Flavours of Spain

Guadix - Part 7


Cave church of Nuestra Senora de Gracia and the Parish Church


When the area was settled in the C16th, one of the caves was used as a church, dedicated  to Our lady of Grace. During the Spanish Civil War, religion was regarded as the enemy of the people and the church was disused. The cave church was restored after the Second World War. The present church was built in front of it in 1964 as the cave church had become too small.

The modern church is a long low rectangular building in the market square, with a small clock and bell tower.

Cave church of Nuestra Senora de Gracia

It is a very simple church. The altar and reredos take up most of the east wall with smaller altars on the side walls.

Cave church of Nuestra Senora
                de Gracia and the Parish Church

Cave church of Nuestra Senora de Gracia

A passageway leads from the church to the original cave church.

Cave church of Nuestra Senora
                de Gracia

At the far end is the Chapel of Our Lady of Grace. The painting above the altar dates from the C17th.

Cave church of Nuestra Senora de Gracia, Guadix

Cave church of Nuestra Senora de Gracia, Guadix

There are smaller side chapels off the main passageway.

Cave church of Nuestra Senora
                de Gracia, Guadix  Cave church of Nuestra
                Senora de Gracia, Guadix

Cave church of Nuestra Senora de Gracia, Guadix

One of these is dedicated to San Pedro Poveda and has a decorative tile to him on the wall.

Cave church of Nuestra Senora
                de Gracia, Guadix

Pedro Poveda was ordained in Guadix cathedral and came to work in the Barrio de las Cuevas  for three years at the beginning of the C20th, living in one of the caves next to the church.

Cave church of Nuestra Senora
                de Gracia, Guadix  Cave church of Nuestra
                Senora de Gracia, Guadix

He believed in the importance of education and built a free school and established Christian doctrine classes for all ages. At the time, 68% of men and 79% of women were illiterate. He was very popular in the area and was made an ‘adoptive Son of Guadix’. Unfortunately, his popularity made him unpopular with the bishop and he was asked to leave the area. He continued with his work establishing free schools and teacher training centres as well as writing many books expanding his ideas.  He was responsible for formulating the Teresian Association, an international Catholic association involved in education, social and pastoral work, working with the marginalised and the needy. During the Spanish Civil War he was identified as an enemy and was shot for his beliefs. He was canonised in 2003 and is still remembered with affection in Guadix.

The church and cave church are open from 11-2 and 4-6.

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