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The long and old Sun street, that goes by the official name of Agustin Moreno these days, constitutes the backbone and true core of the Santiago quartier. The unofficial name of the street might have a lot to do with its straight East-West orientation that deprives anyone passing through from a bit of a relieving shade; it could also be related to the long gone Sun Entrance of the Axerquia (the Muslim wall).

The Sun street is an open book to the History of the city. One walks this path beyond time, a line that reaches the present from a distant past, the way from Castille and the rest of Spain into the soft fields growing from the Guadalquivir river and into the Sea. It has been since the times of the Roman Empire a populous link between the city center and the outer quartiers. There are not many old photographs of this monumental street for, surprisingly, it has never been considered of touristic nor cultural interest. But you will soon discover the amazing historical hidden heritage that the city keeps in this one single street.

Santiago’s quartier is of humble origins and has been traditionally linked to guilds such as tanners, dyers, weavers and other crafts that needed a plentiful and steady source of water; and what better place than beside a river. It is also one of the quartiers with a bigger Mudejar heritage in the city.

Entrance, chapel and courtyard of Santa Cruz convent.

The Sun street is one of the many streets that used to connect the outskirts of the city with the Mosque and the Roman Bridge. We shall begin with where its name starts, and that is San Pedro’s square, where we can also enjoy the sight of the Fernandina church that goes by the same name and as of today safeguards the remain of various Cordoba martyrs. The first building of interest that we encounter is the Santa Cruz convent. It was founded during the XVth century by Pedro de los Rios. The main cloister, the chapel, the XVIIIth century convent-palace or house of novices, the XVIIIth century baroque house, the potter’s wheel courtyard, the Mudejar house and the courtyard of Triana are some interesting spots. It is usually open in the morning.


San Pedro’s church, De los Rios’ Hospital and general view of the Sun street.

The Santa Maria of the Orphans’ Hospital, better known as De los Rios’ Hospital, was founded by Lope Gutierrez de los Rios in 1441. Nowadays the old Hospital is a civic center for seniors; inside we shall find a marvelous patio of arches and columns.

We now find ourselves in Portichuelo street, but in the XVIIth century the street received the name of Gongora street as a way of honoring a great doctor that went by the same name but had nothing to do with the poet Luis de Gongora. At the end of the street there is a humongous patio that used to lead to our Viento street.

House of Bells.

Further ahead we run into a small square where the street of Seven corners of Santiago lead to, and then in one of its corners we find the House of Bells, for it was there where bells used to be made. The house itself is very representative of Mudejar architecture with rich ornamentations and arches. The arches, for example, sit on top of columns with beautiful golden capitals. The facade is beautifully garnished. It is, in fact, one of the few remaining buildings of an original Cordoba Mudejar style. Even though the house was restored during the XIXth century by Amadeo Rodriguez it preserved the original ceilings; the house was for a long time a small palace owned by the Duque of Alba. As of today, however, it belongs to the Amigos de los Patios Association.

Viento street surrounds and highlights the church of Santiago, true center of the Sun street. Viento street is of great importance to the History of the city as it was there where the triumphant Christians set foot in the city for the first time in centuries; but also the street was home to a woman named Minciana who mentored and cared for the two Patron Saints of the city: Acisclo and Victoria.


Church of Santiago, rosette and detail of the minaret.

In 1254 Alfonso X the Wise, because of the small size of the estates that accommodated the order of Santiago, gave the Knights the Axerquia, including the Sun street and a old mosque. In 1260 the Order of Santiago turnt the old mosque into a Christian church. The church was affected by a fire in 1979 and then in 1981 its naves fell apart, therefore it had to endure an intense restoration. The bell tower is a minaret dating from the Xth century.

From left to right: School of Arts, Renaissance facade of Marquis de la Vega Armijo’s palace and facade of the Counts of Valdelasgranas’ house.

Closer to the Baeza entrance and from the square of the Counts of Valdelasgranas we find probably the most beautiful, the best house in the quartier; built by the architect Rafael de Luque y Lubian it was the main residence of the Marquis of Benameji and it is nowadays the School of Arts. It has an interesting Romantic garden with a pond; plus it accounts for one of the sceneries of Pio Baroja’s novel The Fair of the discreet.

Right in front of the School of Arts we find the Valdelasgranas’ palace, today a public school. Before that it was a house shared by many, before that the palace of the Counts of Gavia and before that the Valdelasgranas’ palace. But before that and originally since 1295 it was a convent of the Order of Santiago.

Then Rave street begins oposed to the Renaissance palace of the Marquis de la Vega Armijo and the street was inaugurated in 1520 preserving a beautiful Renaissance ornamentation. The street leads to the Panderete de Brujas where the city traditionally placed its witches and seers up until the XIXth century.

Church of San Francisco, fountain and garden of the Baeza entrance and detail of the old Lonja (market).

The last street leading to the Sun street is Tinte street, named after the guilds of dyers that had their home there. Lope de Rueda, one of the fathers of the Spanish Theater, died in this street. Also Juan Rufo, historian of Juan de Austria whose works were a source of inspiration for Lope de Vega, lived here. Also Diego Ruiz who taught Miguel de Cervantes during his childhood lived here.

And our Sun street ends in the long gone Baeza entrance, which was demolished in 1868. Beyond that there is the convent of the Thirds of San Francisco, a building that once abandoned was transformed into a glass factory (the first in the city) and after that it became a refuge for anyone in need.

PS: Even though Agustin Moreno street is not a particularly commercial street, for it is mainly constituted by courtyard houses, there are two special sites: the first the Taberna Los Mochuelos, a nice place for good wines and traditional dishes; the other one is a small terrace where the Epora Restaurant has its home, there they serve the best food.



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