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“An Imposing Facade with Many Ornately-Decorated Internal Features” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Church of Santa Barbara (Salesas Reales)

Church of Santa Barbara (Salesas Reales)
Calle de Barbara de Braganza, 3, Madrid, Spain (Chueca)
913-194-811
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Ranked #237 of 1,404 things to do in Madrid
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London, UK
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165 reviews 165 reviews
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“An Imposing Facade with Many Ornately-Decorated Internal Features”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

I visited the church of Santa Barbara as part of my 8 full-day visit to Madrid and enjoyed it a bit; unfortunately, only 1 of the churches I viewed in Madrid really 'grabbed me (Iglesia de San Antonio de los Alemanes), and for me this church was one of the many other 'also rans' that I viewed..

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Sited on a corner of 2 roads, set back some distance from 'Calle de Barbara de Braganza', the larger of the two roads - the situation of this church allows you to get a decent view of the imposing frontal facade which is wider than it is higher. Largely uncoloured, the exterior is quite different to the inside...

The interior base-colour is white/cream, but virtually all the decorative features have an unusual shade of blue 'theme' with many marble-looking inserts/inlays which for me made things a bit too ornate. The one feature that I did like though was the centrally-located roof dome - both for it's design and decoration. I can't say the same for the pulpit, which did possess the wall-mounted characteristic I usually enjoy looking at, but the decoration of it was something more like you might see on a large outside fountain feature - it was for me really quite ugly !

Flash-free photography is allowed, so example photos of mine should feature at the base of this review.

Being quite centrally-located not too far from the eastern end of Gran Via, the church of Santa Barbara is quite easy to get to so the minimal effort probably required makes it a worthwhile visit, despite it not being that special and occasionally quite unappealing to look at - which means that I'm afraid it joins the 'unspectacular' majority group of most of the churches which I viewed whilst in this lively and enjoyable city.

Visited October 2013
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14 reviews from our community

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English first
Malaga, Spain
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2,678 reviews 2,678 reviews
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2,478 helpful votes 2,478 helpful votes
“One of My Favorite Churches”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

The Church of Santa Barbara is one of my favorite churches and each time we go to Madrid we visit it. The façade of the church is very impressive. On each side there are sculptures of angels, which I like very much. Inside you can see the impressive sepulchers of General O'Donnell and King Fernanco VI.

Visited December 2013
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Tel Aviv, Israel
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“A beautiful Baroque church.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

This mid 18th century church is a beautiful (and not that visited) Baroque church very close to Plaza de Colón.
The church's façade is beautiful and is decorated with angels, a lovely medallion and stunning doors.
The interiors are very rich in design and decorations, with a lovely altar and a stunning dome.
The only disappointment is the organ, which seems rather plain and run down.
Definitely worth a 10-minute visit if you're in the area.

Visited September 2013
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Malaga, Spain
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“Beautiful Church”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We returned to this church to take some photos of the church. When we were there we saw the priest and my wife asked him where was the tomb of Barbara de Braganza. He opened the door next to the main chapel and showed us this tomb of the queen. Very beautiful.

Visited April 2013
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Malaga, Spain
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2,678 reviews 2,678 reviews
2,413 attraction reviews
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2,478 helpful votes 2,478 helpful votes
“One of Madrid's Most Beautiful Churches”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2011

Queen Barbara de Braganza was the wife of the King Fernando VI and she had the Church of Santa Barbara built. She appointed the French architect Antoine Carlier to build the church, which was completed in 1758 in the Neoclassic style.

What calls one’s attention of the church is the very elegant façade. There is a medallion showing The Visitation over the main door. The coat of arms of Barbara de Braganza can be found in the pediment. There are statues of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jean de Chantal. Beside the main altar are green marble Corinthian columns, that are very unusual. One can find the sepulchers of Fernand VI and Queen Barbara de Braganza. The pantheon was the work of the famous architect Francesco Sabatini and the sculptor Francisco Gutierrez. This pantheon was ordered built by King Carlos III. There are many important paintings in the church also.

Visited April 2011
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