Iglesia de San Ginés de Arlés | Church of San Ginés, Madrid

Iglesia de San Ginés de Arlés | Church of San Ginés, Madrid

If you like El Greco (which I don’t), there’s a painting of the Purification of the Temple in the Iglesia de San Ginés de Arlés. If you like chocolate (which I do), the world-famous Chocolatería San Ginés is just behind this building. San Ginés is also where Lope de Vega said his marriage vows to Isabel de Urbina—his young “Belisa.”

It may be one of the oldest churches in the city, but only the campanile (bell tower) is truly aged. The church was built in A.D. 1645, on the site of a Mozarabic chapel, and reconstructed after a number of fires.

Why the Name?

Saint Genesius of Arles (i.e. San Ginés) is another martyr from the time of the Christian persecutions. He was a soldier, then a secretary to the magistrate of Arles. According to the Acts of the Saints: 

“While performing the duties of his office, the decree of persecution against the Christians was read in his presence. Outraged in his ideas of justice, the young catechumen cast his tablets at the feet of the magistrate and fled. He was captured and executed, and thus received baptism in his own blood.”

Genesius is now the Patron Saint of Notaries and Secretaries.