One of the most interesting places included in this section is, undoubtedly, Compañía Square, whose name is due to the fact that the school of Santa Catalina and a Jesuit church were located here for more than two centuries.
After the Jesuits were expelled from the city in 1767, due to the reforms carried out by Count of Aranda in times of Monarch Carlos III, the church became a parish and it joined the one of Santo Domingo de Silos, located opposite it, and of El Salvador, located back then in Alfonso XIII Street, hence, it is currently known as Parish of El Salvador and Santo Domingo de Silos.
The church has the typical scheme of Jesuit temples, with only one nave, in this case covered by a barrel vault with lunettes and a transept covered by a vault over pendentives. From the inside, it is interesting to mention the altarpiece decorating the Main Altar, made by Teodosio Sánchez de Rueda, which was his best work, according to some, or the Altarpiece of Nuestra Señora del Socorro (Our Lady of Help), carved by Alonso Gómez de Sandoval. ... [Read more...]
The façade is restrained and elegant, imitating a fortress, and its entrance can be accessed, on the left and right hand sides, through a stone stairway. This consists of a lintelled opening flanked by two pilasters, which are extended in height up to the second level. The entrance is topped by the crest of Castilla y León used by the Austrias, in an alcove finished by a circular pediment. On both sides, we can see the crest of the Fernández de Córdoba, referring to their collaboration with the Jesuits during their stay in the city.
Following the façade a bit further, we can see the Reales Escuelas de la Inmaculada (Royal Schools of the Immaculate), rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century over the old Jesuit School of Santa Catalina. From its simple façade, with white and ochre colours, we can barely highlight some windows and the entrance, topped by a simple circular pediment. But the most outstanding thing in the building is an exceptional Imperial stairway inside, made in black and red marble, and covered by an also impressive vault over pendentives, decorated with plasterwork with pebbles motifs.
Closing the perspective of Compañía Square we can see the Neoclassical Church of Santa Victoria School, which stands out because of its grooved columns of colossal order. Over its Corinthian capitals, there is a frieze without any decoration, slightly curved – the church has a circular floor– that leads to the great triangular pediment crowning the ensemble and, as we say, it closes the perspective of the square on its southern side. The temple was made by French architect Baltasar Devreton, and finished by Ventura Rodríguez.
Opposite the mentioned Church of the Compañía we can see the old and Fernandine Church of Santo Domingo de Silos, today the headquarters of the Historical Archive of the Province of Córdoba, which was built a few years after the conquest of the city by Fernando III the Saint. It does not preserve the Chapel of Conception in a good state, a small medieval treasure within a monumental location. The belfry tower, from the middle of the 18th century, was thoroughly restored a few months ago. It is one of those examples belonging to that style called “Baroque of plaques” by scholars, which was widely used in our city during those years.
In the middle of Compañía Square there is a Triumph of San Rafael, erected in 1736 under the proposal of Jesuit Juan de Santiago. Ramírez de las Casas-Deza described it in the middle of the 19th century with these words: "it consists of a stepped elevation with a square pedestal with golden boxes, and on each of them there is a Latin inscription. Over it, there are four white marble columns which support the cornice with a cloud that acts as a pedestal for the golden image of San Rafael". The golden colour and the inscriptions mentioned by Ramírez de las Casas-Deza have disappeared with time and the fence is not preserved either.