Near the Colón Square in Cordoba, there is a somewhat particular place where the beauty of yesteryear is mixed with the knowledge of the new. Between the old gates of the Colodro and the Rincón. This is where the Torre de la ‘Malmuerta’ is located. It is a fort that, despite being retired and not being the defensive point of the city it used to be, still stands out as the only resting place in the Matadero Viejo district.
A defensive origin
The albarrana tower joined to a wall by means of a semicircular arch was built between 1404 and 1408. A date that is known thanks to the tombstone that is still embedded within its walls, which still survives a testimonial text, a review of Henry III, the first king of Castile, responsible for such a monument:
‘e tuvo a Córdoua en mucha justiçia e fizo muchas labores en los muros de la dicha çiudad; e fizo vna torre que dizen de Malmuerta, muy grande, de cal e de canto, que es a vn canton de la çibdad, e fizo vna torre de Guadacabrillas, camino de Seuilla, por la guarda del camino’
Prison of nobles at the time of the Catholic Monarchs, astronomical observatory in the eighteenth century,
deposit of gunpowder, fumigation chamber where to treat clothes infected by epidemics, headquarters of boy scouts in the twentieth century ... Despite its military origin as a defense, many have been the uses that have been given to the Tower of the Malmuerta.
In 1951 the mayor Alfonso Cruz Conde adapted the inner hall for the "exaltation of the Cordovans who took part in the Columbian epic", according to a leaflet of the time. But this was just another destiny that also did not crystiallize.
Today, a modest iron cross on white marble sends a reminder of all the renovations that have taken place. A cross that occupies the place where, until the seventies, the Plaza del Moreno used to extend.
That is why today the surroundings of the tower represent a mixture, a fusion, a bastion from the Late Middle Ages and, at the same time, a contemporary architectural renovation.
Treadures or tragedies?
Tower of the Malmuerta, of the Encantada, of the Milagro or Tower of the Comendadores. Different names to refer to the same legendary building
. And if there are many refurbishments suffered; more are the stories that fit on the mythical Cordovan monument. That is why, if you visit Cordoba, it is one of the places that deserves a stop. Although it is not necessary to insist much, since almost nobody hesitates to get into the surroundings of the tower, in order to discover the secret hidden inside its walls.
Nothing is known for sure, they are all suppositions. What is clear is that its name influenced the imagination of the people of Cordoba, creating a wide range of legends around the Tower of the Malmuerta
. There are legends of all kinds and for all tastes, such as the one starring a necromancer Moor, who presumably built it leaving behind a great treasure. This story is based on the inscription that is embedded in the arch, next to the coat of arms of the monarch, which says:
‘In the name of God. Because good deeds are not forgotten, tonight the very powerful King D. Enrique sent facer and began the foundation Doctor Pedro Sanchez corregidor of this city. E began to sit in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ MCCCCIV being Bishop D. Fernando Deza... e acabose en el año de MCCCCVIII’.
Legend has it that if a rider, while passing under the arch at a gallop, is able to read the whole inscription, at that precise moment the tower would collapse and from its foundations would come out a treasure, property of the fortunate reader.
Although perhaps the best-known legend mixes fantasy with tragedy. Popular tradition says that the tower was not built out of necessity; rather, it was a condemnation. According to this mythical story, a noble knight of the Villaseca family, moved by jealousy, killed his beautiful wife. Therefore, in compensation for the deaths snatched, he was condemned to raise the Tower of the Malmuerta.
It could be admitted that, perhaps, such a suggestive name could have in its origin a singular fact behind it that endows it with meaning, but which one? They say that it is only necessary to get in touch with the environment to relive an event. For this reason, from OWAY Tours we propose you our visit to the legendary neighborhoods of Cordoba
. An experience with which to get to know places in the city full of mystery.