Spanish version

San Antonio de la Florida Church

EntranceThe San Antonio de la Florida Church is located at 5 Paseo de San Antonio de la Florida.

The Chapel

Originally there was a small chapel dedicated to the Virgen de Gracia, which was demolished in order to make the Paseo de la Florida in the second half of the XVIII century. The Paseo de la Florida is the road that leads from Madrid to El Pardo. Afterwards the Italian architect Sabatini built the first chapel dedicated to San Antonio de la Florida.

During the XVIII many noble families liked to build their palaces on the outskirts of the city. The Duchess of Alba, hated by the Queen Maria Luisa de Parma, was famous for her splendid parties. The Queen wanted to overshadow her and decided to built a palace greater than hers. The Paseo de la Florida was enlarged and, again, the chapel was demolished, but another one was built.
Nowadays nothing remains of the  Queen´s palace. It was where Principe Pio Station is today.Fresco San Antonio de la Florida by Goya
The only part left is the Church of San Antonio de la Florida, built by the Italian architect Fontana between 1792 and 1798. It was built with granite and brick with interior decorations by Goya.

 Goya´s fresco paintings

Goya statue Goya was a friend of Jovellanos, one of the minister´s nominated by Godoy. Although Goya was painter of the court, he had not been asked to paint anything for a long time.  He had also resigned from his job as director of the Art Academy due to his deafness. So Jovellanos recomended that Goya should decorate the chapel, thus providing him with a job. It took Goya 120 days to paint the interior.

On the dome he painted a fresco representing the miracle of Saint Antonio de Padua. It is said that the saint´s father had been accused of murdering a man. The saint tried to convince the judges of his father´s innocence, but they did not believe him. Consequently he asked for permission to exhume the corpse to interrogate him. A crowd gathered to watch the event. San Antonio revived the murdered man and he declared the accused innocent. Goya painted this scene, but taking place in Madrid with people dressed in the typical dress of that period.

San Antonio de la Florida ChurchThe chapel was consecrated in 1799. In 1881 King Alfonso XII donated it to the archbishopric of Toledo and it became a parish in 1901. Due to the candle smoke the frescos were damaged and it was decided to built an exact copy of the chapel next to it. The architect Juan Moya was in charge of the project.

Thanks to this nowadays we can still enjoy Goya´s paintings which have recently been restored.

It is not only worth visiting because of its paintings, but also because Goya is buried here.
San Antonio´s Day

The Saint´s Day is celebrated on June 13th and a large celebration is held nearby. Tradition says that unmarried girls have to throw 13 pins into the font, then put their hands inside.Goya statue The pins that stuck into their hand represent the number of boyfriends they will have. This tradition originatesfrom young dressmakers.

In front of the church is a little park with a statue of Goya and the famous restaurant Casa Mingo, where you should have a fried chicken with cider.

@Copyright 2008, 2009 Mª Dolores Diehl Busch. All rights reserved.
Sponsored by Keydomo S.L.