The Church of San Juan (Old Mosque)
The church stands on the remains of the former Great Mosque of Almeria. The mosque was built in the tenth century. After the conquest of Almeria by the Catholic Monarchs in 1489, it became the first cathedral of the city.
However, with the earthquake of 1522, the only remains of the original Mosque building were the qibla wall and mihrab alcove belonging to the prayer room. The mihrab alcove was discovered in the 1930s (20th Century) by Leopoldo Torres Balbas after remaining hidden from the church of San Juan. Its interior contains a twelfth-century Almohad décor.
After losing the original cathedral due to the earthquake, the start of the build of the the present church occured in the early seventeenth century at the behest of Bishop Portocarrero. During the Spanish Civil War, it suffered the effects of the bombing, losing the Mudejar roof thereby being reduced to the bare walls. It was then abandoned as the historical centre of the city until 1979, when it was renovated to become a place of worship.
In 1991, it was restored on the initiative of the Directorate General of Cultural Assets of the Ministry of Culture and Environment, recovering the qibla and the mihrab of the old mosque and giving the church a new roof, replacing the previous one that had uralite, placed as the result of the first reconstruction many years after the end of the Civil War.
The main facade of the church, open to the Plaza del Cristo de la Buena Muerte, is the seventeenth century, highlighting the architectural structure of dressed masonry. The pediment is decorated with the shield of the Bishop Portocarrero, architect of the erection of the church.
Address: General Luque Street, 04002 Almeria.
Phone: 950 220 748