CHURCH OF EL SAGRARIO

The church of the Tabernacle was attached to the Cathedral between 1618 and 1662, following the plans of the architects Miguel de Zumárraga, Alonso de Vandelvira and Cristóbal de Rojas. It is an imposing Baroque temple with a single nave with side chapels, on which stands are placed between buttresses. In them are a series of eight colossal stone sculptures of evangelists and doctors of the church, made by José de Arce. It has a wide transept that is not noticeable from the outside, covered by a large dome with a lantern. The rest of the nave is covered with vaults, so characteristic of the Baroque.

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On the outside, the façade is divided into three floors decorated with attached pilasters in the three classical orders: Doric on the first floor, Ionic on the second and Corinthian on the third. The decoration, apart from these pilasters, is practically non-existent, with the exception of the parapet that finishes off the entire building, on which a series of striking flamers are arranged. It has three main entrances, one from the Patio de los Naranjos, another from the Cathedral at the foot and another from Avenida de la Constitución, on the Evangelio side, which is generally used to access the church. The latter has a very simple classical portal, with two pairs of Tuscan columns supporting a pediment. In its center is the coat of arms of the Cathedral Chapter, with the Giralda between vases of lilies. On it, the allegories of Faith and Charity appear reclining.

Also very classical but more monumental is the doorway through which one enters from the cathedral. It was designed by Pedro Sánchez Falconete and in its central niche we see San Fernando, framed by Saints Justa and Rufina and the brother bishops San Isidoro and San Leandro.

Inside, the sculptural decoration of the vaults was carried out around 1655 by the brothers Miguel and Pedro de Borja, who also made the relief with the Allegory of Faith that is located above the entrance of the feet.

The main altarpiece comes from the Vizcaínos Chapel of the now-defunct Casa Grande de San Francisco Convent, which was located in the current Plaza Nueva. The structure was made by Dionisio de Ribas and the sculptures by Pedro Roldán, who got one of his masterpieces here. In the center, there is the scene of the Descent, with the body of Jesus already resting on his Mother's lap. On both sides, there are two beautiful young angels, full of dynamism, and in the attic a Veronica shows her cloth with the Holy Face, also accompanied by angels. The set is finished off with a representation of San Clemente, who is the official owner of the temple. This image of San Clemente comes from the original altarpiece that preceded the current one. Apparently it was a spectacular set made at the beginning of the 18th century. With the expansion of neoclassicist taste in the 19th century and a certain phobia of what was considered excessive ornamentation, it was decided to destroy it in 1824. The current altarpiece would be located in this location in 1840.

On both sides of the transept there are two large reddish marble altarpieces made in the mid-18th century. The one on the left side is presided over by a Christ on the Cross from the beginning of the 17th century, made by the sculptor of the Madrid school Manuel Pereira. La Dolorosa at its feet is the work of the brilliant 18th century sculptor Cayetano de Acosta, who also made the sculptures that decorate the altarpiece on the other side of the transept. In this case, we see in the central niche a beautiful Virgin with Child.

As for the side chapels, from the presbytery towards the feet and on the Gospel side, we find the following:

- Chapel of Cristo de la Corona, with a neoclassical altarpiece from the 18th century, presided over by a Nazarene dedicated to Cristo de la Corona. It is an emotional image from the 16th century that is the owner of his own Brotherhood, taking a procession on Friday of Sorrows through the surroundings of the parish.

- Chapel of San Millán, with an 18th century altarpiece, in which, in addition to San Millán, Santa Catalina, the Immaculate Conception, San Roque and Santa Gertrudis appear.

- Chapel of Saint Joseph. It has an altarpiece from the late 17th century, presided over by an image of San José by Pedro Roldán or his circle.

- Chapel of Saints Justa and Rufina, with an 18th century altarpiece presided over by an image of the Sacred Heart from 1948, flanked by images of the Saints, from the same period as the altarpiece.

Also from the presbytery to the feet, but on the Epistle side, we find:

- Chapel of the Virgen del Rosario, presided over by an image made by Manuel Pereira at the beginning of the 17th century, although re-polychromed in the 18th century.

- Chapel of San Antonio, with an altarpiece dated 1667 and made by Bernardo Simón de Pineda, one of the most outstanding altarpiece artists of the Sevillian Baroque. On the altar is an ivory Crucified from the 17th century from the Philippines.

- Chapel of the Immaculate. In it there is a beautiful image of the Immaculate Conception, anonymous from the beginning of the 18th century. The chapel is also the seat of the Sacramental Brotherhood and in it we find the magnificent baby Jesus made by Martínez Montañés around 1606. This sculpture would set the pattern for the most widespread representation of the Baby Jesus during the Baroque. There are innumerable representations that have taken place in the city since the 17th century and that today are spread throughout the city's churches, convents and private collections, all of them having as their starting point this masterful work by Martínez Montañés for the Tabernacle. The image parades every year in the Corpus Christi procession that leaves from the Cathedral.

