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Cuenca Tourist Guide - Uncover the Charm of Castilla-La Mancha - Tajmon

Cuenca Tourist Guide – Uncover the Charm of Castilla-La Mancha


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Oratory of San Felipe de Neri

The Oratory of San Felipe de Neri is a Baroque church in Cuenca, which was built in 1739 on the site of a former Arab alcazar. The church was designed by José Martín de Aldehuela, and financed by Álvaro Carvajal y Lancáster, the archdeacon of Moya. The church is single-nave, with a short and wide nave, divided into two sections.




On the sides of the nave there are small chapels and tribunes, and at the end the presbytery. The church has the shape of a Latin cross, with a transept of the same width as the nave. The presbytery is rectangular, and the facade of the church is polygonal. The church is covered with barrel vaults with lunettes, and the transept with a dome on a drum with a lantern.




The Oratory of San Felipe de Neri is a work of art in itself, but also a place of great historical significance. In its interior you can admire the rich Rococo decoration, with sculptures, paintings and stuccoes. Among them stand out the main altar with the image of the Virgin Mary with the Child and Saint Philip Neri, by José Camarón, and the side altar with the image of the Crucifixion, by Francisco Bayeu. In the church there is also a crypt, where the founder and his family were buried.




The Oratory of San Felipe de Neri is also the place where the first constitution of Spain, called La Pepa, was proclaimed in 1812. At that time Cuenca was the seat of the Cádiz Cortes, or the assembly of deputies, who fled from Madrid before the Napoleonic invasion. In the church there was a solemn session, where the approval of the constitution, which was one of the most liberal and modern in Europe, was announced.




The constitution introduced, among other things, the separation of powers, the sovereignty of the nation, the freedom of religion and press, the equality of citizens and the limitation of the king’s powers. The constitution, however, was short-lived, as it was abolished by Ferdinand VII, who restored absolutism.




The Oratory of San Felipe de Neri is open to visitors, who can enter its interior and see both its artistic beauty and its historical significance. The church is open every day, except Mondays, and admission is free. The church is also a place of worship and prayer, where masses and services are held. The Oratory of San Felipe de Neri is a place worth visiting, to learn about the history and culture of Cuenca, and to enjoy its charm and beauty.

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