Church of San Andrés, Madrid of course!

Back to monuments and Madrid has plenty to keep you busy for a year or more. So much beauty in architecture and history in addition to great ambiance. Let me tell you about an important monument that should be on your list of things to see while in my beloved Madrid. I will tell you a bit on the Church of San Andrés (St Andrews).

The Church of San Andrés is located in the Plaza de San Andrés, 1, in the central neighborhood of La Latina. It is one of the oldest parishes in the city. The Hermandad de las Tres Caídas or Brotherhood of the Three Falls is based in this temple.


Little can be said with certainty of the primitive church, existing already at the end of the 12C and built perhaps on a site previously occupied by the early Christian church of Islamic Madrid, since the jurisdiction of San Andrés extended by what was the former Mudejar neighborhood, later Moreria (mix moors Christians). This temple was very frequented by Saint Isidro Labrador (Patron Saint of Madrid!) and Santa Maria de la Cabeza (his wife), parishioners of the parish in which the Saint was buried. Next to him stood the house of his master Iván de Vargas, on which the palace of the Marquises de Paredes was then built, now rebuilt and converted into a municipally owned museum (see later post). In it was the well, protagonist of one of the saint’s miracles, and a small chapel in the place where it was said that San Isidro had lived. The current church occupies what was the Chapel of San Isidro and a section of the rebuilt in the 17C.


After the canonization of San Isidro in 1622, and seeing the modesty of the temple in which his remains were deposited, the possibility of building a new one or to attach a chapel that was worthy of the patron of Madrid until its completion in 1669 was considered. San Isidro, saint of doubtful chronology, was buried in the cemetery at the foot of the primitive church of San Andrés, until in 1212, growing his reputation for holiness, he was exhumed and visited by King Alfonso VIII, who seeing the body incorrupt he recognized in him the pastor who had guided him in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. For this reason the king himself would have built the famous wooden ark covered with leather with gothic paintings. In 1620 it was replaced by another of gold, silver and bronze, given by the guild of silversmiths. When the church was rebuilt in the mid-17C and changed its orientation, the primitive cemetery was under the presbytery, indicating the exact place where the patron of Madrid had been buried.


After the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767, the ark of San Isidro (replaced by an image of the Saint Isidro Carnicero) was transferred to what had been the church of the Imperial College, transformed into Collegiate Church of San Isidro, (see that post) and with it they took ten sculptures of holy laborers. It was set on fire in 1936 at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War (by Republicans troops), losing all its works of art and saving only the outside, except the image of the saint. Its interior was rebuilt between 1986-90. None of the works of art that were inside were preserved. It currently serves as the parish of San Andrés.

Tourist office of Madrid on Church San Andrés

And there you go another dandy to see huh! And the square is very quant and gorgeous architecture and history all around it as well as nice places for a drink or tapas! Enjoy the Plaza de San Andrés and the Church of San Andrés in my beloved Madrid!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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