The Kingdom of Cordova


ITINERARY 1: Cordova

ITINERARY 2: Sierra of Cordova and Los Pedroches.

ITINERARY 3: Lowlands and Subbetic range.

Conquered by surprise in 1236, Cordova soon became the home of stonemasons from Burgos who became responsable for the first model of a Reconquest parish in the 23th c.: rectangular church, three naves, covered by rib vaulting, with Gothic frontage and apse. The architectural style called "alfonsi", after the Wise King, Alfonso X, was a peculiarity of the city; initially pure Gothic with Mudejar elements, it finally extended to Lower Andalusia. The oldest parish façade belongs to the church of La Magdalena, but the best examples of alfonsi Gothic are in Santa Maria and San Lorenzo (splendid Mudejar rose window) in the ols Ajerquia. Churches in the medina- San Miguel, San Nicolas de La Villa and San Bartolome (docent use)- have more visible Mudejar traits. The Royal Chapel was also built by Alfonso X in the mudejar manner, inside the mosque.

Other more transformed churches are the one of the convent of San Pablo, San Francisco and San Ulogio and San Hipolito (14th c.). From the 15th c., Cordova has the mudejar Villaviciosa chapelin the mosque, Virgen de la Fuensanta and in the monastery of San Jeronimo (private property and difficult to see) on the slopes of the hills, with one of the few Gothic cloisters existing in Andalusia. The synagogue is a remarkable building, full of mudejar elements . Of Cordova's medieval defences there is still the Los Leones tower (alfonsi) in the Alcazar of the Christian Kings, the Calahorra tower (Mudejar) and the Malmuerta tower, the courtyard of the mansion of Los Caballeros de Santiago (Mudejar) and the façade of Casa del Indiano are remains of domestic architecture. The transition to Renaissance architecture can be observed in the Palace of Marqueses de Fuentesanta del Valle and in the Hospital de la Caridad in El Potro Square.

Architecture in the Sierra of Cordova and Los Pedroches is very particular, less influenced by the dominant Gothic in the provincial capital. Examples are the hermitages in the hills, simple and popular, such as Santa Maria de Trasierra, Objeto (San Antonio Abad), Hornachuelos (Santa Maria) Belmez (Nuestra Señora del Castillo), Añora (San Pedro), Pedroche and Alcaracejos (San Sebastian); at Belalcazar there is Nuestra Señora de Gracia de Alcantarillas, the most interesting of the sierra hermitages. The parish churches of Ardamuz, Fuente Ovejuna and Pedroche, and the convent of Santa Clara at Belalcazar belong to the late gothic.

Towards the lowlands, we see remains of Gothic and Mudejar castles and towers built or reformed by the Christians to defend themselves from the Moors, for example the castle keep at El Carpio, the Villalverde tower (Gothic) near Montoro, or the castles at Espejo and Montemayor. Towards the Sub- Baetica range, a stop can be made for a glance the church of La Asunción at Castro del Rio, the Mudejar church of the old convent of Guadalupe at Baena and the church of San Mateo and Santiago at Lucena and Priego.

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