Basílica Ortodoxa Rumana El Bautismo del Señor

The first Romanian Orthodox basilica of new plant built in Spain is located in Roquetas de Mar. It was consecrated on April 22, 2018. The temple is dedicated to the Baptism of the Lord.

The temple is built on a plot of about 1330 m2 approximately, of which about 300m2 correspond to the temple. The rest of the plot are transit areas, gardens and the bell tower. Its plant is of Latin cross and the outer coating is in white mortar. The roof is from tiles to several waters, being the facade a porch with two columns and a roof in tiles to two waters. The bell tower is exempt from the temple, which is characteristic of Byzantine architecture. The whole set is inside a walled enclosure.

The interior of the church has been decorated in the purest Romanian Orthodox style, covering the whole of the walls with iconic paintings, alluding to the history of salvation, with the mysteries of Christ and Mary, and Biblical angelology; with the effigy of the holy fathers of the ancient Church and the Orthodox saintland. A great pantocrator occupies the interior of the cimborrium and the front of the presbytery, the latter closed by a beautiful iconostasis, according to the Byzantine tradition. This beautiful decoration is the work of a team of artists led by the main of them and head of the workshop Mihail Marius Ionescu.

By the end of the 8th century, the book “Treaty of images against Constantine” said: “If a pagan comes and says to you, show me your faith..., grant him to the church and show him the decoration that adorns it.”

It is a decoration that covers, in addition to its evident decorative function, a catechetical dimension.

“On the vault a human figure represents Christ. It would be said that he inspects the land, which meditates its order and its government. The artist has thus expressed, through forms and colors, the Creator's request for us.

In the pechines a multitude of angels mount guard around their common King.

In the apse that dominates the altar, the image of the Virgin shines in all its splendor with its hands extended to men in sign of its powerful mediation...

Finally, the choir of the apostles, of the prophets and of the patriarchs fills and embellishes, with their venerable figures, the temple all...”

Interior where paintings and icons are appreciated

It is an open book on the History of Salvation, as a visual catechism.

Christ Pantocrator blesses from the dome, surrounded by the angelic court, prophets, patriarchs, apostles and martyrs who sing their holiness from the iconostasis. The Virgin, for her part, from the Beautiful Gate, who welcomes the faithful to her entrance to the temple, to the rank of the Deesis, where she presides over the prayers of the heavenly Church to offer them to her Son. The great characters of Genesis, from Abel and Melchizedek, to Abraham, as symbols of the sacrifices of the ancient covenant. The Fathers of the Church, defenders of the right doctrine in the first ecumenical councils of the first millennium, such as John Chrysostom, Gregory the theologian or St Basil the Great. The first martyrs and witnesses of the risen Christ, like Stephen and Lorenzo- The mysteries of the life of Christ, forming the festive rank in the iconstasy. The pictorial symbol is everything in the Orthodox Church. He amalgams theology and liturgy by making visible the Latin adagio: “lex orandi, lex legendi”.

There are some differences regarding a Western Catholic temple, such as the presence of the Iconostasy rather than the Altar, and the veneration of the saints in the form of icons.

Pantocrator in the cimbor

The iconastasio

On entering is the first thing we're going to see as if it were the altar altar altar altar altar. It is a wall that goes from the north to the south in an Orthodox temple, separating the sanctuary from the nave, central part of the temple. In the iconstasy the icons are placed, hence its name, the word comes from the Greek, which means ‘exposure of icons’.

In the iconstasy there are three doors that allow communication between the place of the faithful and the presbytery. The most important, the central, is called the “Puerta Real” and through it can pass only the celebrant priest. At the door is painted the Annunciation icon, flanked by the icons of the four evangelists. On his lintel the representation of the Last Supper. Two other doors, called “ Side doors” in which the archangels Miguel and Gabriel are painted, use deacons and other clerics.


The Presbytery is separated from the place of the faithful by the iconostasis. However, a part of the presbytery remains in front of the iconostasis in the form of an elevation called “solea”, in the center of which is the ambón or pulppit, one of the most symbolic places of the temple. From the ambón the priest performs the Eucharist and pronounces the sermon.

