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Corredera Square

The current arrangement of Corredera Square is the result of the works carried out between 1683 and 1687 by Chief Magistrate Francisco Ronquillo Briceño. These were motivated by the almost collapse of one of the wooden stalls that were back then installed for the bullfightings held in the square, which made the audience panic.

The works consisted in the building of the bays of the façade, as well as the arcades on the ground floor and balconies on the three other floors. With this, they intended to embellish an architectonic ensemble which was irregular, lining its façades and, as we say, improving safety in public performances. The works, which experienced great difficulties, were sponsored through economic donations by the neighbours themselves, festivals or loans.

The remodeling of Corredera Square, far from being complete, did not affect two buildings on the southern side, the Vivienda del Corregidor (Chief Magistrate’s House) and Prison, which was respected due to its artistic value, and Doña Jacinta’s House, as it was called back then, which are still preserved.

The Vivienda del Corregidor (Chief Magistrate’s House), a Mannerist building where some have seen traces by architect from Córdoba Hernán Ruiz III, was built between 1583 and 1586. The prison, which was back then located in the basement, remained there until 1821, when it was transferred to the Christian Alcázar. In the 40s, the City Council sold the building to entrepreneur José Sánchez Peña, who turned it into a hats factory and, years later, it became a market.

The other building that was not affected by the remodeling was Ana Jacinto de Angulo’s House (Doña Jacinta), who radically objected that her house should be demolished to extend the square, and she even got Monarch Carlos II to agree with her through a royal document. It is located in the southwestern angle of the square, and it has three floors where consecutive rows of small balconies are arranged, separated by columns with plain shaft and Tuscan capital.

José Sánchez Muñoz, son of entrepreneur José Sánchez Peña, had managed since 1882 the market located in the basement of the old prison, when he came up with the idea of creating a great indoor market in the centre of the square. The industrialist, with the support of French capital, came to an agreement with the City Council, through which he acquired the exploitation rights for 50 years, and it was opened in August 1896.

Corredera Square was, until 1946, when the rights expired, the great market of the city, and the facility remained there until 1959, when it was demolished. In order to substitute the market, Mayor Antonio Cruz Conde commissioned another basement to be built, whose excavation allowed the discovery of numerous Roman mosaics, which are displayed today in the Hall of Mosaics of the Christian Alcázar.

After demolishing the market, architect Víctor Escribano Ucelay removed the mortar from the walls, leaving the exposed brick, as he thought it had been its original appearance. However, with the last intervention carried out by Juan Cuenca Montilla the square has been painted with mortar again, with light red, green and ochre colour, thus going back to the scheme which is thought to have had in the 17th century. According to Miguel Ortí Belmonte, the red colour was back then obtained from the blood of the bulls sacrificed at the bullfights, which provided the square with a great artistic value.

Corredera Square has been the venue for countless celebrations along its long history, such as the one held in 1571, when they celebrated the victory of Lepanto against the Turkish. Ramírez de Arellano tells how a genuine naval battle was organised in the square, in which several boats fired rockets to each other.

Undoubtedly, the most frequent shows where bullfights, thus, its name (corrida: bullfight). Great characters, such as King Felipe IV or Cosme de Medici himself, witnessed the great bullfights held in the square. However, not everything was festivals, since, for example, Corredera was the place the Inquisition chose to held its auto-da-fé. It was also here where the scaffold was located, for the French to execute those sentenced to death at the beginning of the 19th century.

If you wish to know Corredera Square do not hesitate to hire one of our guided tours. 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.

Text: J.A.S.C.

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