San Ginés church

San Gines Church Madrid
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One of the oldest churches in Madrid, the church of San Ginés de Arlés dates back to the 12th century, though it is referenced in some documents from the 9th century.

Most of the church was destroyed in several fires during its history, and was rebuilt in 1645. There are very few remains of the original medieval structure, one of them being the bell tower. It was declared a Property of cultural interest in 1982.

The church is located in the heart of the city, near Plaza Mayor.

The church houses a painting by El Greco, though it is usually covered by wood and it is only on display on Saturdays from 11.30 am till noon.
It is speculated that, prior to the arrival of the Christians in 1085, a Mozarabic community (Christians in Muslim territory) lived around the stream that later became Calle del Arenal and that their parish church stood on this site. Spain’s novelist Francisco de Quevedo  was married here and Lope de Vega and was baptised in its font.

The tile and brick facade you see today dates back to 1870, but it was originally neo-Plateresque, and after being destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, the decorative features were removed as part of restoration work carried out following the conflict. Its arched entrance porch opens into an interior with three naves and side chapels, including the Santísimo Cristo chapel. The church of San Ginés holds an impressive set of artworks, the most valuable of which is The Purification of the Temple by El Greco.

Fun fact: 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.
Extended info from: Lonely Planet and EsMadrid
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Basic info and photo from Wikipedia

Opening hours:

Mon-Sat: 8.45 AM -1 PM & 6-9 PM

Sundays: 9.45 AM -2 PM & 6-9 PM

Bus: 3, 25, 39, 50
Metro: L1 (Sol), L2 (Sol, Ópera) , L3 (Sol, Callao), L5 (Callao, Ópera)
Cercanías (Local trains): Madrid-Sol

 

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