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La Sabatina is one of those massive domed churches that’s better-than-visible from all around. Today, though, hardly anyone knows anything about it. The interior, replete with stained-glass that filter the afternoon sun, is of a particularly captivating character. The church is officially known as The Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, but more fondly known as La Sabatina, to those who regularly make pilgrimages to the area. Its history is a record of the 20th century, literally, set in stone.
The dramatic appearance of the church depends on multiple classical styles, primarily Renaissance and Mannerist. The main entrance is marked by Doric columns that end in a monumental semicircular arch. The first body is topped by a broken pediment, with the medallion of the order of Carmelites. The Virgin of Carmen is above in the second body, now crowned by a semicircular arch over Corinthian pilasters. A crown and a halo of light complete the gigantic entranceway.
The church has been criticized for its spare, rather Modern interior. But a step inside reassures visitors. It’s very much a space designed for peaceful and quiet contemplation. In 1956, the status was raised to Parish Church and in 1964 the Archbishop himself consecrated the main altar. Only in 1972, was the church finally established as a parish.