The Provincial Heritage Commission of the Tourism Delegation, Culture and Sports, chaired by the territorial delegate, Eduardo Lucena, has reported favorably about the project of restoration of the walls and the staircase of the minaret tower of the church of the old convent of Santa Clara, as well as the rehabilitation and improvement of the accessibility and energy efficiency of the attached units.

The tower is deteriorating of its stone factory including fracture and loss of steps. The restoration includes an archaeological analysis and previous studies, cleaning of stone factory facings, consolidation of the stone in facades and piers, cleaning of steps, restoration of steps, as well as replacement of others with new pieces of sandstone, biocidal and water-repellent protection treatment, reviews of the minaret roof, placement of perforated sheet metal lattices with a wooden or metal frame to protect gaps, as well as installation of a biodry system to avoid moisture damage.

A square floor plan with a height of 18 meters

The minaret tower has a square plan and a height of 18 meters. It is built with a central pillar and perimeter walls. Between them the staircase of monolithic steps develops. At the base, it has a plinth made of mined stone from the Baroque phase and has an access with a voussoir lintel on the east wall. The tower is topped with a castle dating from the second half of the 19th century.

As for the annexed rooms, the project includes the elimination of the existing partition walls, leaving the open-plan bay on the ground and first floors, replacement of the ground floor pavement to eliminate architectural barriers, repair of the roof, self-supporting interior lining with plasterboard panels and thermal insulation, façade chipping and coating with lime mortar in two layers, general finishing of walls with silicate paint, new electricity, lighting, telecommunications installations, protection against firesventilation and air conditioning, as well as anti-termite and woodworm treatment on wooden elements.

These preserved rooms of the old convent present a typology of manor house, with bays and galleries around half a patio. The intervention focuses on the bay facing Rey Heredia Street, two stories high and with a gable roof. The façade presents ordered openings and eclectic decoration.

Old minaret of Santa Clara

The old minaret of Santa Clara was declared historical artistic monument belonging to the National Artistic Treasure by Decree of 1931. It is an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) based on the Spanish Historical Heritage Law and is registered in the General Catalog of Andalusian Historical Heritage (CGPHA) by the Historical Heritage Law of Andalusia and has a protection environment of 50 meters. Besides, The building is part of the Historical Complex of Cordova also declared BIC. It is cataloged in the Special Plan for the Protection of the Historical Complex of Córdoba as Villa Monument. The attached municipal offices that were part of the old convent are included in the protective environment of the minaret.

Architectural stratification

The church of the old Convent of Santa Clara responds to a complex process of architectural stratification. The first phase detected corresponds to structures identified by some researchers with a Paleo-Christian basilica from the 6th century, although for others they would be for domestic use. In the 10th century, a mosque was built on top of a previous Islamic building. After the Christian conquest, the mosque was transformed into a church dedicated to Saint Catherine. In 1265, some annexed houses were added to found the Convent of Santa Isabel, Santa Clara and Santa Catalina. During the existence of the convent, until the exclaustration of the 19th century, the building underwent important renovations, especially affecting the church. After the confiscation, the building functioned as a barracks and then again as a convent until the mid-20th century.

Municipal agencies

It took up the entire block defined by Rey Heredia, Osio and Portería de Santa Clara streets, separating after the confiscation into different properties. He Córdoba City Council In the 60s of the last century, it acquired the church building and annexed buildings, and the municipal architect Víctor Escribano Ucelay drafted the construction project for the Julio Romero de Torres School Group. During the works, the church building, a former mosque, was isolated by patios, implanting the school in the rest of the plot, with new floor units facing Osio Street. Of the preserved area of ​​the convent, half of a baroque cloister and adjoining bays remain, with a façade on Rey Heredia Street. School use has disappeared, currently The building is occupied by municipal offices.

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