Iglesia de San Nicolás de los Servitas


Tucked away up the hill from Calle Mayor, this intimate little church is Madrid’s oldest surviving building of worship; it may have been built on the site of Muslim Mayrit’s second mosque. The most striking feature is the restored 12th-century Mudéjar (a Moorish architectural style) bell tower; much of the remainder dates in part from the 15th century. The vaulting is late Gothic while the fine timber ceiling, which survived a 1936 fire, dates from about the same period. Opening hours can be unreliable.

Despite plateresque and baroque touches, much of the interior is a study in simplicity. The architect Juan de Herrera, one of the great architects of Renaissance Spain, was buried in the crypt in 1597.

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