Church of Santiago: Historical Introduction.
The Church of Santiago (Saint James), despite all the difficulties it has gone through, such as the numerous transformations or destructions, has been preserved in a good condition. Although the whole of its medieval splendour is not reflected, a great part of its structure has been preserved, as well as the main façade, the tower or the façade on the side of the Epistle. Its good current condition is undoubtedly due to the comprehensive restoration carried out in 1990.
Like the rest of Fernandine Churches analyzed in this section, the Parish of Santiago was founded by Fernando III the Saint, in the neighbourhood of Ajerquía, in the area with the same name. It was erected on the old Mosque of the Emir Hisham, which was used as a Christian temple until they decided to build the current Church of Santiago.
The first interventions the building experienced were carried out along the 17th century, such as the building of a new roof by Alonso Muñoz around 1635. At this time, there were also some works in the Chapel of Incarnation. However, it still maintains its medieval aesthetics.
In the 18th century, some works were carried out in the tower, where they built a bell gable with two bells sections on it. Besides, in the 40s, the apse on the side on the Gospel is reformed, probably with the sponsorship of the Counts of Gavia, which explains their crest there.
In the 19th century a deep transformation of the building was carried out, where they tried to give the church a Neoclassical appearance following the taste of the time. However, a century later, in the 80s, the state of the building was terrible, and therefore a further restoration was necessary, led by architects Antonio Cabrera and Óscar Rodríguez. The result was satisfactory, as nowadays it is possible to interpret the different phases the church has gone through.
The parishioners of this church were not very numerous, fewer than in other churches in Córdoba at that moment. The reason is that the temple was located near the wall, and many of the inhabitants lived outside it. This neighbourhood was structured on both sides of the current Agustín Moreno Street, a very traditional one, as it connected the neighbourhoods close to the river to the city centre, already in times of the Muslim Córdoba. The street finished in the square we nowadays know as de Baeza, which is named after the Puerta de Baeza (Gate of Baeza), which was located there, attached to the wall and from which the way to that town started.
Due to the fact the Agustín Moreno Street was the main axis of the neighbourhood, the most important buildings were located in the vicinity. A clear example is Valdelasgranas Square, so called because of the palace of the counts located there. However, it was originally known as Caballeros de Santiago Square (Square of the Knights of Saint James), as its origin dated back to the 13th century, and nowadays some Mudejar remains are preserved in its structure. Another emblematic case is the Hermitage of the Martyr Saints, located at the back of the Church of Santiago, on Paseo de la Ribera Street, which was built in the 19th century in order to commemorate the convent with the same name which was located in that same place.
The presence of Islamic elements in this neighbourhood is frequent, such as the Casa de las Campanas (House of the Bells), a beautiful ancestral house where its polylobed arches and general Arab aesthetics give the ensemble a great personality.
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 Santiago. 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.