Capuchinos Square and Christ of the Lanterns
Capuchinos Square has been called like this since the beginning of the 17th century, when the primitive convent of Franciscan monks was founded. With a rectangular floor, mostly closed, it completely dominates the whiteness of the limestone of its plain walls. Famous architect Rafael de la Hoz once said about its sobriety and elegance that "nothing so great had ever been made in architecture with so little".
Capuchinos Square has two entrances, on the east and west, from Cuesta del Bailío or Doblas Square. If we go through Cuesta del Bailío our eyes will be attracted by the impressive Cristo de los Faroles (Christ of the Lanterns) in the middle of the square. However, if we go from the neighbouring Doblas Square, the white façade of the Church of the Convent of the Capuchins will completely dominate our perspective.
Brother Félix de Granada bought in 1629 a house of Puerta del Corbacho from Marquis Almunia, with the aim of erecting the Convent of Capuchin Monks in its place. The works finished in 1633, and the church was built years later. The church had a one-naved floor with a transept covered by a vault supported over pendentives. The façade had back then three round arches, but nowadays only the central one remains, over which there is an alcove with a beautiful image of "San Francisco" (Saint Francis), flanked by two small and narrow rectangular openings. A triangular pediment is at the top of the ensemble, as wide as the façade and with a small oculus in its centre.
The monks suffered several expropriation processes, such as the one ordered by José Bonaparte’s government in 1810 or the one by General Riesgo in 1821. Later on, with Mendizábal’ s expropriation in 1835 the convent was sold and demolished, and the ownership of the church passed to the bishopric. During these years, many goods were seized, among which we can mention a "Sagrada Familia" (Last Supper) by José de Ribera "El Espagnoletto".
The primitive Hospital of San Juan and San Jacinto was founded in 1596 by Brother Pedro del Castillo, in a location close to the Church of San Juan de los Caballeros (Saint John of the Knights), today Church of the Esclavas del Corazón de Jesús (Slaves of Jesus’s Heart). The hospital remained there until 1717, when Father Posadas moved it to the square we are talking about, opposite the Convent of Capuchins.
Capuchinos Square has two entrances to the church and the hospital. The entrance to the church is lintelled and it is framed by a parted triangular pediment, where there is an alcove with an image of the "Virgen de los Dolores" (Virgin of Pains). The entrance to the hospital, which also leads to the foot of the church, has a similar scheme to the previous one, but the pediment is now curve, and the image represented in an alcove is "San Jacinto", the main saint of the hospital. Below it we can see the crest of Bishop Marcelino Siuri, who sponsored these works.
The Chuch of Dolores has a one-naved floor, covered by a barrel vault over pendentives in the transept. We can highlight an exceptional Neoclassical niche located on the apse, with the image of the Virgen de los Dolores (Virgin of Pains), popularly known as "the lady of Córdoba", which was carved by religious sculptor Juan Prieto around the year 1719. At the front of one of the altars on the side of the Gospel we can see Santísimo Cristo de la Clemencia (Holy Christ of Clemency), one of the main images of the Brotherhood of Dolores, made by sculptor from Seville Amadeo Ruiz Olmos in 1939.
As we mentioned above, in the middle of Capuchinos Square we can see the famous Cristo de los Faroles (Christ of the Lanterns) by stonemason Juan Navarro, whose real name is "Cristo de los Desagravios y Misericordias" (Christ of Amends and Mercy), as can be read on a plaque on one of the walls of the convent: "All the believers who devoutly pray in front of this sacred image of the Holy Christ of Amends and Mercy, will win three hundred and sixty days of indulgence granted by several prelates. Year 1794". Carved in stone, this magnificent crucified is lighted at night by eight elegant lanterns, which provide the place with a great mysticism.
Carlos Clementson wrote:
And time has remained motionless and white,
Stopped in the middle of a square
Where a moon Christ among lanterns
Expires ceaselessly year after year.
If you are wondering what to do in Córdoba, we recommend you visit Capuchinos Square and its Cristo de los Faroles (Christ of the Lanterns) hiring one of our guided tours. Choose to do high quality sightseeing with qualified staff. Do not hesitate, ArtenCórdoba is the best option.