The monument consists of two clearly differentiated parts: the walls and the sanctuary.
Despite its Islamic origins, the monument has undergone many changes. Nowadays, fourteen different shaped-and-sized fortified towers are spread along the wall. The fortress belonged first to the Order of the Temple, and later to the Order of Santiago ¿a Spanish Christian military order. Moreover, the castle was used for military purposes during the Spanish Succession War and the Peninsular War.
The Santuario de la Stma. y Vera Cruz (the Holy True Cross Sanctuary) was built in the heart of the old fortress in the 17th century. Then, in the 18th century, its magnificent baroque façade was annexed to the sanctuary. The monument as a whole, whose guidelines resemble those of the Monasterio del Escorial (El Escorial Monastery, Madrid) was declared a national Artistic-Historical Monument in 1944. No doubt the presence of the Vera Cruz (the Holy True Cross) has contributed to the sanctuary preservation.
The church has a Latin-Cross plan, a continuous gallery over the lateral naves, and also a dome over the transept. Recently, the Museo de la Santa Vera Cruz (the Holy True Cross Museum) has been reopened in the sanctuary rooms.
From July 5, the castle grounds and the Basilica-Sanctuary will be closed for the next few weeks, from Monday to Friday, due to restoration work.
However, it will continue to open for the daily morning mass at 8:30 and on weekends the schedule will be the usual for the venue, museum and Shrine.
Sorry for the inconvenience. We will inform you of the return to your usual schedule as soon as it occurs.