The Church of San Ginés de Arles of Madrid !!

This Church is in a very popular congested and touristic area of my dear Madrid yet its a bit precluded and I believe many passed by unnoticing it a pity. Its one of the symbols of Madrid for the local and I used to hang around it on many nights of spiritual needs after a night out at the nearby joy eslava lol!(see post).  Well it will be a bit long but its time I am updating this older post for you and me, to give credit to the great Church of San Ginés de Arles of Madrid!


The Church of San Ginés (as is more commonly call)  is under the invocation of San Ginés de Arlés , notary martyr, and seat of the parish of San Ginés of Madrid. Its facades are located at Calle del Arenal No. 13 corner of Calle Bordadores, No 8 , and the Plaza de San Ginés ; and the Pasadizo de San Ginés in a very popular spot. The church was built in the middle of the 17C, and next to the paintings and sculptures that it houses inside, it forms an important historical, artistic and architectural complex of the so-called Madrid of the Austrias.


A bit of history I like

The first references to a temple dedicated to San Ginés de Arlés in Madrid date from the beginning of the 12C, estimating that the origin of the cult of the French Saint could be traced back to the moment of the conquest of Madrid, when Raymond of Burgundy, son-in-law of Alfonso VI , established in 1086 his camp, with his hosts formed by Burgundians and Franco-Provence, near the site of the current church. The first documentary reference is a privilege granted by Alfonso VII in 1156 by which he granted to the church the manor over the villages of Salvanés, Valdearacete and Valdecetias. Still in 1467 it was, one of two located outside the walls of Madrid.

In 1869, the City Hall of Madrid decided to transform the north side, which overlooked the Calle del Arenal , a road that was becoming one of the most important in 19C Madrid. The work was finally executed by 1870–1872, characterized mainly by its carpal arches and neo-Plateresque style. From 1956 to 1964 the last great set of works was made in the church. With this last one, it was sought to give it the appearance it had in the 17C, typical of the Madrid of the Austrias.  

The current structure corresponds to the reconstruction of the temple after the collapse of the primitive and possibly Mudejar in 1641. It is a brick and masonry church with a cover at the foot and another on the side of the Gospel that is accessed from an atrium. It has a quadrangular tower at the foot, of four bodies, with four bells, the two most primitive of 1566. The interior is of three naves, the central one is wide, with deep chapels on the sides, cruise and rectangular presbytery and choir on high feet. It is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes supported by Tuscan pilasters. The side chapels are also covered with domes emptied on scallops. Different is that of the Blessed Christ at the base, almost an independent church and with its own doorway to the atrium, with a Latin cross plan, barrel vault with lunettes and dome on scallops covering the nave, all decorated with marble colors and stucco paint faking marble on the nave. In the head of the temple three altarpieces of neoclassical style and modern making are located, being the area most affected by the fire of 1824. The collaterals are dedicated to the Virgin of Valvanera, of the Royal congregation of natives of La Rioja, and San José, The main altar restoration carried out in 1826 follows the model of the one that existed before that fire, which was no longer the Baroque altarpiece and is occupied by the great painting of the Martyrdom of San Ginés a recreation of the destroyed painting of Rizi, of which the church retains the sketch.

The works of art at the base of the nave are: Entering the temple through the nave of the Gospel is first called the Baptismal Chapel, in which a canvas of the Annunciation of Luca Giordano is located, a copy of an original of Tiziano preserved in Santo Domingo Maggiore of Naples. The painting, together with a Prayer from the lost garden and the same author, was acquired in 1669 by the Congregation of the Holy Christ for this chapel. In the same place there are two carvings in 18C polychrome wood, a Saint John the Baptist and a Christ Risen from the Madrid school. On the opposite side, side of the Epistle, is one of the masterpieces of the church (only shown on Saturday mornings from 11h30 to 12h), the Expulsion of the merchants from the temple or Purification of the temple by the El Greco, which is the last of the versions left of this matter by the Cretan painter and the only one of vertical format due to the greater development of the architectural scene. The painting, which had belonged to the collection of the Admiral of Castile, was acquired by the Congregation of the Blessed Christ in 1705 and remained in its chapel until the remodeling started in 2002.

The Chapels on the side of the Gospel are: The first and most prominent of the temple is the Chapel of the Blessed Christ of Redemption ; The Chapel of the Virgin of Beautiful Love in the direction of the headland the first of the chapels is dedicated to the Virgin of Beautiful Love in a neoclassical altarpiece topped with a medallion of the Education of the Virgin. Follow the Chapel of La Soledad or the Barrionuevo, for having belonged to García de Barrionuevo, father of Jerónimo de Barrionuevo, famous author of the Avisos de Madrid (notices). The Chapel of the Virgin of Guadalupe formerly dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Bari, all its decoration, except the size of the saint in the altarpiece attic , 19C, is a modern work, inaugurated in 1969. A copy of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Patroness of Úbeda (Jaén).



The Chapels on the side of the Epistle are: The Chapel of the Virgen del Carmen ,first from the head, it contains a modern altarpiece imitating the neoclassical style, with a sculpture of the titular Virgin of the early 19C and two angels with little previous lamps: the Chapel of the Holy Family chaired by a canvas of the Holy Family entered in 2008: the Chapel of the Virgin of the Head,the invocation of the chapel and its decoration of tiles is modern, dating from 1932: the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows , the chapel was formed in the 20C, blinding the gate to the Plazuela, dedicated to the patron saint of Granada. Its decoration, from the 1930s: the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception It occupies the main altarpiece imitating the neoclassical style a canvas of the Immaculate: the Chapel of Our Lady of the Castle formerly dedicated to the Virgen de los Remedios, with an altarpiece from the early 19C as the sizes that integrate it of San José, San Juan Evangelista and San Antonio de Padua. Under the altar is buried Pilar Cimadevilla, a ten-year-old girl.


The Sacristy keeps a 16C Italian table with inlaid marble board and a basin of the same century given by quenn Isabel II. Silver pieces and liturgical ornaments of the 18C and 19C. Two polychrome wood carvings of Santo Domingo de La Calzada and Santo Domingo de Silos that were the altar of the Virgin of Valvanera, and some paintings of interest: a canvas of the Virgin with the Child, from an Italian school of the 17C, Christ crucified , Good Shepherd , oil that is part of an Apostolate owned by the Prado Museum, San Juan Bautista, replica of a painting by Mateo Cerezo preserved in the Kassel Museum, and San José with the Child

In the parish archives, it is kept the baptismal items of the infant Catalina Micaela, second daughter of Felipe II, baptized on October 19, 1567, and Francisco de Quevedo ,September 26, 1580 are preserved; as well as marriage records of Lope de Vega with Isabel de Urbina May 10, 1588, and Francisco Javier de Goya y Bayeu, son of Francisco de Goya, who acted as godfather July 8, 1805; and death certificates of the musician Tomás Luis de Victoria and the painters Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan van der Hamen, Juan de Espinosa, Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo and Francisco Herrera el Viejo.

The Parish San Ginés of Madrid on the church

The Madrid tourist office on the Church San Ginés

In all a very nice monument to see with plenty of architecture and history of my dear Madrid. I hope you can stop by this Church of San Ginés de Arlés of Madrid ! There you go folks, another gem in my dear  Madrid, Hope you enjoy the post on the Church San Ginés de Arles of Madrid !

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

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