Church of San Miguel: The building.
The Church of San Miguel is made with blocks of stone arranged in headers and stretches, sometimes even in several stretchers. Its simple almost square floor has three parallel naves, the central one being wider and higher than the rest. These naves are connected among them through three big pointed arches supported by cross-shaped pillars, as we have seen in other Fernandine Churches. Over the pointed arches, there is an excellent reinforced wall with three blind round arches, which support the pressure from the wooden ceiling covering the central nave. Nevertheless, historians from Córdoba generally believe that the walls and the rest of the supporting elements, due to their strength and size, could support much heavier and bigger ceilings.
The apse consists of three polygonal apses which can be seen from the outside, where we can highlight the use of buttresses supporting the pressure from the vaults. The Main Altar and the apse of the Epistle are covered by Gothic ribbed vaults, both from the middle of the 14th century. In the first case, the decoration is more abundant, where the ribs are decorated with saw teeth motifs, whereas in the apse of the Epistle, the ribs are simple moulded small columns. On the other hand, the apse of the Gospel radically breaks the medieval aesthetics of the temple, as it preserves its state after the remodelling carried out in the middle of the 18th century. It was conceived according to the taste of the time, and we can highlight the whiteness of its walls and the colourfulness of its plasterwork with vegetable polychrome motifs, as well as the bright vault over pendentives covering it.
The Church of San Miguel is probably the one that has best preserved its original state, showing a great sobriety and elegance, typical features of the beginning of the Gothic period in Córdoba.
The Entrance of the Gospel follows the example of the other entrances in the city. However, the difference is that it is not crowned by a roof. It is a pointed entrance portico with moulded archivolts and extrados decorated with rosettes over small columns and decorative frieze.
The Entrance on the side of the Epistle has, however, a pointed horseshoe arch, where there is an alternation of voussoirs decorated with vegetable motifs and plain ones without any ornamentation whatsoever. The arch is framed by a small alfiz. Over it, at the top of the entrance, there is a roof over round modillions with a plain stripe in the centre.
The Main Entrance of the Church of San Miguel has preserved to a great extent its original state, showing its austerity and cleanliness of shapes typical of the time when it was designed. Two small rose windows are the only decoration in the side naves. However, the entrance, flanked by two big buttresses, has a beautiful pointed splayed arch, supported by small columns with plain shaft and capitals that mix with the decorative frieze. The roof extends from one buttress to the next, thus perfectly framing the entrance. A splendid rose window with radial tracery is at the centre of the ensemble, which is thought to be the oldest of the three ones that have been preserved to our days.
The tower was built in the middle of the 18th century according to the style of the moment, when the decoration based on plaques was widely extended in Córdoba. The second section, with a square floor, where the bells are, has the same scheme on all its sides, that is, a round opening flanked by pairs of plain pilasters. The tower is finished by a simple four-sided hipped roof.
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 Miguel. Choosing to do high quality sightseeing is choosing ArtenCórdoba.