As one of the oldest churches in all of Madrid, the Iglesias de San Gines is full of history and art. It is believed to date back to as early as the 9th century, when it was the site of a Mozarabic community in medieval Madrid. Rebuilt in 1645, its walls feature works from artists such as El Greco, Alonso Cano, and Luca Giordano. Famous Spanish figures such as Lope de la Vega and Francisco de Quevedo were born or baptized here.
Several fires have caused for the church to be reconstructed several times over the centuries. The original campanile, however, remains in tact. From its arched entrance visitors can walk through the many naves and side chapels. The high ceilings, ornate altars, and restored artworks are well taken care of. Though the entire church is worth seeing, many come to see the painting “The Purification of the Temple” as it is considered to be one of El Greco’s finest works.
The church can be found on Calle Arenal, which is a pedestrian street just north of Plaza Mayor. It is in the Los Austrias neighborhood of the city.
Though the church is open daily, the El Greco painting is visible only on Saturdays from 12:30-1pm. The nearest metro stops are Callao and Ópera.