This was originally built on the site of the citadel, the residence of Queen Aixa Alhorra, mother of Boabdil, which defended Motril in the Muslim period. Isidro de la Chica built the church in 1631 in an austere proto-Baroque style.
The building, in the shape of a cross, has a single nave and is covered with hemispherical dome. It has a raised chapel and a chancel richly decorated with baroque plasterwork.
It was partially destroyed during the Civil War but was restored in the mid-20th century, trying where possible to respect the old structure. The restoration was completed in the 1960’s and the local Motril sculptor Manuel González Ligero created the altarpiece. Here the traditions of Motril and the legend and cult of the Virgin de la Cabeza come together.
The magnificent Mediterranean statue of the Virgen de la Cabeza (the patron saint of Motril) dates back at least as far as the 15th century.