The building of the Aurelio Murillo Pharmacy, currently the Santa Ana pharmacy, is one of the most emblematic in Altozano de Triana. It was built between 1912 and 1914 by the architect José Espiau y Muñoz and is one of the jewels of regionalist art in the neighborhood. We have spoken of its author on other occasions, since among his works are some of the most iconic of the 20th century in Seville, such as the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Puerta de Jerez, or the magnificent building of La Adriática, on Avenida de the Constitution.
Specifically, the facade of the pharmacy shows a beautiful neo-Mudejar style. It is made of exposed brick and the windows and balconies are shaped like lobed semicircular arches, framed by alfices that combine ceramic decoration with plaster reliefs.
Fortunately, the interior of the pharmacy has largely retained its original appearance. Especially outstanding are its tile panels, made by Montalbán ceramics following the design of Francisco Murillo and Manuel Vigil-Escalera.
The furniture and the so-called botamen, the collection of pharmaceutical containers, which has around 200 pieces, have also been magnificently preserved.
It is one of the most interesting buildings that surround this beautiful Triana square. And it is that the Altozano has been in some way the nerve center of the life of the neighborhood throughout its history. The main reason is obvious: it is the square where the oldest bridge that connects Triana with Seville reaches.
In addition, before the current one was built around 1850, the famous Bridge of Boats also reached this same point, arranged for the first time to join both riverbanks by the Muslims around the 12th century. It was made up of a series of around ten boats, moored to each other, on which a wooden platform was placed that allowed the river to be crossed. This unstable solution was the only fixed connection between Seville and its Triana suburb for more than seven centuries.
In addition, also since the Islamic period, a fortification for the defense of the city was built next to this esplanade, which would be known as Castillo de San Jorge after the Christian conquest of the city. It was located in the place that today is occupied by the Marcado de Triana and had the particularity of serving as the headquarters of the Inquisition in Seville, for which we know that many of those accused by this institution were imprisoned and tortured there.
But the current appearance of the Altozano corresponds above all to the reforms undertaken in the first decades of the 20th century, when it was widened to allow the tram to turn from the bridge onto Calle San Jorge.
It is at this time when the beautiful regionalist buildings that surround the space are built. The most iconic and recognizable of them is the famous Capilla del Carmen, built between 1924 and 1929 following the project of Aníbal González, the best architect of this style and also probably the best of the 20th century in Seville.
Another great regionalist architect who left his mark on Altozano is José Gómez Millán. Around 1927, he designed the magnificent building that makes a chamfer between San Jacinto and San Jorge streets, recognizable by its characteristic glass balconies. And at the other end of the square, occupying number 5, we can mention the large building with an exposed brick facade designed by Jesús Yanguas Santafé. Originally it served as the headquarters for the first telephone exchange in Triana and today it houses the Akela bar below.
In short, among the innumerable attractions of Triana, there is also that of bringing together a magnificent collection of regionalist-style buildings, which remarkably embellished the main streets of the neighborhood at the beginning of the 20th century. And as we have told, we can see a good sample of them as soon as we cross the bridge, entering that square full of history of Seville that is the Altozano.