Inmaculada Concepcion ChurchIn 1476 Pope Sixtus IV established December 8th as the day to commemorate theImmaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. It was not until 1854 that Pope Pius IX defined the Immaculate Conception as a dogma and 30 years later a group of catholics decided to dedicate a church to the Immaculate Conception in Madrid.
They chose the Barrio de Salamanca to built it, as there was no church there and they feared that a mosque, a sinagogue or a Protestant church could be built.
They contacted the Marquise de Salamanca, owner of the area and he agreed with their idea. The church was going to be located at the corner of Hermosilla and Claudio Coello.
The construction began in 1870 and the chapel was finished only 3 months later and inaugurated on March 19th.
The church was definitely opened on December 8th 1870.
Unfortunately, 30 years later it became clear that the church was too small to accommodate all parishoners and the idea rose to built another one. The first project was made by the architect Jimenez Corera and the foundation stone was laid by King Alfonso XIII and Queen Maria Cristina. The Inmaculada Concepcion Church is located at Goya 26.
Sadly Jimenez Corera died and Jesus Carrasco was then in charge of the project. He followed his predecessorÂ´s guidelines although part of the external ornaments were dismissed. It is of gothic style, which was normally used for churches in those days.
This time the church was not built in one year but in ten. Consequently it was alsomuch more expensive and as they needed more money to finish the building, it was decided to built a crypt underneath, where those donating money for the construction could be buried. The construction of this crypt was very difficult, as the rest of the building was more or less finished and it had not been included in the project. The crypt is only opened to the public on November 1rst and 2nd.
This church is difficult to describe. It is partially a monument to kitsch, for example the Virgen Mary statue on top of the building has a halo with electric bulbs all around, but also a kind of surprise as its appearance has nothing to do with its surroundings.
The church was inaugurated on May 1914 by king Alfonso XIII.
@Copyright 2008, 2009 Mª Dolores Diehl Busch. All rights reserved.