter to the Portuguese migrants. At that time Portugal and Spain formed the Iberian Union, but when Portugal gained Independence, Mariana de Austria changed the name of the church and decided to give shelter to the German inmigrants. In fact, if we go down the street Corredera Baja de San Pablo, and we cross Luna Square, the next street is called Tudescos, the way Germans were called at that time in the Spanish Empire.
In the 18th century, the administration was given to the Fraternity of Sanctuary, who helped homeless people to find shelter. And they still do it! There is also a charitable food center if we continue Corredera de San Pablo going a bit up. Back in the day, the priest were looking for poor people to give them bread, water and boiled eggs. As something anecdotical, they used a template with a hole, to see whether if the egg was worthy or not. The template had a hole, and if the egg could pass through it, then it was discarded as something “dishonorable” for the Fraternity.
For so many curiosities and its unique beauty we recommend you to visit Saint Anthony of the Germans church by yourselves and Discover all its secrets.
You will be able to do it during prayers from Monday to Saturday at 19h, Sundays and holidays at 11h, 12h, and 12h45.
But if you don’t want to visit the church while listening any sermon, you can visit it from 10h30 to 14h from Monday to Saturday during the visiting hours! It is just 2 worthy euros!
And with this post we have discovered one of the best well hidden secrets of Madrid. If you want to Discover many more, Come with us and Discover Madrid in our Free Walking Tour Madrid!