- Chapel of Santa Bárbara, with a Baroque altarpiece from around 1680 presided over by the head of the chapel, flanked by Santa Teresa and Santa Elena.
In the upper part of the walls there is a good collection of baroque canvases, among which the nine made by Matías de Arteaga around 1690 stand out. The painter was a member of the Sacramental Brotherhood and the paintings represent themes from the Old Testament related in a way symbolic with the Eucharist, such as 'The parable of the wedding guests' or 'The adoration of the Mystic Lamb'.

CONVENT OF LAS TERESAS (SAN JOSÉ DEL CARMEN)

This community of Discalced Carmelites settled in Seville in 1575 at the hands of Saint Teresa herself, who traveled to the city to supervise the foundation. They first settled in some houses on Calle Alfonso XII and later on Calle Zaragoza, until in 1586 they moved to the location where we find them today, in the heart of the Barrio de Santa Cruz. San Juan de la Cruz himself participated in this transfer of the nuns to their new location, who was in the city supervising the operation.

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It was decided to buy the house of a Sevillian banker named Pedro de Morga. His was a classic Sevillian palace from the 16th century, so it was decided to use the patio of the house as a cloister for the new convent.

In this way, the cloister of the convent of Las Teresas is a Renaissance-style porticoed courtyard around which all the cloistered rooms are articulated. The patio has a rectangular floor plan and presents arches on marble columns, semicircular in the lower gallery and lowered in the upper one, a fairly common feature in other Sevillian palaces.

To the outside, the access facades to the church and the access to the convent are attached, both with lintelled and very simple entrances. On the one that gives access to the convent we see a small mural painting as the only decoration, representing the shield of the order flanked by two cherubs.

As for the façade of the church, the enormous roof that covers the entrance stands out, held in place by wrought iron braces. In its inner part, some original paintings from the 17th century have been preserved, with representations of various symbols and saints alluding to the Carmelite order.

Artistically, the most interesting part of the convent is its church, dating from the early 17th century, with a design attributed to the late-Renaissance architect Vedmondo Resta. It has a rectangular plan with a single nave and a square head. The nave is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes and the presbytery with a hemispherical vault. On the sides there are large niches in which altarpieces are embedded as lateral chapels.

The main altarpiece is the work of the assembler Jerónimo Velázquez from around 1630 and combines paintings on canvas and sculptures in a fairly classic late-Renaissance composition, inspired by notable models such as Martínez Montañés or Alonso Cano.

In the central niche, a beautiful representation of Saint Joseph with the Child, the work of Juan de Mesa, is venerated. The iconography in which the Child Jesus leads and indicates the way to Saint Joseph is followed here. On both sides, the main saints of the order, San Juan de la Cruz and Santa Teresa de la Cruz, in two anonymous sculptures from the 17th century. The paintings on canvas that complete the altarpiece are anonymous and deal with themes also related to the Carmelites.

Also by Juan de Mesa is the magnificent Immaculate Conception that occupies the center of one of the side altarpieces. The Virgin appears with the classic layout of her iconography but dressed in the Carmelite habit. It is flanked by Saint John the Baptist and the Prophet Elias, and in the attic there is a relief with the mystical Betrothal of Saint Teresa. With the exception of the Immaculate Conception by Juan de Mesa, the rest of the sculptures in the altarpiece are anonymous, although they are considered very close to the style of Pedro Roldán.

In the rest of the altarpieces there is a good collection of Sevillian painting and sculpture, mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Unfortunately, the free visit to the convent church is very restricted and it is practically only possible to do so during mass hours.

CONVENT OF SAN AGUSTÍN (OLD)

The Convent of San Agustín was one of the great Sevillian convents during the Middle and Modern Ages, founded according to Ortiz de Zúñiga already in the 13th century, shortly after the Christian conquest of the city. It seems that the religious settled here at the end of the same century and the Augustinian community remained here until 1835, the year in which they were exclaustrated.

After the expropriation of the convent, the property has been put through various uses and gradually reduced its original dimensions. The church and one of the cloisters have disappeared and today only a few rooms remain around what was the main cloister, all in a dilapidated state.

Although the convent had a long construction history between the 13th and 19th centuries, the remains of the cloister that have survived to this day date from the end of the 16th or beginning of the 17th century. It is an enormous porticoed cloister, with semicircular arches on brick pillars on the first floor and carpanel arches on paired columns on the second. ´

In the center of the courtyard are the stone remains of what appears to be a great gate or triumphal arch, deposited there after being dismantled from its original location. It is probably access to the compass of the convent that was designed by the great architect of the Sevillian Renaissance Hernán Ruiz II.

