Church of San Andrés: Historical Introduction.
The first news we have about the Church of San Andrés (Saint Andrew) date back to 1246, when it was being built, whereas a few years later, around 1277, we have proof of its occupation by six priests. The church was part of the neighbourhood of San Andrés, created by Fernando III the Saint in 1241, and it was its religious and administrative centre.
From the beginning, the building acquired a great religious and strategic value, as it was built on the remains of the old Basilica of San Zoilo, while being located on one of the most important and used streets in medieval Cordoba, the Vía Augusta, which back then connected Puerta del Hierro (Iron Gate) with Puerta de Plasencia (Plasencia Gate).
As it happened in other cases, the neighbourhood of San Andrés was greatly deserted. This situation barely changed until the 15th century, when the Convent of San Pablo was built in the vicinity. This also happened in the nearby neighbourhood of San Nicolás de la Ajerquía when the Convent of San Pedro el Real was erected, currently Church of San Francisco and San Eulogio.
The parish had in its neighbourhood the Hospital de la Sangre de Cristo (Hospital of the Blood of Christ) and the Hospital de San Andrés. On the other hand, some of the most important and influential families in the city settled here, such as the Luna, Hoces or Villalón.
There were two transformations that have deteriorated the original state of the church, which were carried out at the end of the 16th century and beginning of the 18th. The first of them consisted of the building of the current tower, following the plans Hernán Ruiz II made for the nearby tower of the Church of San Lorenzo years before, more specifically around 1555. The most significant one was undoubtedly the one carried out during the first years of the 18th century, when the medieval church became transept, thus changing the orientation east-west to north-south. The works were carried out by the senior master of the bishopric, Juan and Luis de Aguilar, who gave the building an appearance according to the taste of that time.
Just as it happened in other neighbouhoods created from the foundation of the Fernandine Churches, San Andrés lacked the minimum healthiness requirements, which led to numerous epidemics, such as the ones in 1804 and 1835. The habit of isolating the sick in their houses did not prevent disasters and the old area called Arroyo de San Andrés, a name which has remained in the toponymy of the neighbourhood, became a focal point of illness spreading.
The most important buildings are, most of them, located along San Pablo and Realejo Street. The latter seemed to receive that name from King Fernando III the Saint’s residence while he was preparing the campaigns against the Muslims, who still had the control of the medina (city). On the other hand, many main houses were destroyed by King Don Pedro, as a reprisal against the noble people from Córdoba, who mainly supported his brother Enrique in the fight for the throne.
If you wish to know the Fernandine Churches, do not hesitate to hire one of our guided tours. We will pay special attention to the Church of San Andrés. We are experts in the interpretation of the historical heritage from Córdoba. If you have chosen to do sightseeing in Córdoba, choose a high quality option, choose ArtenCórdoba.