The current Church of San Francisco (Saint Francis) was founded by King Fernando III the Saint as a Monastery of San Pedro el Real, and it has been considered Artistic Historical Monument since the year 1981. The monastery belonged to the neighbourhood of San Nicolás de la Ajerquía, and it was located in the vicinity of the wall connecting this to the Villa. It was a scarcely populated area at the time, but the presence of the monastery would trigger the population of the place.
In the late Middle Ages, the neighbourhood was characterized by its clear traditional and commercial character, and there were buildings dedicated to these purposes, such as workshops, shops, taverns…
Opposite the Church of San Francisco there had been, since the year 1123, one of the gates built in the wall connecting the Medina and the eastern neighbourhood, after the latter was walled. Along the years, this gate has been named in different ways: Postigo de los Descalzos (Side Door of the Barefoot) in times of the Reconquest, Portillo de Corvache (Corvache Wicket Gate) at the end of the 13th century, Portillo de San Francisco (San Francisco Wicket Gate) in the 15th century or of the Merchants in the 18th century. Nowadays, the place is popularly known as Arco del Portillo (Arch of the Wicket Gate).
Originally, the monastery occupied a great stretch of field among the streets of San Francisco, Armas, Maese Luis and la Feria. Still in medieval times, the monks sold part of the orchards, and houses and businesses were built instead, thus becoming a mainly commercial area.
Until the 19th century it was see for a community of Franciscan monks, of whom we have had evidence since the middle of the 13th century, as in 1246 the Council of the city confirmed a privilege on water which had been conceded by Fernando III. Later, Alfonso X gave two new privileges in this sense: one in 1264 and another one in 1266. After some time, the monastery became more and more relevant in the order, and it was even their Mother House. It is known that, in the 17th century, more than a hundred monks lived there, a number which increased in the 18th century, the period of its maximum splendour.
The 19th century was a witness of the disappearance of the convent, as in 1810 the French abolished religious orders in our country. In 1842, the house of San Pedro el Real was sold to Bonifacio Gallego Campos; thus only the church is left nowadays.
The Church of San Francisco preserves barely any remains of the former church of the Monastery of San Pedro el Real, due to the numerous transformations it has experienced. They will be explained in the section dedicated to the description of the building.
Nowadays, the Church of San Francisco is one of the richest and most representative religious buildings in our city. There are many chapels and altars dedicated to worship. On the other hand, it is one of the few temples with the privilege of having up to two brotherhoods: the Prayer in the Garden and The Charity.
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 Francisco. 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.
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