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The grandiose Church of the Incarnation (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación) has been a center of religious activity since its foundation in 1618. It’s the second edition of a church located on the same spot; the first replaced a mosque decommissioned by Ferdinand II of Aragon. The Church of the Incarnation honors the christian monarch's belief in the Incarnation. Admire its grand façade and regal interior.
Stand at the main entrance and inspect the building’s striking Baroque design and rococo-style doorway. To one side is a plaque that features a coat of arms and an inscription in Latin dedicated to the Bishop Ludovico. Gaze up at the bell and clock tower, which reaches to a height of 108 feet (33 meters) and is crowned by a pyramidal spire. Note the bells visible through arches on all four sides of the tower.
A pretty, tree-shaded square, called Plaza de la Iglesia, runs along one side of the church. Pay attention to its mosaic floor patterns and a stone fountain designed in the form of a cross. A statue of St. Bernard, the patron saint of Marbella, guards the square. Above the side entrance is the image of a winged saint speaking to the Virgin.
Grand columns and archways split the interior into three naves. Richly ornamented chapels dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Fátima and Our Lady of the Pillar decorate the side naves. The main altar is an elaborate display of gilded cherubs and saints. Don’t miss the 5,000-pipe organ, situated above the main entrance.
Admission to the church is free and it opens its doors to visitors on a daily basis. Mass services take place throughout the week. Linger a while to experience the tranquility in the church.
The Church of the Incarnation is a short walk from other major town attractions. Visit Orange Square, the Santiago Hermitage and the Spanish Contemporary Engraving Museum. Get around the Old Town on foot to appreciate the romantic charm that fills the streets.
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