The Church of Santa Marina de Aguas Santas (Saint Marine of Holy Waters), whose dedication comes from the northwestern region of Galicia, was commissioned to be built by King Fernando III the Saint with the aim of populating the scarce parish of Santa Marina, as well as providing it with a religious and administrative centre. Located in a privileged place in the current Cordoba, in the Middle Ages it bordered with the wall separating the Ajerquía from the Villa, and with the missing Puerta del Colodro (Door or Colodro), opening to the Ajerquía from the north.
Nowadays it is thought that the works started at the end of the 13th century, although there is proof with documentary references to the church in 1256 and 1264, as well as some priests mentioning that they celebrated services there in 1277. Together with the Magdalena, it is undoubtedly the oldest Fernandine Church, and they both share numerous stylistic similarities.
Like in the rest of the Fernandine Churches in our city, the Church of Santa Marina has gone through several transformations, although its current conservation state is ideal to get a historical reading of it.
In the middle of the 16th century, Hernán Ruiz built the current belfry tower on medieval remains. These works were financed by Bishop Leopoldo de Austria, Emperor Carlos I’s uncle. Around the year 1630, architect Sebastián Vidal transformed the apse of the Gospel to locate there the Chapel of the Benavides, adapting it to the taste of the time. Years later, in 1642 and 1647, the medieval ceilings were covered with Baroque vaults and the Chapel of the Tabernacle was finished, respectively. The latter was rebuilt again in the second half of the 18th century, but it is thought that this was due to the earthquake the church experienced in the year 1755. The restoration in the year 1998 was carried out in order for the temple to recover its original appearance as much as possible.
The tradition of burying inside and around the churches caused, in times of high number of deaths, the accumulation of corpses and hence the spreading of big epidemics, such as the one in the year 1785, which caused more than a thousand deaths, as Ramírez de Arellano tells.
Epidemics were not the only misfortunes suffered by the neighbourhood of Santa Marina throughout the years. The earthquakes of 1680 and 1755 affected the building, as well as fires in 1880 and 1936. These tragedies were followed by restorations, obviously carried out according to the taste of the sponsor and the time, as things used to be done in the past.
The current neighbourhood of Santa Marina borders with the neighbourhood of San Agustín in the east and south, as well as with Ollerías Avenue in the north and the central Colón Square in the west. Opposite the church there is Santa Marina Square, bordering with Conde de Priego Square, where the Monument of Manolete (famous bullfighter) is located. Therefore there is a wide space from which to look at the building.
A few metres south of the church, bordering with Santa Isabel Street and Rejas de Don Gome Street, we can find Viana Palace. In the north, in Ollerías Avenue, next to Colón Square there is the Tower of the Malmuerta, a defensive tower commissioned by Enrique III the Sufferer, in order to protect the gates of Rincón and Colodro.
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 Santa Marina. 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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The regular guided tours are those that you can sign up for individually, are conducted regularly and in one language, Spanish or English
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