Church of San Lorenzo: The Building.
The Church of San Lorenzo has a floor with three parallel naves, the central one being wider and higher than the others. The apse is made up of three apses; the central one is polygonal and the ones on the sides are rectangular. They can be seen from the outside, where the central one is reinforced by buttresses.
The different naves are connected among them through four pointed arches supported by cross-shaped pillars, as they have columns attached with capitals decorated with flowery motifs, as well as plain pilasters, where round arches start and extend along the reinforced wall supporting the current wooden ceiling. There is only an original capital preserved, located at the foot of the nave of the Gospel. However, it is frequent to see figures of "small men" holding the ribs of the vaults, as well as monsters’ heads.
The triumphal arch leading to the Main Altar has cross-shaped pillars with curves, and they have a decorative stripe as capital. Next, there is the typical cross-shaped, whereas the arches entering the chapels are supported by reused columns with rings.
The three apses of the Church of San Lorenzo are covered by Gothic ribbed vaults, and the main rib has influence from Burgos in the central apse and on the side of the Gospel. The ribs are substituted by a small pointed column crossing in keystones mainly decorated with flowery motifs. The pressure from the vaults is supported by outside buttresses finished with rain gutters.
In contrast with the stone in the apse, we can highlight the use of wood in the ceiling of the naves, such as the central one, which is covered by a ceiling reinforced with horizontal beams, with paired braces, and in the side ones, hanging braces, which was one of the latest restorations.
Outside, the 14th-century portico stands out, with a triple arcade which leads us to the entrance door at the foot of the church. It is a pointed and splayed opening, whose intrados is decorated in zig-zag and with small mould columns. Everything is supported by small columns decorated with a vegetable stripe. Over the entrance we can see the typical roof supported by round modillions. The rose window, one of the three preserved from the Middle Ages, consists of a framework of pointed arches over plain-shafted columns. On the side of the Epistle there is another rose window, but smaller.
The side façades follow the same scheme, with a pointed arch over stepped jambs and barely decorated. Over them, there is a roof supported by round modillions decorated with plain stripes.
The tower is especially interesting, built by Hernán Ruiz II the Young, who finished it in 1555. It consists of three sections: the first one starts from the portico at the entrance, at the foot of the side of the Gospel. The second section starts in a cornice supported by corbels, followed by a small balustrade. It has a square shape and two round openings on each of its sides, where the bells are. In this section, we can highlight the use of Ionic capitals over pilasters attached to the wall, unlike the third section, where Tuscan capitals are used. This section is turned compared to the previous one, so that the corners coincide with the centre of its sides, giving the building a great sense of singularity and plasticity. The tower is finished by a circular cupola with an image of San Lorenzo.
If you are wondering what to visit in Córdoba, a good option would be the Fernandine Churches, choosing one of our guided tours. This way you will learn everything about the Church of San Lorenzo. Choosing to do high quality sightseeing is choosing ArtenCórdoba.