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Visigoth Basilica of San Vicente

In the basement of the Mosque-Cathedral Monumental Site of Cordoba are the archaeological remains of the Visigoth Basilica of San Vicente. The location of this religious site is no coincidence as it reflects the point where the major powers of the city used to gather.

We have information on the architectural complex of San Vicente from the excavations carried out by Félix Hernández. This research, produced by the person who was the conservation architect of the building, led to the discovery of a series of walls and floors. So, under the original chapel of Abd al-Rahman I we find a rectangular space which connects with the central nave of a basilica building. Likewise, the presence of a chevet apse building and the remains of a water tank can be seen, perhaps belonging to a baptistry pool. Some of the pieces recovered in the excavations are exhibited in the Monumental Site today.

The mosaics present in the basement of the mosque of Abd al-Rahman I are also exceptional, corresponding to the flooring of one of the rooms inside the original basilica. They continue the Roman and Paleo-Christian tradition, differentiating between three decorative areas. In the first is an ornamentation of intersecting arches. In the second we find a crater with flowers next to a dove and a crown of thorns, referring to the Holy Spirit and martyrdom. Third, occupying almost the entire surface area, we find a succession of geometric motifs and symbols such as the cross.

Another of the most important archaeological finds from this room is located on its walls. Made from masonry and brick, there is an inscription, "EX OFF [ICINA] LEONTI", which tells us the workshop where the materials came from and dates the construction to the 6th century. This epigraph is also accompanied by the chrismon, the traditional monogram of the name of Christ in Greek.

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