17 Aug, 2013 @ 11:00
1 min read

Hidden Arabic paintings uncovered

overa paintings

WORKS on the restoration of a chapel have uncovered evidence it may once have been a mosque.

In the suburbs of Huercal-Overa , the small town of Overa contains some archeology of cultural interest such as the Castle of Overa although with the passing of time the area has never been investigated in depth.

Now, the restoration of the chapel of Santa Barbara has unearthed a find of great value.

Following fund raising events from the people of Overa enough money was raised to start work on the little chapel.

It was during the restoration of the roof that one of the members of ‘Overa Viva’ visited the site and discovered the wonders that were situated on the inside of the roof.

Drawings, paintings and a frieze point to the possibility of an old Arabic mosque. The next phase is for the town hall to buy the land, which at the moment is privately owned.

After contacting the culture department of the Junta de Andalucia various professionals have visited the chapel to evaluate the importance of the find.

While Overa waits for the situation to be resolved, the Junta will make further investigations in September to evaluate whether the area is worthy of extra work for its protection and restoration.


  1. I think a lot, if not most, old churches in southern Spain are converted Mosques. The cathedral in Ronda is a prime example, with the octagonal minaret poking out of the top of the later square bell tower, and the Mihrab just inside the entrance hall, merely bricked up in the the 15th C. , and now once again revealed in all its glory. And since it is in the entrance hall, you don’t even have to pay your 1 euro to see it !

  2. Good point PM. Population dynamics would have a been abig factor post Reconquista. in many frontier villages it was hard to repopulate after the Moors were sent packing. So a lack of man-power + resources would have led to “conversions” of the well built mosque to churches.

    Sadly for recent home buyers, the quality of much of Spain´s construction boom seems to be far inferior

    saludos desde Barcelona,
    Ari – partner MagicalSpain.com

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