As it could not be otherwise, the heart of our city, Tendillas Square, had to be present in this section dedicated to places of interest, as a place for walks, meetings, celebrations and even demonstrations. In summary, as a clear reflection of what Córdoba is today.
In order to know the origin of Tendillas Square we need to go back to the beginning of the last century, when José Cruz Conde was Mayor of the city. It was then when they decided to demolish, in 1924, the old Hotel Suizo, which was described by Teodomiro Ramírez de Arellano as “one of the best inns in Spain“.
After demolishing the building, which was called like this as its constructors were Swiss, Puzzini brothers, a wide piece of land was unveiled, to which buildings were gradually added, most of them preserved nowadays. Thus, in 1926, on the western side of the square there appeared the houses of Martín Fernández, designed by Enrique Tienda Pesquero, and of Casana Diéguez, projected by famous architect, conservator and archaeologist Félix Hernández Giménez. Not a single year had passed when they started constructing the buildings of the insurance company Unión y el Fénix and the telephone company Telefónica, which, located on the northern side of Tendillas Square were created by architects Benjamín Gutiérrez Prieto and Ramón Aníbal Álvarez, respectively. In 1928 the ones on the southern side were made: Counts of Colomera’s House, also designed by Félix Hernández, Enrique Barrios’s, by Aníbal González. Both are considered to be ones of the most interesting examples of historicist architecture in our city. The square was finished by Provincial Institute Luis de Góngora, which had already been there since 1847. I was a student there myself not long ago.
However, a distinguishing feature of Tendillas Square, its icon, is not any of these unique buildings, but the beautiful equestrian sculpture of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, popularly known as El Gran Capitán (the Great Captain). It was made in 1920 by sculptor from Córdoba Mateo Inurria Lainosa, and it was originally located on Gran Capitán Avenue, but was later moved to Tendillas in 1927. Inurria, who had to wait some years to get paid for the work he had done, was granted a medal of honor at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in 1920. According to legend, the head belonged to an old statue of bullfighter Rafael Molina El Lagartijo. However, there are no grounds for this, as Inurria himself sculpted a bust of the bullfighter, which is actually in the Museum of Fine Arts, and his features are not the same at all.
Another characteristic element of Tendillas Square is its Clock, opened in 1961, whose chimes substitute the typical bells by soleares (traditional tone) chords, recorded by flamenco guitarist Juanito Serrano. It is a tradition nowadays to broadcast on television the celebration of New Year’s Eve from this square, where thousands of people gather every year in the square to eat twelve grapes while they hear the twelve bells of such an original clock marking the beginning of the year.
The reform carried out a few years ago, which meant the restriction of traffic in Tendillas Square, except for the western side, removed the small gardened pond around the sculpture, and it was substituted by a new fountain, mainly characterised by its sobriety. It has a square floor with a circular pond inside, where we can see the pedestal on which the statue is placed. On both sides, there are two groups of water fountains, consisting of sixteen streams from which water flows vertically, with which children play, especially in summer.
If you wish to know Tendillas Square do not hesitate to hire one of our guided tours. 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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