Best things to do in San Sebastian

San Vicente

San Vicente Church is one of the most typical San Sebastian churches. Located in the Old Town, this church was erected between the 15th and 16th centuries on the plot where and old temple which was destroyed by a fire used to be, so the most recent works are what is left for us to see today.

For a long time, San Vicente Church came under Santa Maria Church, which was considered the main one in town. It was not until 1940 that San Vicente could finally depend on itself, even though it is true that the parishioners were not allocated to one or the other until 1576.

San Vicente Church
San Vicente Church

The church as we know it today was made by architects Miguel de Santa Celay y Juan de Urrutia, and we are talking about a late gothic style church. Although the whole project could not be entirely completed, as we can tell by looking at the unfinished wall in the northern closing, it was almost finished by the end of construction work.

It has a floor with three naves, transept lined up with the lateral naves, octagonal apse, ribbed vaults internally supported by circular pillars with small columns attached, and externally supported by solid ordinary and flying buttresses. Subsequently, the baroque portico (Domingo Zaldua, 1619), the vestry (Juan de Umbarambe, 1666) and the choir stall (1784) were constructed.

The main altarpiece of San Vicente (1586) is one of the highlights inside the church. It was made by Ambrosio de Bengoechea in collaboration with Juanes de Iriarte. The altarpiece consists of a pedestal on top of which we can see several panels depicting scenes of Jesus Christ suffering and death.

On the left side of the chancel we find the tabernacle altarpiece, which gathers pieces coming from other altarpieces and, on its right side, a neoclassical altarpiece where a Sagrada Familia medallion stands out. It is also worth mentioning the “Ánimas” (Spanish for souls) altarpiece, a work by Felipe de Arizmendi, as well as several Easter procession floats: Ecce Homo, the Dolorosa (in the baptistery), the Descent from the Cross and the Recumbent Christ.

The towers were erected in the 19th century (Echeveste, 1856), just like the organ (Cavaillé-Coll, 1868, enlarged in 1893). In the year 1892, a semioctagonal baptistery was added to the eastern façade, and both the atrium and the southern entrance were shut, forming doors in the new closings. In 1923, four rose windows were made on the façades as a legacy from the Mandas Duke.

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