Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Rosario


When you walk through the door of the “Virgen del Rosario” Temple of Roquetas de Mar, stop and look, because what you will see, is not only a religious building with many years of history, but also the culminated project of some men who, with much faith and perseverance, proposed to get their construction beginning between 1747 and 1750. Therefore, our gaze should not only be stopped in the monumental and architectural aspects, we must also know the significance of their history, since it was their faith that moved them so that the first task that is imposed, when they are sufficient number, is the construction of a temple for the celebration of worship, something priority for them.

Before the building of the temple, Christian religious signs date from the late 16th and early 17th century, with the construction of the castle of Santa Ana, where they used one of the dependencies as a chapel for religious worship (mises, baptisms, burials, etc.), at the beginning for the castle soldiers and later for all those neighbors who were populating the surrounding areas. These neighbors were, for the most part, Catholic descendants of those old Christians, primitive inhabitants, in the 16th century, of Felix, Vícar and Enix who, first of all, used to go down fishing under the shelter of the castle (since security, by the sea attacks of the Berberiscos prevented them from permanently residing there), but who later dared to go building their homes a little more remote than the inside, The chapel of the castle was dedicated to Santa Ana, in whose honor they celebrated procession and annual feasts, being in charge of the parish priest of Vícar, who moved for the administration of the sacraments. Cortijada groups were formed, until more populated nuclei were created, until today we know as Roquetas de Mar. Years later the Cortijos de Marín (who had a hermit dedicated to San Antonio) and the Cortijillos of the Salinas Viejas were formed. Here, in the Royal Salinas, there was a chapel with its own chaplain for assistance (as it is found in the registration of a marriage celebrated there and which is reflected in the books of Vícar)


Already entered this century is when the population of Roquetas begins to form. Moving by their faith, the first task that is imposed, when sufficient numbers, is the construction of a temple for the celebration of worship, since for them it was a priority.

This is about 1742, when a group of neighbors, headed by Juan Gallardo, Antonio and Pedro Gutiérrez, Cristóbal López, Juan de Moya Escobar and Juan Rodríguez, representing all the other inhabitants of the place, decide to present themselves to the scribe Juan Jiménez, to show you how dissatisfied they were with the religious services they received in the small chapel of the castle of Santa Ana, especially because of their reduced capacity. The bishop, Fray Gaspar de Molina and Rocha, accepted his request on one condition, that the neighbors had to contribute with a portion of the expenses, committing the obispado to contribute the remaining expenses. The framework in which this initiative took place was that of the last years of the reign of Felipe V, at a time of uneasiness in the area, pending a permanent alert to the danger of any aggression of the British fleet, enemy of Spain at those dates.

At first they agreed that it had to be built in a year and a half. But that time was agreed and only the share of what was committed by the neighbors had been completed. I mean, on the raft, with the inhiest and uncovered walls. That's how he stayed for ten years.

There is no record of who would be the master chosen by the obispado for the trace of that temple, perhaps outside Juan Diego Pérez, master of albañil, together with the Carpenter Alonso de Campo, who visited the area for their study and approval. But the exact date of the beginning of this is not known. If it is known that Fernando VI was reigning (1746-1759).

The project was by Ventura Rodríguez. Baroque style (the style of those dates), rectangular plant and Mudejar armor. Very cheap materials (mampostry and brick). The Latin cross plant with cruise, without lateral ships. Its inner dome, brick. The facade had rectangular shape, prolonged with a triangle. The front door was east-facing.

There was another side door on the North Façade, on which there was the shield of a bishop (we do not know whether it was of D. Claudio Sanz or that of D. Anselmo Rodríguez). In this facade is the tower, which was initially very low.

He had the main altar with altarpiece under the dome. A pulpit next to the Gospel, attached to the pilaster, and a choir above the front door. The sacristy and the chapel of Baptism were beside the North. The parish house, with a large courtyard, south. And west a cemetery. The Sacraments were not allowed to be placed until the end of 1772, for fear that the Moorish pirates, in their incursions, would commit some excess. The cemetery was working, perhaps, until the end of 1832, behind the church.

Roquetas did not become a parish until 1900, when Bishop Don Santos Zárate conceded that he would cease to be an old man of the parish of Vícar, and be his parish.

In 1787 a Cavalry de la Costa barracks was installed in Roquetas. Believing, too, a military parish, which worked until 1903. During this time, thirty-nine were the priests responsible for it.

Summarizing: The temple is built by popular initiative, during the episcopate of Fray Gaspar Molina and Rocha, being still king of Spain, Felipe V. The building was completed during the reign of Fernando VI or more likely in the reign of his brother Carlos III, with whom the consecration occurred, being bishop of Almeria, D. Claudio Sanz and Torres.

