Date Visited



Church of the Holy Christ of Health



Construction of the Church of the Holy Christ of Health was started by the Jesuits in 1572 and the church was consecrated in 1630, although some work continued until 1644.  It has an unusual design, with a large eight-sided roof on an octagonal base with a small cupola at the top of the hemispherical dome. Within the church are several beautiful altars displaying fine statues and paintings.


The Catholic Church, dedicated to the Holy Christ of Health was built on the site of a small chapel of St. Sebastian by the Jesuits in Malaga. The Jesuit order found the church too small for worship and the Bishop of Malaga, Salcedo Blanco donated a larger piece of land for the church in 1572.   Construction was complete and it was consecrated in 1630, although some work continued until 1644, and the main façade dates from 1659 and 1660. The church got its present name from the miraculous healing that took place during an epidemic that ravaged Malaga in 1649.  In 1767 the Jesuits were expelled and the church then passed through various hands. 

In 2015, the church was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest and it returned to being used for worship in January 2016. 

Located on “Compañía” Street, a narrow street, in the historic centre, the building is of a baroque style of architecture unique to Malaga and has an unusual design with a large eight-sided roof on an octagonal base. There is a small cupola at the top of the roof. 

The dome, which is known as a hemispherical dome, is in the shape of a semicircle with a ring covered in paintings that simulate masonry work.


The interior of the dome is painted in three concentric parts. In each of the three parts, there are mural paintings of mannerist influence, where the “trompe l’oeil” or fake architecture is integrated with the building and adapts to the curvature of the dome.

The paintings were produced between 1639 and 1643, they represented saints and martyrs, little angels carrying symbols of martyrdom, and allegories of the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Each painting is framed using trapezoid-shaped case tones, which give it a luminous effect and highlight its colouring. 

The Church’s circular construction was a break with the norm of other churches at the time.


The interior is ornate and has a circular floor plan with a high altar and tabernacle. 


The High Altar and altarpiece, together with the tabernacle was carved in 1633 by the Jesuits Ángel Cortés and Díaz de Ribero.  It is housed in the large niche that was produced in 1787. In the center of the main altarpiece is the image of San Sebastian, patron saint of the church.


Also important are the altars and other paintings and sculptures, one of them being the Christ Crowned with Thorns and another the Virgin of Grace and Hope. On Easter Monday, these are paraded through the streets of Malaga, by the Brotherhood of the Students. 


In addition, the chapels within the church were consecrated to the saints, including St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Francis Borgia.

The small chapel for Saint Peter was added by Jose Martin de Aldeheula in 1787. At the back of the church dedicated to Christ crucified and Our Lady Vergen Dolorosa, with sculptures from the 17th century Seville School.


In 2015, the Church was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.



              All  Photographs were taken by and are copyright of Ron Gatepain

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