Since the end of the 16th century, there were wishes for Puente Genil to found a San Francisco de Paula convent. However, it was not until the second half of the 17th century that the lady of the town, the Marchioness of Priego, Juana Enríquez de Ribera, supported this decision.
The convent and church’s construction works lasted for the whole of the second half of the 17th century, and the doorway was completed in 1707. The cloister was completed in 1725.
The inside of the Church was decorated with mainly carved and gilded wood altarpieces. The most impressive being the main altarpiece, created by Juan Cazorla, sculptor from Lucena, in 1736. Another recently discovered altarpiece is also remarkable. It represents the “Martyr of Judas Thaddaeus”. The fresco is painted by the local 18th century artist, José Antonio Ruiz Rey.
The convent was first disentailed in 1822 and all of its assets were sold. The community was reintroduced the following year but with fewer friars and that is how it remained until all were expelled.
The convent’s building was used as a home, sometimes a school and sometimes barracks. When it reached a state of disrepair it was bought by the Casa-Padilla family, who renovated it, adapting it to a residential building, which was the origin of the coat of arms on the entrance. Currently, the building is owned by the Bishop of Córdoba, who transferred it to the Puente Gentil town council, which uses it as the Local Archaeology museum, the town’s music school and other local offices.