Church of San Andres: The Building.
The Church of San Andrés, as we already mentioned in the previous section, experienced a great remodelling at the beginning of the 18th century, and that is why its original appearance has not been preserved. From the old church we only have the part of the transept of the current one. It consisted of three naves arranged from east to west, covered by Gothic ribbed vaults. In the remodelling mentioned, the church was extended from north to south, from the old side of the Gospel of the original temple through three big naves, until the current foot. However, from the old nave of the Epistle, the new apse started due to its widening.
If we focus on the current Church of San Andrés, we can see it consists of three naves, the central one being wider and higher than the rest. They are connected among them through three big round arches supported by cross-shaped pillars. On their inner side there are attached pilasters which extend over the arches up to the highest part of the central nave, which is covered by groin vaults. The cleanliness of its shapes stands out over the rest when entering the church, which was built according to the taste typical in Córdoba at the beginning of the 18th century, where the decorative motifs consist only of geommetrical plaques, and the whiteness of the lime covers almost all the walls. ... [Read more...]
In the side naves, the scheme of the central nave is repeated, that is, three sections covered by groin vaults and separated by round arches on pillars. The central space of the transept, far from being covered by a luxurious vault over pendentives, is covered by a simple sail vault, where the austerity is only broken by a small decorative flouron.
In the nave of the Gospel we can find the Chapel of the Tabernacle which, as we mentioned earlier, was the apse of the medieval temple. It has a polygonal floor and it can be seen from the outside through the buttresses supporting the pressure from the old Gothic ribbed vaults. Today these vaults are not preserved, but we can still see the whiteness of the walls, where the cream colour of the basket arches supporting the 18th-century ceiling stands out.
The current apse has three rectangular spaces covered by groin vaults and connected among them through narrow openings. The central space seems to have been conceived to have a big altarpiece, unlike those churches whose apse has been preserved from the Middle Ages.
Around the nave of the Epistle there are the current rooms of the parish, such as the Sacristy. The ones located in the west were the narthex of the medieval temple and, for this reason, that is where the main access was.
From the outside we can see up to three entrances. First of all, we will stop at the one in the west, in Fernán Pérez de Oliva Street, that is, the medieval entrance, which was curiously later to the building of the temple in 1489, and it substituted a previous one which was about to collapse. It is presented as a great round arch with a splayed access supported by small plain-shafted columns attached to the wall. At the top of the lintelled opening, which can be accessed through three steps, there is an exceptional tympanum decorated with a framework of small polylobed arches, very typical of the taste of the time.
The main façade, made in the first third of the 18th century, perfectly reflects from the outside what we will see inside, that is, a predominance of white and cream colours in the decoration, which is based on geommetrical plaques. The entrance has more decoration, and it has a round arch over which we can see the crest of Bishop Marcelino Siuri, sponsor of the remodelling works. In an alcove, at the top of the entrance, there is a stone sculpture of "San Andrés", after which the temple is named.
We will finish this brief description of the Church of San Andrés with the belfry tower, built in the 16th century under the sponsorship of Bishop Martín from Córdoba, who had his crest located on its inner side. The tower is made of two sections: a first one, which is quite restrained, made of brick and where the decoration is reduced to the use of pilasters with Tuscan capitals at the ends. The second section starts with a small balustrade, and it has clear similarities to the Tower of the Church of San Lorenzo, as it is turned compared to the first section. Up to four round openings, one on each side, form the bells section.
If you are wondering what to visit in Córdoba, a good option would be the Fernandine Churches, choosing one of our guided tours. This way you will learn everything about the Church of San Andrés. Choosing to do high quality sightseeing is choosing ArtenCórdoba.