The current temple of San Nicolás de Bari was built in the 18th century on the site of a previous 16th-century church, which in turn replaced a previous medieval one. The church is located next to what was one of the entrances to the Jewish quarter during the 13th and 14th centuries. It is a site linked to numerous traditions without archaeological confirmation. It is said, for example, that a Visigothic church was already located in this same place and that it could even survive as a Mozarabic temple during the Islamic period.
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In any case, we know that the current church was blessed in 1758 and that a good part of its works were paid for by a patron from the neighborhood, Juan de Castañeda.
It is a temple with five naves, the only one we can find in Seville with this layout, with the exception of the cathedral.
To the outside, it has two entrances. The main one, at the foot, is framed by a simple cover in a baroque style with a very classic air. Two Tuscan-style pilasters support a split pediment, in the center of which is a niche with the image of Saint Nicholas, head of the temple. On both sides, the ceramic altarpieces of the holders of the Brotherhood of Candelaria are practically the only decorative motifs on the façade.
As for the side cover, on the left side, it presents characteristics very similar to the main one but on a smaller scale. In this case, in the central niche we can see a stone image of the Virgen del Subterráneo, which is venerated inside the church.
Inside, the five naves are separated by semicircular arches that rest on 18 reddish marble columns of Genoese origin. The naves are covered with semicircular vaults with transverse arches and at the foot of the church there is a high choir, which preserves the stalls and two original organs from the 18th century.
The main altarpiece is in the Baroque style, from the mid-18th century, attributed to Felipe Fernández del Castillo. In it, the Virgin of the Subterranean is venerated over the manifestor. It is a small size by an anonymous author and dates from the 15th century, although it was reformed on various occasions, such as during the 18th century, when the crown and the burst of silver were added.
Tradition has it that this image was found in a cave under the church when works were being carried out in it around 1492. From this circumstance would come the invocation of her as Virgin of the Underground. It shares this nickname with the Dolorosa de la Hermandad de la Cena, currently in the church of Los Terceros, since apparently this brotherhood had its headquarters in this parish during the 16th century.
Continuing with the main altarpiece, the image of San Nicolás de Bari, head of the temple, is located in the central niche, with San Pedro and San Pablo in the side streets. In the attic there is another niche, smaller than the main one, with a Christ on the Cross. The ensemble is finished off by a large royal crown on a glued curtain, an element used in the late Baroque period to emphasize theatricality. The wall paintings in the presbytery are original from the 18th century and reproduce scenes from the life of Saint Nicholas.
On the left side of the church is the Sacramental Chapel, which, in a neo-Baroque altarpiece from the 20th century, houses the titular images of the Brotherhood of Candelaria. In the center, our Father Jesús de la Salud, a work of full size and somewhat smaller than life size, attributed to Francisco de Ocampo around 1615. To his right, the Virgin of Candelaria, a dress image made by Manuel Galiano Delgado in 1924 and remodeled in 1967 by Antonio Dubé de Luque. On the left is a San Juan by José Ruíz Escamilla from 1926.
On the walls of the Chapel there are some interesting canvases, such as the one that represents the Virgin of Guadalupe, the work of the Mexican painter Juan Correa from 1704, or the one of "San Carlos Borromeo giving communion to the plague victims of Milan", the work of Juan de Espinal from 1750.
Returning to the nave, we can see how practically all the walls of the church are covered by a series of altarpieces, mostly Baroque from the 18th century, which give the temple an atmosphere of great monumentality and decorative exuberance.
At the head of the naves on the left there are two 18th century altarpieces dedicated to the Virgen del Patrocinio and the Virgen de los Dolores or "del Camino", an image that probably comes from the old "Ecce Homo" brotherhood, which disappeared in the eighteenth century.
On the other side of the presbytery, at the head of the naves on the right, there are two altarpieces also dating from the mid-18th century. The first of them is dedicated to Saint Joseph, and is presided over by a beautiful carving of the saint made in 1678 by Francisco Ruiz Gijón, famous for being the author of the Christ of the Expiration, the "Cachorro" of Triana. In the mural paintings next to the altarpiece we find two passages from the life of Saint Joseph made by Pedro Tortorelo in 1760.
The other altarpiece is dedicated to San Carlos Borromeo and on its surrounding walls you can see scenes with the life of the saint, made by Vicente Alanís in 1760. The same author painted the vault with a representation of the Trinity between angels.