San Ginés, Madrid
|Church of San Ginés de Arlés|
Native name |
Spanish: Iglesia de San Ginés de Arlés
|Official name: Iglesia de San Ginés de Arlés|
The church of San Ginés (Spanish: iglesia de San Ginés de Arlés) in Madrid, is one of the oldest churches in that city. It is situated on the Calle Arenal. References to it appear in documents dating from the ninth century. Originally built in Mudéjar style (of the structure only the campanile survives), it was rebuilt in 1645.
The church was one of the churches of the medieval Madrid, of Mozarab origin, from between the 12th and 13th centuries, and its name comes from the fact that it was dedicated to the patron saint of notaries and secretaries, Saint Genesius of Arles (San Ginés de Arlés).
The church is preceded by an atrium enclosed by railings. It has a Latin cross plan, with a nave and two aisles separated by semicircular arches and several side chapels and the altarpieces belong to the Neoclassical-Romantic school. It was, however, totally reconstructed after suffering several fires, so few remnants of the original church, such as the bell-tower, remain. In 1870, the loggia and atrium facing the Calle Arenal were added.
In fact, the painting by El Greco is not to be found in the chapel of the Santísimo, it is situated in the main church but covered by wood and it is only on display on Saturdays from 11.30 am to noon.
Lope de Vega, the dramatist (playwright) and writer, married there, while poet Francisco de Quevedo, was baptized there. The death certificate of Tomás Luis de Victoria can also be found in its archives.
One of the most curious items on display is a stuffed crocodile, which is said to have been brought over from the Americas during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs.
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