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La Encarnación church in Montefrío, whose dome is compared to that of the Pantheon of Agrippa. González Molero
The village in Granada that National Geographic compares to Rome for its 'little Pantheon'
Tourism

The village in Granada that National Geographic compares to Rome for its 'little Pantheon'

La Encarnación church in Montefrío is known as 'La Redonda' because of its circular ground plan covered by an immense dome

C. Á.

Granada

Wednesday, 5 June 2024, 16:58

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It is one of the great attractions in Granada province, but goes unnoticed by many tourists. La Encarnación church in Montefrío was built in the 18th century by the Galician architect Lois de Monteagudo, a disciple of the Madrid architect Ventura Rodríguez, who built important neoclassical churches in the province, designed according to the patterns of the Academy. Lois studied in Rome, and there he fell in love with the Pantheon, so he decided to copy its design and reproduce it in Montefrío.

The church is characterised by its simple décor, characteristic of the neoclassicism of the time. It is known as 'La Redonda' (the round) because of its circular ground plan covered by an immense dome, which was inspired by the monument in Rome.

Plan of the church of La Encarnación de Montefrío.
Plan of the church of La Encarnación de Montefrío. Ideal

Such is its resemblance to the Pantheon that National Geographic has written an article on it, in which it says that Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación church in Montefrío appears as an unexpected replica of the Pantheon in Rome "in the middle of the mountains of Granada".

Montefrío, whose name derives from its ancient appellation of "monte herido" (wounded mountain), "is a charming village in Granada that stands out for its location, its whitewashed houses and its monuments, such as the complex that presides over it, formed by the church of La Villa by the Renaissance Diego de Siloé, which seems to hang from the promontory crowned by the remains of an Arab fortress", it pointed out.

A unique space

Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación church is in fact an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC), which stands out among the rooftops with its enormous circular dome, 30 metres in diameter.

Its origin was a consequence of the fact that the once only parish church in the village, the Iglesia de la Villa, began to suffer damage due to rain, the damage caused by an earthquake in 1540 and a lightning strike in 1766. All this, together with the fact that the people of Montefrío had to climb the hill to go to mass, led to the need to build a new church in the centre of the village.

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