The Archbishop's Palace of Seville stands on the land that has occupied the bishop's residence since the Christian conquest of the city in the 13th century. However, nothing has survived from the primitive palace to the present day and the oldest preserved remains date from the 16th century.
Elements of the chapel are preserved from the first half of this century, such as the wooden roof and the tile frieze, as well as a gallery with marble columns dating from around 1530.
However, it can be considered that the configuration of the palace as it has come down to us corresponds to the reconstruction undertaken under the direction of Vedmondo Resta between the end of the 16th century and the 17th century. It was then that the distribution of the different rooms and rooms around two main patios was configured.
The magnificent Baroque doorway that faces the Plaza Virgen de los Reyes was carved by Lorenzo Fernández de Iglesias around 1704. It stands out for its great dynamism and decorative richness, constituting one of the best examples of this style in Seville.
In the main courtyard there is a fountain presided over by a sculpture representing 'Hercules with the Nemean Lion'. In the same courtyard, a beautiful Baroque doorway dating from 1666 gives access to the Archbishop's Archive, which houses valuable documentary collections.
From an artistic point of view, the most interesting rooms are located on the top floor around the second patio. They are accessed by a monumental staircase, with a single shot and three sections, which is crowned by a dome with the shield of Archbishop Antonio Paino. The pictorial decoration of the staircase was carried out by Juan de Espinal, with the exception of the paintings of the pendentives and the semicircular areas, which were already made in the 20th century.
The main hall of the palace is covered with a ceiling divided into sixty squares with a series of paintings from the Old Testament interspersed with emblems and shields. They were made at the beginning of the 17th century by two authors who have not been identified. As a whole, they make up a moralizing message about the values and virtues that prelates should possess.
In addition to the paintings on the ceiling, the living room exhibits a very interesting collection of paintings by various authors. We find, for example, an apostolate attributed to Sebastián Llanos Valdés, a series of sixteen Biblical-themed paintings by Juan de Zamora and another ten on the Passion of Christ by Juan de Espinal. To these must be added a series of paintings of saints from Zurbarán's workshop, a work by Murillo representing 'The Virgin delivering the Rosary to Saint Dominic' and a 'Slayed Saint John the Baptist' by Mattia Pretti.
Also of great value are the works of the so-called Gallery of the Prelate, presided over by one of the oldest works in the Palace, an Immaculate Conception from the end of the 16th century by Cristóbal Gómez. Next to it, a series of paintings from Venetian workshops and copies by various Italian authors dating from around 1600 are exhibited. They represent allegories of the elements and the seasons, as well as episodes from the story of Noah.
The collection of portraits of Sevillian archbishops also deserves mention for its historical value, with the representation of more than seventy archbishops from the 17th century to the present.
In other smaller rooms there is a large collection of Sevillian painting, with works by authors such as Herrera el Viejo, Juan de Espinal, Francisco Pacheco or Murillo. They are interspersed with works by various foreign authors, such as the Dutch Abraham Willaert or Carel Van Savoy, who produced a series on the life of David.
The main chapel of the palace is presided over by a main altarpiece from the 18th century made by the great sculptor of Portuguese origin, Cayetano de Acosta. It is presided over by a beautiful image of the Immaculate Conception made by the same author, who also carried out the four side altarpieces of the chapel, dedicated to Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist.
In addition to the main chapel, the palace has an oratory designed by Pedro Sánchez Falconete in the mid-17th century. In it, the vault stands out above all, decorated with plasterwork attributed to Pedro de Borja.