Oldest church in Malaga province is focus of new study

Oldest church in Malaga province is focus of new study


The Santa Cruz church of Teba's Estrella castle is being excavated by archaeologists from the University of Granada

Andrea Jiménez

Wednesday, 22 February 2023, 22:55

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Four months of archaeological excavations are being carried out at the Santa Cruz church of Teba's Estrella castle in the second phase of studies at the site. As in last year's first phase, the Prinma research group of the University of Granada (UGR) will undertake the project, co-directed by UGR professor Alberto García and the archaeologist and doctor Francisco Melero.

In 2022 the project examined the entrance to the fortress, where remains were found, such as a floor of pebbled sandstone dating from the seventeenth century and more than 600 lead balls from a Civil War-era field gun hidden in a castle wall.

In this second year, the work is focused on the Santa Cruz church, which is the oldest in Malaga province, according to Melero. «The oldest document referring to the temple dates back to 1343 and is found in the archive of the Cathedral of Seville. In it the parish church of Santa Cruz de Teba is mentioned, which shows that thirteen years after the [1330] conquest it was already consecrated».

The church was first excavated in 1983 when the existing crypts were discovered. Later digs, from 1990 to 1992, completed the delimitation of the floor plan and documented several burial sites inside and outside the fourteenth century church.

Alfonso XI retook Teba from the Muslims in 1330 long before the capture of Antequera in 1410 and the overthrowing of the Nasrid rulers from Malaga, in 1487, and Granada in 1492.

The 1330 Battle of Teba is commemorated annually with the Scottish Douglas Days festival. This highlights the plight of Sir James Douglas, a Scottish nobleman who fought and was killed in the battle while on his way to the Holy Land with the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce.

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