The Empress Maria of Austria, left her entire fortune to build this church, which started construction during the reign of Felipe IV (Philip IV) . At that time, this church was called Iglesia de San Francisco Javier (St. Francis Xavier).
It went on to be a “Colegiata” in 1767 , when Carlos III , expelled the Jesuits. A “Colegiata”, is a name given to a Catholic church , that although it is not to become a cathedral , it is a council of canons with a Dean , abbot or prior. At this time, also the corpses of San Isidro (Patron of Madrid), and his wife were moved to this church from the parish of St. Andrew.
In 1883 , the archdiocese of Madrid- Alcala was created, and this temple became the Provisional Cathedral of Madrid for over one hundred years, until the construction of La Almudena Cathedral, was finished.
In the front façade, you can see a niche containing two stone statues with the figures of San Isidro and Santa María de la Cabeza. Further down in the photo above, there are part of the railings from the seventeenth century with the imperial coat of arms of María de Austria.
Interior of the Colegiata of San Isidro.
The altarpiece has been rebuilt after the assault and arson suffered by this (and many other) churches in 1936, and during the Civil War .
The altarpiece has four columns with the sculpture of four saints, and a painting of the Holy Trinity . In the center of the altar, there are the corpses of the patron saint of Madrid, and his wife.
The Colegiata Church of San Isidro is also home to the brotherhood of “Jesus del Gran Poder”, and the “Virgen de la Macarena”, with their respective chapels which can be seen in these photographs. In the photo above , the Chapel of Jesus of the Great Power, that is probably, one of the most beautiful of Madrid, with its rich baroque decoration . The wood carving of the Jesus of the Great Power, is a true copy of the original in the Basilica of Seville.
The above photograph shows a tableau of the eighteenth century Tuscan style , with a modern carving of San Antonio de Padua. The image of the Virgen de la Soledad , is from the nineteenth century.
This carving of the Virgen de la Macarena , is an exact replica of the one in Seville . The altarpiece of the chapel of the Macarena, is modern, but decorated with other old items.
Inside the church of San Isidro , is this chapel , which is rather a parish in itself, with its dome and Latin cross plan, designed by Sebastian Herrera Barnuevo .
The altar is an eighteenth -century Baroque altarpiece with a central image of Our Lady of Good Counsel and to the sides , San Joaquin and Santa Ana.