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Church of San Lorenzo

The Church of San Lorenzo (Saint Lawrence) was erected in the neighbourhood of the same name, located in a crossing, whose main axis, the old Vía Augusta, started from Puerta de Plasencia (Plasencia’s Gate) until Puerta de Hierro (Iron Gate), which was built in the wall separating the areas of the Villaand Ajerquía.

The Christian temple was built on the old site where the Mosque of al-Mugira was, whose original minaret has been partially preserved under the current tower. Besides, in the year 1884 the commemorative plaque remembering the foundation of the mosque was found: “There is only Allah’s power and force. Lady Mustak, Prince Almugira’s mother, commissioned this minaret and the adjacent gallery and the nine-nave work of this mosque. This was finished with Allah’s help under the direction of Gafarben Abderramán, his skilled representative. In Ramadan year three hundred“.

Like in other cases around the city, the Muslim temple was used for Christian worship during the first years of the Reconquest. However, it is known that, in 1272, while the diocese organized the administration, the works of the Church of San Lorenzo received ten maravedíes (old coin), which was more than enough to erect probably the most representative temple in the city at the time.

Of all the transformations experienced by the Church of San Lorenzo, the most interesting one was carried out by architect from Córdoba Hernán Ruiz II the Young, who erected in 1555 the belfry tower we can see nowadays. In later years, there were constant extensions to the church, but the different restorations along the 20th century have been aimed at giving back its original state.

The predominance of low houses in the neighbourhood makes the image of the church stand out, and it elevates with its own personality over the white houses around it. Nearby, in the east of the Parish, there is Padres de Gracia Square, popularly known as Jardín del Alpargate, where the Trinitarian temple is, from the beginning of the 17th century and with the same name as the square. Behind this church, and along Ronda del Marrubial Street, we can see how the old wall stretched northwards from the east. We should remember that the nighbourhood of San Lorenzo bordered with the wall protecting the city.

Near the temple there is the Cross of Roelas, a place where, according to the tradition, Archangel San Rafael swore his condition of Guardian Angel of Córdoba before Father Roelas. For this reason, nowadays there is a street dedicated to this distinguished priest, who was object of numerous pictorial compositions spread around the city.

The superiority of the old Muslim urban planning can be traced in most streets of the neighbourhood, which are still narrow and winding, thus making the houses hidden from the outside to some extent, something typically Muslim, as they liked to build towards the inside and did not pay attention to ostentation.

Finally, it is interesting to point out that the Church of San Lorenzo is the only temple with three brotherhoods in Holy Week, which is a clear reflection of the deep religious feeling this area of San Lorenzo has been breathing for many years.

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 Lorenzo. 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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