Chapel of Ntra. Sra. de la Antigua
The present chapel of the patron saint of Morata, Nuestra Señora de la Antigua, is an oratory whose construction dates from the seventeenth century. It is built on a pre-existing chapel dedicated to San Sebastian, which dates back to the 16th century, as recorded in official records from the reign of Felipe II.
The interior of the temple is formal and recollected, consisting of a single nave presided over by the patron saint of Morata and on one side of the altarpiece is the image of San Sebastian, to whom the temple was originally dedicated, but was “evicted”.
Throughout the 16th century, coinciding with the arrival of Morata’s patronage at the hands of the Marquis of Leganes and Count of Altamira, the cult of San Sebastian was losing popularity. It is said that on September 7, a storm hit the town, causing terrible damage. The next day the Count visited the village accompanied by his son, to see firsthand the devastating effects of the storm on the village. Near the chapel of San Sebastian, which had been seriously damaged, the boy found an image of a crown that looked like a doll, but was later deduced that that was the image of a Virgin, which had been dragged by the downpour. It was then that San Sebastian was evicted and a hermitage was refounded in its place under the patronage of that Virgin, the Virgin of Antigua. Since then, that day has been fixed as the Patron Saint’s Day. A day that the Morateños celebrate every 8th of September.