The church was built between 1624 and 1633 during the reing of Felipe III. In the 17th century, was a century of crisis in whole Europe but specially in the Mediterranean coast and in the Iberian Peninsula. In the Spanish crown the crisis began earlier and was deeper than in the rest of Europe.
When this church was build, several demographic problems appeared. Critical epidemics, among which are those of the plague, were repeated hand in hand coinciding with times of famine and hunger, for example, in the province of Sevilla, more than 60.000 inhabitants were found dead in the plague of 1647.
The construction of the church of San Antonio de los Alemanes began in 1624, and the works continued until 1633. It was built as a complement to the Hospital of San Antonio de los Portugueses, created in 1606 by King Felipe III. Its construction was comissioned by Felipe III because it was funded for spiritual attention.
He was born in 1569 in Vilamoura de la Zarza, village of Tarancón, in Cuenca, Pedro Sánchez came to the world in a humble family. After receiving some training as an alarife and after having moved with his family to Andalusia, he entered the Jesuit novitiate of Montilla in 1591.
The church of Saint Anthony of the Germans is a church built in the Baroque style with low-cost materials such as brick and plaster churches are not very colorful on the outside but inside is covered by paintings of incalculable value is churches of reduced dimensions with a peculiar 15 way that allows you to contemplate the best in the Baroque in the Baroque architecture study remained the symmetry of Renaissance architecture, the curved lines abounded, the details of decoration were highly ornamented, there were towers and domes, windows, buildings abound they were structured in spacious buildings and the interiors decorated with frescoes in ceilings and walls.
Main Architectural and Decorative Elements:
- It was a catholic church and It has a baroque style.
- It has a spire in octagonal shape to the outside. This church is similar to other churches in Madrid, because it has an octagonal spire on the outside. These spiers, are in fact domes, the so-called “encamonadas” domes, made with light materials such as wood or plaster. The wall is covered with frescos painted by Francesco Rizzi en 1662, con intervenciones de Francisco Carreño y Luca Giordano.
- In the main entrance above the door there is a niche with pilasters on the sides.
State of Conservation and Restoration:
The church of San Antonio de los alemanes has suffered different restorations in the greater altarpiece of the temple. In the restorations they cleaned and restored all the broken materials like wood,metal and marble.They also protected surface of the altarpiece. The restoration was made by Altramentum and costed 43.808 euros.
Original and Current Function:
From the beginning, it was a hospital for the poor portugueses of Madrid. This is the reason of the previous name of the church, San Antonio de los Portugueses.
Then with the Portugal’s independence of Spain, the church started to attend soldiers of the regiment of the king and later attended poor Germans that pass through Madrid. This is why nowadays the church is called San Antonio de los Alemanes. Now it's a social dining room that caters to people who have no money.
Types of Rocks used in the construction of the building:
- In the outside walls they used bricks.
- The floor was made of white marble and brown marble
- The inside walls were decorated by frescos
- And the decorative rocks were green marble, blue marble,white marble, brown marble and black marble columns
Geological Origin of the Rocks:
Marble: The marble is a metamorphic rock formed by high quality limestones that reach high temperatures and high pressures and they reach a high level of crystallization. Its main component is carbonato cálcico and there are other elements that vary de marble colour.
Bricks:The bricks of this church were bricks baked, these bricks were made of clay, put into molds and heated at 1000 ° C, then they cooled outdoors and they are waterproof.
Granite: They are form by a slow cooling, deep and in large masses of magma. And it is a plutonic rock. It has a process of millions of years.
Features of the Rocks:
Marble:It is a hard rock. It only can be scratched by steel or by a material which has greater hardness. This mineral has a great brilliance and it is susceptible to acids.
Bricks:It is hard rock. Bricks should be uniform in color, size and shape. Standard size of brick should be maintained. They should be free from cracks and other flaws such as air bubbles, stone nodules etc. with sharp and square edges.They should be sound and compact.
Granite: The granitic rocks are constituted by three essential minerals: quartz, feldspar and micas. Also it has a variable group of minerals accessories
Justification of the type of rock chosen:
Marble: It was used because it is the sufficient hard, has a very uniform color, if it is polished it bright and also is pretty beautiful.
Bricks: Was used because it was the most common material used in construction (with the granite) in the 17th century in Madrid, and almost all the houses and churches were constructed with bricks and cement.
Quarries used for rock extraction:
The granite came from the quarries of Colmenar Viejo. The marble was extracted from near quarries and were transported in a wood carriage. And the bricks are made up of clay.
Alterations that the materials have suffered:
There are three main factors that influence on the alterations in the materials used, derived from climate and environmental pollution (water, pollutants, soluble salts and organisms) and building or own building (manipulation of the stone, putting into work and disposition in the factory).