Church of Santa Cruz
Fernando III conquered Baeza in 1227 and Christianity settled in the city. Several churches were built in a late Romanesque style, but currently, only the church of Santa Cruz remains, located in the square of the same name and front of the Jabalquinto Palace and the old University. The temple is a small jewel, one of the symbols of Baeza, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003.
The church of Santa Cruz is a true rarity since few Romanesque buildings are found in Andalusia today. Small in size, it has an austere Romanesque exterior that contrasts with the Renaissance of its illustrious neighbor, the Palacio de Jabalquinto. The temple is made up of compact masonry walls with only two narrow windows on each side. Its two covers with semicircular archivolts stand out. The main one, which is supported by columns with capitals made of acanthus leaves, comes from the old church of San Juan Bautista, another Romanesque temple in Baeza of which remains are preserved. Above is a splayed oculus of considerable size. The southern door is indeed original, also semicircular with archivolts that include diamond points. A third door was located on the north wall, but it was covered when the Gothic chapel was built.
The temple consists of three naves separated by Romanesque columns. The central nave extends into a barrel vault where you can see the remains of fresco paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries, discovered in the 1990s. Images such as a Calvary and remains of a Holy Supper are preserved, but the one that is best distinguished is that of the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian located inside a lateral arch. In the same restoration, a Visigoth-style horseshoe arch appeared on the side of the epistle, which suggests that an ancient Christian temple existed on this same site, on which the current one was built. Two Gothic chapels are corresponding to later extensions on the gospel side.
Fortunately, the church of Santa Cruz has arrived in an excellent state of conservation thanks to the successive reforms that have been made. Today you can continue to enjoy a unique temple in Spain.