There is currently a project to build a hotel on what remains of the old convent, maintaining the cloister façades.

CONVENT MADRE DE DIOS

Convent of Dominican nuns founded at the end of the 15th century, when Queen Isabella the Catholic ceded a large plot of the old Jewish quarter of Seville to the nuns. Some authors maintain that the convent was partly based on one of the old synagogues in the neighborhood, but this information has not been confirmed. The building that has survived to this day dates from the second half of the 16th century.

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The main elements of the convent can be dated to that date: the church, a small patio that acts as a cloister and another larger one that is used as a garden.

The temple is one of the largest convent churches found in Seville and the architects Juan de Simancas and Pedro Díaz Palacios were involved in its construction. It has a rectangular plan, with a square head and high and low choirs at the feet.

The façade is on the Gospel side, accessed through a late Renaissance doorway. The royal coat of arms appears on the lintel, flanked by that of the Dominicans, a symbol of the patronage of the Crown. In the central niche, we see a relief by Juan de Oviedo with a beautiful representation of the Virgin and Child giving a rosary to Saint Dominic de Guzmán, founder of the order. Next to it appears the iconographic element that traditionally identifies it: a dog holding a torch in its mouth. In the attic there is an image of God the Father in an attitude of blessing.

Inside, a large wooden coffered ceiling covers the nave, while a magnificent octagonal vault on tubes, also made of wood, covers the presbytery area. The nave and the presbytery are separated by a large, richly polychrome main arch, a very characteristic element of the Sevillian conventual churches as well.

In the church there are more than twenty burials, among which those of Hernán Cortes's wife, Juana de Zúñiga, and two of her daughters, which are found on the sides of the presbytery, stand out.

The main altarpiece is the work of Francisco de Barahona from the beginning of the 18th century, made to replace a previous one from the 16th century. Some images of Jerónimo Hernández were preserved from the original, such as the Virgin of the Rosary in the central niche, also called Madre de Dios de la Piedad.

On each side of the presbytery there are two valuable Renaissance side altars from the second half of the 16th century. As usual in Sevillian convent churches, they are dedicated to the 'Santos Juanes', that is, to Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, both the work of the sculptor and altarpiece artist Miguel Adán. However, it was Jerónimo Hernández who carved the image of Saint John the Evangelist, whom he represents at the end of his life, on Patmos, the place where he wrote the Apocalypse. The one dedicated to San Juan Bautista is just opposite and has a very similar structure to the previous one. In its central niche, Miguel Adán represented the scene of the Baptism of Christ.

They are not the only Renaissance altarpieces that the church has.

The one next to that of the Evangelist frames a beautiful panel painting with a Flemish-inspired Burial of Christ.

On the opposite side we find the altarpiece of the Virgen del Rosario, anonymous from the 16th century and of great quality. The image of the Virgin, in the center, appears flanked by Santo Domingo and Santo Tomás, while the rest of the altarpiece has a series of reliefs with different scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin.

In the upper and lower choir space of the church, the nuns have set up a museum space in which a series of high-quality artistic pieces are exhibited, mainly sculptures from the 16th and 17th centuries. To cite just a few of them, we can mention the Virgin and Child by Mercadante de Brittany, a Risen One by Jerónimo Hernández or a Calvary by Cristóbal Ramos.

With the entrance to the museum, you collaborate with the large expenses that the convent has to face for the maintenance of the property and its valuable artistic heritage.

 

CONVENT OF LA ENCARNACIÓN

This convent was built at the end of the 14th century as Hospital de Santa Marta, a name by which many Sevillians still know it. At the end of the 19th century it became a convent, when the community of Augustinian nuns who occupied the original convent of La Encarnación, which was located in the square of the same name ('las Setas'), moved here.

What remains of the Hospital was the chapel, which became a convent church after the arrival of the nuns. It has a single nave and its presbytery stands out, which has the traditional square shape of the Islamic and Mudejar 'qubbas', covered by a vault with eight panels on tubes. The rest of the church is covered with a Gothic ribbed vault, supported on four interesting corbels with the symbols of the evangelists.

With the reconditioning of the 19th century, some reforms were made to the old hospital. It was then that the door leading to the Plaza Virgen de los Reyes was opened, the choirs were built and the vault was fitted with a lantern.

The main altarpiece was formed with sculptures from the disappeared convent, made around 1675 and by an anonymous author. From there come the group of the Incarnation or Annunciation that is located in the central niche and the two 'Santos Juanes' on the sides (San Juan Evangelista and San Juan Bautista). The presence of these two saints in the conventual churches of the city was a constant throughout the Modern Age. In the attic there is a small image of Santa Marta, of a different authorship and that would probably already be in the church before the arrival of the Augustinians.

