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The Sanctuary of Santa Maria de El Puerto

In the 13th century, the arab territories of the Iberian Peninsula began to lose ground in favor of the christian sovereigns during the “Reconquest” process. Alfonso X, the king of the Crown of Castile, is the monarch who will undertake the seizure of the territories of the peninsular south west; establishing a personal relationship with El Puerto de Santa María and the castle itself.

It was King Alfonso who annexed the small muslim village of Al Qanatif to the Crown of Castile (c. 1264), repopulating it and granting it a series of royal privileges. He also renamed it Santa María de El Puerto, considering that it was the place that the Virgin herself had chosen to do her miracles.

All this forced him to build a sanctuary in favor of Santa María under the name of Santa María de El Puerto in the place that was occupied by the Al Qanatif mosque, and which today is occupied by the Castle of San Marcos. The building works, mades by his master builder named Ali, are collected in the famous Cantigas de Santa María.

In the monument, the visitor can enjoy both the towers built by Alfonso X, and the place he chose to place the statue of the Virgin, being the remains of the old sanctuary of Santa María de El Puerto.

 Do not hesitate to book your ticket!