Church of San Pablo: Altars and Chapels (II).
Next to the previous one, we can see the Chapel of Souls, a few metres away from the apse of the Gospel. It was founded in the last years of the 14th century to locate the Sotomayor family, who did not have enough capital to keep the Main Chapel, so they were transferred here. It has a square floor and a ceiling which is very similar to the previous one. At the end, we can see the image after which the chapel is named, the "Christ of Souls", a Crucified Christ which is beautifully made with simple lines, from the beginning of the 17th century. We can also highlight an altarpiece made in gilded wood, attributed to Alonso Gómez de Sandoval, dating back to the middle of the 18th century, where the images of archangels "San Rafael" and "San Miguel" stand out.
The apse of the Gospel is currently the location of the Chapel of Our Lady of Anguish, which names the Brotherhood of Anguish, whose procession along the streets of Córdoba takes place in the night of Holy Thursday. This sublime sculptural ensemble is the last composition made by the religious sculptor from Córdoba Juan de Mesa, who donated it to his city as a last will before dying. In the section dedicated to the Holy Week, you will find a thorough description of the work.
From the Main Altar we can highlight a small marble tabernacle, decorated with reliefs arranged in round arcades, supporting the images of "San Pablo", "San Alfonso" and a "Virgin with Baby" sitting on the throne.
The Apse of the Epistle is identical to the one located on the side of the Gospel, but it is decorated with a board representing "San Antonio María Claret" in a blessing attitude. An entrance door leads to the rooms of the church, which are currently occupied by the Missionaries Sons of Mary’s Heart, which was originally the Chapel of the Chapter.
The Chapel of the Chapter is the oldest construction in the Church of San Pablo, as we need to go back to Almohad times to know its origins, a moment when it is believed to have been conceived as the room of a palace. The Dominicans saw the possibility to make the most of the space when building the Christian temple, and it was used from the beginning for different purposes, such as funerary chapel, sacristy… It is a rectangular space divided in three parts, where we can highlight the big pointed arch with alfiz supported by wide modillions separating the first space from the second, as well as the horseshoe arch separating the second from the third, which is supported by pairs of columns with Almohad capitals. It is also very interesting the vault with interwoven ribs of Hispanic-Muslim type, whose square floor is turned into an octagonal one through semi-domed squinches. From the sides of the octagon, eight ribs start and cross in parallel in pairs diagonally, leaving the central space free, where the cupola starts, supported over a second octagon.
The Chapel of Expiry is at the foot of the nave of the Epistle, and it is named after the images of the Brotherhood of Expiry, whose procession takes place in the night of Holy Friday. At the front we can see the "Holy Christ of Expiry”, an anonymous work from the end of the 17th century. Next to it, there is "Holy Mary of Silence”, also anonymous from the 17th century. On the left side, we can see "Our Lady of Rosary", current work of the famous religious sculptor from Seville Luis Álvarez Duarte. As we already mentioned in previous sections, in the restoration carried out in the last years of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Adolfo Castiñeyra and Mateo Inurria remodelled the chapel almost completely, based on some remains of polylobed arches and latticework from earlier years. The chapel was redecorated with a Neomudejar style, imitating the plasterwork of the Royal Chapel of the Mosque-Cathedral. We are undoubtedly facing a controversial restoration which has been topic of conversation in the artistic circle in Córdoba.
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 Pablo. 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.