CHURCH OF “SAN PEDRO”
The Parish Church of the town, located in the old quarter, is a clear example of regional Murcian Baroque. Constructed of three naves and a latin cross floor, dating back to the XVII century, it is built in masonery and brick rendered with white plaster. The facade was restored in the XIX century by Pedro Abril and the inscription reads: “Being the Grand Prior of the Serenist Senor. Infant Carlos of Borbón, this, St Peter the Apostle Church, was rebuilt in the day of 1820”.
The entrance is in the lower part of the building and is adorned by the coat of arms of the Order of St John. This main door is flanked by two great pillars decorated with Doric designs and topped by wooden boards which give entry to a loft, The finishing touch is the round window that serves the dual purpse of illuminating the interior while decorating the exterior. This is flanked by a set of balconies with parapets, supported by 18th century carpentry braces.
Above the inside door giving access to the church there are decorative themes of the attributes of St Peter such as the great cross keys; the king of the skies; a great tiara flanked by a staff; and a patriarcal cross.
The church forms part of a rich patrimony with beautiful altarpieces and carvings which have, with the passing of the centuries, become one of the most relevant architectural collections in the municipal and the parish of Calasparra.
During May the statue of Our Lady of Hope, the patron of Calasparra, is brought from the Sanctuary to St Peter´s Church.
THE CHURCH OF “LOS SANTOS”
This small church with a latin cross floor is in the square of the same name. It was built in the XVI century and restored in 1803 and again later in 2006. It is dedicated to the cult of the Saints Abdón and Senén, patrons of the town. The highlights are the bell tower and the great door, dating back to the beginning of the XX century, following patterns of neogothic style. Inside we can find the XVII century altar of stucco which houses the statues of the saints. The bell tower is known locally as the “torcida” (crooked/bent) due to the inclination of the upper part.
Every June 30 since the XVI century there are fiestas in honour of Saints Abdón and Senén, patrons of Calasparra. Among other events we enjoy shows, musical concerts, a fiesta of the youth clubs, the traditional night of the migas, the procession with the statues of the saints and the monumental bull fight.
CHURCH OF “THE MERCED”
Sitting right in the historic centre of the town this church has a single nave of four sections with lateral pointed arches. The floor is latin cross and is covered by a Welsh vault. The cross is covered by a dome of lamps and round windows.
It sits on what was the Convent of Barefoot Christians of Our Lady of Mercy, founded in the beginning of the XVII century by Diego de Toledo, Commander of the Encomienda of Calasparra, upon the Chapel of the Conception, one of many chapels which were built in the town during the previous century.
Restored and rebuilt in the XX century, there are remains of the XVII century convent. These days among the main features is the sculpture of the crucifix, on the left hand cross. This sculpture is by Juan Manuel Miñarro López of Seville. The church also has a statue of the Heart of Jesus dating back to the XX century which originates from the Olot workshops.
This chapel is to be found in the “La Calzadica” area some 2 km from the town centre, and houses the statue of Ecce-Homo (1944), work of the sculputor José Díaz (Valencia).
This XVII century chapel was prívate property until 1980 when it was donated to the religous brotherhood of Ecce Homo by Maruja Buendía.
Work to extend and restore the chapel, the access road and the surroundings was carried out in 2007 making this a “must see” site for visitors.
On Palm Sunday the statue of Ecce-Homo is carried to Calasparra in one of the Easter processions. The return pilgrimage is the following week on Easter Sunday.
SAN MIGUEL CHAPEL
Located on the summit of the hill of the same name. The exact date it was built is unknown but it was around 1578 in the times of Commander Friar Jufre de Loaysa. It was Pedro Fernández who built the chapel which has just one stonework nave, a double gable roof and a retangular floor. It was restored in 2002.
We can reach the chapel via a series of footpaths which meander up the hill through pines and rosemary to the top where we can enjoy a well deserved rest and snack while taking in the magnficent 360 degree panoramic views of Calasparra.
Every year on September 29 there is a traditional pilgimage to the chapel on top of San Miguel.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Hope, patron of Calasparra, is some 6 kilometres from Calasparra in a very beautiful area called the “'Lomas de la Virgen” on the banks of the river Segura. .
The first written data about the Sanctuary goes back to the beginning of the XVII century when the lawyer, Alonso Benítez de Munera, founded the Chapel of Fuensanta, today known as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Hope, although there are reasons to believe the Virgin was venerated a long time before this.
The Chapel, which sits on the banks of the river Segura above the terraces where the waters has lapped many years, is in a natural grotto excavated in the rocks by wáter.. The lateral enclosure has been added in stonework along medieval, classical and baroque lines, popular at the time. The stonework is a standard element which harmonises with the natural surroundings.
Inside the principal altar is decorated in green and gold tones with symbols of the Virgin Mary.The statue of the Virgin stands in the centre and is composed of two figures. The statue of Our Lady of Hope (La Grande) is a costume model, classic from the XVI and XVII centuries, which was donated in 1617 by Juana Sánchez and “the Little One.” The head of the big statue and the statue of the “Little one” (La Pequeñica), are the only original elements: of the latter nothing is known, neither about where it came from or the date it was made.
Alongside the chapel are the rooms of an annex building called the alcove (Camarín) and the museum. The alcove is the place where the statues are kept and exhibited for visiting pilgrims protected by a simple lattice. In the museum visitors will find the trousseau of the Virgin ie. cloaks, jewels and dresses etc.
Today the Sanctuary is a recognised place of pilgrimage and celebrated its Jubilee Year in 2008.
The night of September 7 and 8 is the annual traditional pilgrimage to the Sanctuary, a fiesta which has been declared of Regional Touristic Interest.