|La Real Colegiata de Santa Maria|
In the plaza is a statue of Pedro Espinosa, a poet who went to the Antequera School where humanist teaching emphasized the importance of reason and the centrality of man. The school was part of this church.
The interior is very Roman, with a lot of open space and thick Ionic columns. The layout follows typical basilica floor plans. The side aisle have some modest altars.
One of the side aisles has a tarasca, a half-serpent, half lady who often led the Corpus Christi processions in the Baroque period. Some cities in Spain still use the tarasca for their processions. This one is modeled after one used in Granada in 1760.
|Tarasca, front view|
|Tarasca close up|
|Tarasca, side view|
The monster is depicted as a snake or dragon. This particular manifestation has seven heads, echoing the seven deadly sins and the dragon from the Apocalypse. Often, the monster is ridden by a woman. She represents faith and the triumph of Christ over sin. This lady Faith is in a castle, showing her invulnerability to the serpent's attacks.
There are some bits of art still in the church, but the building is no longer used for worship and has become a national monument. Many works have been moved to the municipal museum in the center of Antequera.
|Bits from Roman antiquity|