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Antequera Town Hall Tourism Department. Almost hanging off an escarpment, as it was watching over the Villa River from above, it was erected this magnificent ex-conventual temple of the Discalced Carmelites where the old Parish-Church of Santa María La Mayor is housed at present. Seemly, the building works for this temple and former convent started in the late of the 16th century. We see a simple façade whose most outstanding element is the Mannerist front, consisting of a half-barrel arch framed by two Tuscan half-columns supported by plinths and crowned with a curved and broken pediment which is centered by the Carmelite emblem. On the right side of this front there is a small belfry, with just one vane, which is the only remains of the tower-bell after the demolition, in 1883, of the so-called “Torre del Gallo” (CockTower). The floor plan as a whole, except for some changes, has the design of the Granada Moorish churches, with only one nave, the High Chapel with very well-defined spaces, and the lateral chapels completely separated from each other. In the 18th century, it was added, at the church foot, the nave for the Cofradía de la Soledad (Fraternity of the Solitude) which was conceived like  another one of the chapels.  In 1614, it was finished the significant Mudejar coffered ceiling that covers the whole nave. It is rectangular-shaped without wooden braces, what indeed allows greater visibility. It makes a profuse use of the bow decoration, with a honeycomb of lattices which are only cut off by three Murqana cones. The High Chapel’s  inner space is designed as a great rectangular prism crowned with a domo. However, what really accentuate the majesty of the High Chapel are its three large altarpieces, particularly the middle or biggest one, built some years before 1747.Thanks to its beauty and significance, this enormous altarpiece is considered as one of the most interesting examples of the Andalucia Baroque in the 18th century. At first sight, the visitor can feel a little bit confused due to the complex joint of truncated columns (estípites), cornices, niches, faux curtains… all of that traced with zigzag mixtilinear cross sections bending and flexing in an endless design. This enormous assembly was conceived as a Carmel ode, where all the saints related to the Order are accompanied by a court of adolescent and little angels who play instruments, hold slabs, garlands, or just join hands in graceful postures, in such a way that they seem to be clapping their hands in time. It is amazing to realize that this huge Baroque device is just the frame of the central niche where the Virgin of El Carmen is kept. With regards the niche, it is an architectonic space quite well-joined. The so much Baroque mixtilinear plan floor contrasts, to some extent, with the sober plasterwork decoration and clean lines. The High Chapel’s two lateral altarpieces are thought to be more modern that the central one, even if the gilding and polychrome are finished. The one depicting Saint Elias, at the Gospel’s side, is particularly ostentatious due to the complexity of the attic.  The altarpiece and the niche on the Epistle’s side are the most Rococo of the three but they also are proportionally more harmonious. On the High Chapel’s transverse arch it is the golden and polychrome ambon made in wood. This piece, a work by Miguel Márquez García, was done in 1799. It is in a Baroque style which harmonizes very well with the mentioned altarpieces. In the central nave, there are six separated chapels which have got inside pieces of great value. The chapel, o nave of the Solitude, at the church foot, was probably erected in the first quarter of the 18th century. The loop plasterworks of the small vault also belong to that period. The chapel has a rectangular floor plan; it is covered with reduced half-barrel vaults and divided in four stretches by transverse arches. The very small niche of the central vaulted niche of the main altarpiece is occupied by the Virgen de la Soledad (Virgin of Solitude). In a modern vaulted niche located in the chapel’s access arch is exhibited the original image of the Virgin of the Socorro (Mercy), made in the late of the 15th century and gifted by the Catholic Monarchs to the church-mosque of Saint Salvador. It is made in paperboard pulp and set on a wooden structure; the original polychrome is partially kept.