On the sides of the main altar there are two neoclassical altarpieces from the 19th century, not of great artistic quality. In them and throughout the rest of the church a series of saints from the 18th and 19th centuries are distributed.

ROMAN CISTERN

Under the Plaza de la Pescadería, and accessible through a modern glass structure, a cistern or 'castellum aquae' from Roman times has been preserved. Its construction has been dated to the 2nd century AD. and it is believed that it was in operation until the 5th century.

The cistern was built in 'opus testaceum' (fired brick) and was made up of three parallel naves, only one of which is accessible. It had total dimensions of about 45 meters long by 25 meters wide and it has been calculated that it had a capacity for 1,300,000 liters of water. It is believed that it was supplied through the aqueduct that reached the city from Alcalá de Guadaira, whose route would be reused in Islamic times for the construction of the Caños de Carmona.

CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE

The Cathedral of Seville is probably the most emblematic monument of the city. Unesco declared it a World Heritage Site in 1987, along with the Alcázar and the Archivo de Indias. It is considered the largest Gothic temple in the world.

Most of its work was done in the late Gothic style during the 15th century, although it retains elements of the 12th-century Almohad mosque on which it sits, such as the Patio de los Naranjos or the Giralda. In addition, in the 16th century the Royal Chapel, the Chapter House and the Greater Sacristy were added in the Renaissance style. Later, during the Baroque period and practically up to the present day, various elements of the cathedral would be added and remodeled, until it became a true compendium of the history of art in the city.

Its floor plan is one of the hall calls, with a flat head and five naves, the central one being taller and wider than the rest. It has numerous side chapels located between the buttresses.

The supports are enormous pillars with a rhomboid section, made of brick and masonry and covered with ashlars. Rib vaults sit on them, so characteristic of Gothic. They are sexpartite in the chapels, quadripartite in the naves, and those corresponding to the transept, in the central part of the temple, are star-shaped.

On the side chapels and on the main axes there is a narrow gallery in the form of a clerestory.

Its construction was approved by the cathedral chapter in 1401. Legend has it that the project would be inspired by the phrase "Let's make a church so beautiful and so great that those who see it carved will consider us crazy" and according to the capitular act of that day the new work should be "one such and so good, that there is no other like it."

In detail: Cathedral of Seville

 

 

OLD CASTLE OF SAN JORGE

In the place where the Triana Market is located today, a castle was built in the Almohad period (XIII) that would later be known as the castle of San Jorge. It may have been built on previous constructions, even Roman or Visigothic, and that it was refortified after the Muslim defeat in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212).

‘Annales d'Espagne et du Portugal’, 1741

It had ten towers that articulated a robust fortified space with a rectangular plan. The Christians would establish the headquarters of the Inquisition in Seville there in 1480, so it is certain that it was the scene of numerous episodes of imprisonment and torture throughout its history. Some of the events that occurred there have been narrated as brilliant as the one offered by Beethoven in his opera "Fidelio", which is set in this castle.

It continued to be the seat of the Inquisition until the end of the 18th century, when it was abandoned. Already at the beginning of the 19th century it was demolished and a market was built on its site. At the end of the current market, in the part that faces Castilla street, some of the great walls that belonged to the primitive castle can still be seen today.

ELECTRICITY SHED OFF THE 1929 PARK

This small electricity booth, with its Neo-Baroque style, is the only remainder that has survived to this day from the great amusement park that was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It occupied an area of almost 43,000 square meters between the avenues of La Raza and de la Palmera and at the time it was considered in quality to be on par with the best in the world. Unfortunately, despite initial plans to keep it, the park was eventually dismantled and sold. Some parts of its attractions are still preserved today in the historic amusement park of Monte Igueldo, in Bilbao.

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PALACE HOUSE AT GUZMÁN EL BUENO STREET 4

We are in front of a 16th century palace house, of which we do not know documentary origin. However, it is clear that it has undergone successive reforms over the following centuries, mainly in the 17th and 19th centuries, as reflected in the inscription on the lintel over the main door: 1560, 1654 and 1856.

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The main façade has preserved a beautiful Renaissance portal from the 16th century, framed by Ionic columns with plant decoration on the shafts. They support a lintel on which appear a series of corbels that in turn support the central balcony.

Inside, the model of a Sevillian house is faithfully reproduced, with the rooms distributed around a porticoed patio on all four sides. On the floor below, the arches are semicircular and rest on marble columns with capitals of ribbons or castanets. The arches have the classic Sevillian plateresque decoration, with vegetation and 'candelieri'. Between them, a series of pilasters support a continuous frieze, all with the same decorative motif.