The inhabitants of Roquetas built the temple at their own expense and with the help of the General Factorys of the Obispado de Almeria. The construction represented another step for administrative independence and meant for the roqueteros of that time a sign of union of the town of Roquetas. He also helped define the identity of the people in front of Vícar or Felix.


We're in June 1777 and there's already Roquetas segregated from Felix. One of the points to be solved, primarily, by the new components of the municipal corporation was that of its temple. What was happening? That both the ground and part of the walls and the roof of the temple were in regrettable state, with the consequent danger to the neighbors. The ground was a terregal which, with the winds of Roquetas, caused many diseases, because it could not breathe in those days of wind. They also stated that it was small and narrow, and although the holidays were held two mass, they were always unable to attend the ceremony quite a few neighbors, since they had to stay out, because they couldn't.

In August 1777, they request the repair of everything exposed, adding that the construction of a new cemetery outside the vicinity of the temple was studied. But as they saw that one year ago they did not attend their request, in December 1778 they addressed Don Miguel de Cambronero (Captain of Ship and Regiver Chief of the Port of Almeria, which from these dates would become the patron of the new population of Roquetas, so much that he did for the development of this. The story has not yet done justice with him, and they have not given him the importance that this man had in the creation of what we call today Roquetas de Mar but that, on quite a few occasions, he was interested in solving the problems that the population of Roquetas was suffering, which took charge of defending before the authorities the just petitions that the neighbors presented. He did it and, after many vicissitudes and challenges with setbacks, D. Miguel de Cambronero was listened to and attended, commissioning the work of reform of the church to Juan Antonio Munar, master of architecture and disciple of Ventura Rodríguez, who put into practice the project designed by his teacher. The reform involved the paving of stone, extending the temple by adding a dome-covered space to the head and three vaulted sections that formed the lower arms of the new cross plant. Next to them the new sacristy and cemetery. It should be noted that, Munar reported the good predisposition of the entire population of Roquetas, collaborating mainly with labor and means for the transport by land or by sea of the necessary materials. It should be added that in 1781 the works of expansion and repair began.


It was at a meeting in the town hall of Roquetas on April 17, 1797, being mayor José Pomares when the corporation decided that it was time to designate a Patron or Patron of the village. To do this they decided to put in a closed bag the names of the different advocations that the neighbors of the village venerated, and they chose a child named Antonio Villanueva so that with his innocent hand he would draw a name from the bag. The ballot he pulled was named after the Virgin of the Rosary.

Present at the event, as witnesses of this, were, apart from the members of the corporation, different neighbors, the parish priest and the Quaaresmal Preacher (who at that time was in the village).


The 1804 earthquake, which suffered the people, affected the bell tower and something to its dome. The successive years of this century have not left much information as to whether some of its components were altered. Instead, if we know of the destruction suffered, both to the temple and to the images, during the Civil War of 1936, although the building was saved from its destruction and, after replenishment of images and ornate, continued to house the parish community for which it had been built.

The current door was paid by Doña Pepa Padilla in 1922. After the Civil War, it had to be restored for the damage suffered during it.

There was a minor altarpiece and in front of it was the Virgin of Pilar, who had been donated by the roqueteros residing in Oran (Algeria). Another sculptural piece that disappeared in the looting and burning at the beginning of the Civil War was a stone cross that existed in the church above the pile of holy water at the entrance of the main gate.

The altar altarpiece before the civil contest was burned in full. There are few data from the old altar. There is also no data from the minor toilets. It is said that the main altarpiece was baroque style, polychromed with two bacons on each side, as small altars.

The parish was without an image of the patronage from 1936 to 1940, but it was even longer without a major altarpiece, from 1936 to 1957.

The INC (National Institute of Colonization) carried out the project of the Extension of Roquetas de Mar in 1954. Jesus of Perceval designed in 1957 for the church of the Virgin of the Rosary a altarpiece on Scenes of the Virgin formed by seven paintings to the oil: Annunciation, Visitation, Presentation in the temple, Birth, Assumption, Holy Family and Away to Egypt. A few years ago the town council commissioned a circular window, located in the choir of the main facade, according to a sketch made by Perceval. It is the only work done by this painter in the churches of the peoples of colonization. Already in the second half of the 20th century came a severe restoration that radically altered the outer image of the temple. But the best restoration work of the parish church of Roquetas is the seven tables of Marian theme that Jesus of Perceval composed for the main altar in 1957.

I conclude by saying that, however, after being treated so severely by the different architects of the 20th century, it has managed to preserve the essential traits that it managed to gather in the 18th century, when those neighbors of cortijos committed themselves to undertake their construction, without being aware that they would provide the future population of one of their most emblematic buildings.