Diakonikon and prothesis are two side chapels for the altar cult, each with different functions. The Diakonikon is on the right, and it is so called because it is a deacon's office to keep the ornaments and utensils of the sacred office. Prosthesis is a small table which, as a credence, serves to prepare the offerings of bread and wine that will serve for the Eucharistic sacrifice.


The Eucharistic sacrifice table is located in a central place of the presbytery, in front of the Royal Gate of the iconostasis, sufficiently isolated to allow the movements of the celebrants around it. There are a whole set of auxiliary elements, very similar to those in the Catholic mass, which are necessary for the celebration.

The most important object within the presbytery is the altar itself, where is the antimins (a piece of rectangular fabric to which the relic of a saint or martyr is sewn), the gospel, a cross, the chalice and other objects necessary to realize the Eucharist.

The Sanctuary is reserved for celebrants and sacred ministers. It contains the Altar first. It is located in the middle, right in front of the Holy Gates and quite away from the walls and the iconostasis, so that one can freely circulate around it and even perform rites and ceremonies. Behind the Altar there is a large cross made of metal.

Headquarters of the celebrants

The most important part of the church is the presbytery, where it places the altar, which is always on the east side of the building. Only clerics can access the presbytery, while the male faithful enter there only during baptism, and women never.

The Sagrarian

It is the place that directly recalls the Tabernacle, which adopts different forms. It is often like a temple with a small dome.


On the ground a large carpet of burgundy colour guides us to the altar behind the iconastasio. Embroidered with several bicephalous eagles that highlight the character of Byzantium descendant of the Romanian Orthodox Church (Biserica Ortodox? Român?). The symbolism of the bicephalous eagle indicates that one of its heads looks towards the infinite of the past, and the other towards the infinite of the future, showing that the present is just a fine line of contact between two eternity.


Every side of the iconstasy you can see the places of the choir and the readers, where during the service you sing. Standards are also placed. The Orthodox liturgy is eminently sung and, to facilitate it, the headquarters are comfortable, spacious, always with backrest and with lower supports to place the feet.

In the Orthodox church only the choir song is used, which explains the absence of the organ in the Eastern temples.

Ambón for main icon

Not only the iconstasy is place to place the icons. But for the main icon, already for the dedication of the temple, already for the liturgical celebration, there is a concrete ambón. This ambón or facistol containing the festive icon is placed before the presbytery, usually with its own candles.

Ceiling lamp

Below the pantocrator located on the cimborrium is a beautiful and beautiful lamp. The light in the Orthodox Church is an image of the heavenly and divine light that illuminates every person who comes into the world, and the lamps in the temple personify the light sources emanating from the Kingdom of God.

As we enter it, we perceive that we are not alone, that the presence of Christ is real through the saints who become present through the multitude of icons that adorn the walls. We perceive that we are an ecclesial community of people who form in Christ one body.

The background of the iconography that develops on the walls emphasizes the palette of dark blues and greys that make it difficult to reflect the light and help to create the psychic state that the faithful needs for their meditation.

All this to make it very clear to the visitor of the temple that enters a very special place, a sacred space that, as such, is different from the profane space formed by the outside world, even if the temple is not alien to that space. The weak illumination, creating that contrast with the light of the day, makes the contrast between the sacred and the profane sensitive.

The candles

In the entrance portico there is a large candlestick. One of the most striking differences is the presence of wax candles. In this case the candles are the own of the Byzantine cult. They are elongated earth-colored candles, which are divided into those dedicated to the living and the deceased. This is a big difference between Eastern and Western cults. In the East there is not a single day to remember the deceased, but they are remembered every Saturday in a special prayer.

The bell tower

The bell tower is an octagonal structure of columns and half-point arches on two levels. Below its octagonal deck are the bells. It is exempt from the temple. They hang many different bells of different measures and unequal acoustic frequency that skillfully managed by the campanero become the voice of the Church, indicating whether it is Sunday, or Christmas time or Lent, or any occasion when the ritual so indicates.