Church of San Miguel: Historical Introduction.
The first news about the Church of San Miguel (Saint Michael) date back to the year 1249, although this does not mean that the current building was being built, as they could have used an old mosque in the first place, as it was the case in other neighbourhoods of the city after the Reconquest, such as San Lorenzo or Santiago. The Church of San Miguel was part of the neighbourhood of that name created by Fernando III the Saint in 1241, and it worked as its religious and administrative centre. The temple was built close to the Puerta de Osario (Osario’s Gate), the northern entrance of the city since Muslim times, located a few metres away from the axis north-south that crossed the Medina.
From an urban planning point of view, the Church of San Miguel is located in a very important place, a few metres away from the old Roman forum, the administrative and religious centre in the city when it was Colonia Patricia of Rome. Later on, we will dedicate a special section to the Forum in the part dedicated to Roman Córdoba, which will develop the urban planning and the most singular buildings that have been preserved until our days.
With the passage of time, and as it happened with other Fernandine Churches of the time, the building has experienced several additions and transformations. The most relevant ones were carried out along the 18th century, when the ceiling was finished based on Baroque vaults according to the taste of the time. Also in these years, the current tower was built, which was erected using the remains of an old minaret belonging to a neighbouring mosque. In the second half of the 18th century, the apse on the side of the Gospel was turned into Chapel of the Tabernacle. In the 60s the church experienced a severe process of restoration, aimed at giving it back its original state as much as possible; thus, the Gothic ribbed vaults and the Mudejar wooden ceilings were displayed, as we can see nowadays.
From the beginning San Miguel has been a residential neighbourhood, and it has housed many of the noble families in Córdoba, although in Muslim times it also housed a great number of residents who, most probably, left the city after the arrival of the Christians on their way to the Kingdom of Granada or the north of Africa. The current commercial atmosphere has gradually appeared throughout the years. It is a central area, located next to Tendillas Square, Ronda de los Tejares and Cruz Conde Streets, some of the busiest places in the city.
Part of Colón Square belonged to the neighbourhood of San Miguel, including the building which is nowadays the headquarters of the Provincial Government of Córdoba, which was originally a Mercedarian convent built in the middle of the 18th century. There is nothing in this square that could remind us of what it was in medieval times, or even in the 18th century, when bullfighting events were frequent, such as the one held in 1759 to commemorate the coronation of Monarch Carlos III.
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 Miguel. 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.