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El Salvador Church
The Church of El Salvador along with the Balcón de Europa plays a central part in many of the yearly events that take place in the town. Most of the processions that take place in Nerja begin and end here but the church is also a popular choice for weddings with many couples, both Spanish and foreign, choosing to celebrate their special day here.
There has been a church at this location for hundreds of years with the original construction beginning in 1505 on the site of what was formerly a military guard’s tower. What you see today is very different to the original early build with the foundations of the current structure being laid in 1697 and then extended during a sixteen year period from 1776 to 1792. The bell tower which is visible across the Nerja skyline was built in 1724, before the churches extension, and has also undergone reformation since its original construction.
The church is constructed in a baroque-neoclassic style and comprised of a three naved cross, separated by pillars and half point arches. It has a large, central vaulted ceiling made of wood (see picture above). Just outside the main entrance you’ll find a very large Norfolk Island pine which is not native to the area but was brought from Latin America at the beginning of the 20th century.
The church also has its own little claim to fame in that it is one of the few places of worship in the world that includes within representations of all three archangels, indeed St Michael archangel holds special significance in Nerja as one of the towns patron saints with his image being paraded through the town both during and in the run up to the Nerja feria which takes place in October each year.
The church is a lovely island of serenity in Nerja and following renovation work in 1997 is well worth popping into to take a quick look. Weddings take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays so don’t expect the church to be quite on those days. If you’d like to hold a wedding or blessing in the church please be aware that with its popularity growing for such services so does the waiting list so please bear that in mind.