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.

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

 

 

CHURCH OF SAN GREGORIO MAGNO

The Church of San Gregorio Magno, also called the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, originally belonged to the English college founded by the Jesuits in the city at the end of the 16th century. Currently, the brotherhood of the Holy Burial is located in the church.

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When the Jesuit Order was outlawed in Spain in 1767, the dependencies of the church and the school became dependent on the State, which has used them for various uses ever since. A century later, in 1867, the brotherhood of the Holy Burial settled here and since the 1940s it has housed a Mercedarian fraternity.

The temple has a rectangular plan with three naves, separated by Tuscan columns that support former semicircular arches. Both the central nave and the lateral ones are covered by architrave vaults.

The decoration of the temple is very simple. Outside, we hardly find any neo-Gothic detail added in the 19th century, such as the molding that frames the entrance, a simple rectilinear depressed arch.

Inside, the main altarpiece is a modest 19th-century neoclassical work imitating reddish marble. In its center, an urn also made in the 19th century by Lucas de Prada houses the image of the Holy Reclining Christ, head of the brotherhood of the Holy Burial.

This brotherhood makes its penance station on Holy Saturday with three steps, the Holy Burial, the Triumph of the Holy Cross and the Virgin of Villaviciosa.

The exact date of foundation of the brotherhood is not known. There is an 18th century narrative in which it is stated that it was founded by Fernando III himself after his conquest of the city in 1248 and that the monarch himself would have been his first older brother. However, there is no documentary evidence of such a story.

It is known for sure that the brotherhood already existed around 1570 with headquarters in the convent of San Laureano. After the convent closed in 1810, it passed through different locations until they settled in this church of San Gregorio in 1867. However, they did not go out in procession regularly until they began to do so in Holy Week in 1956.

The first of the steps of the brotherhood is the Triumph of the Holy Cross, one of the most curious of the Sevillan Holy Week. It represents the triumph of the Cross over death, which is represented by a brooding skeleton, which is why the pass is popularly known as 'La Canina'. It is a work from the end of the 17th century attributed to Cardoso Quirós.

The Reclining Christ is a magnificent carving that has not been documented, but which has been attributed to Juan de Mesa and dated around 1620. It parades in an imposing neo-Gothic glass-enclosed urn made in 1880.

In the last step, the Virgin of Villaviciosa parades, an image also by Cardoso Quirós from the late 17th century, who appears comforted by Saint John, the three Marys and the male saints, nineteenth-century works by Juan de Astorga.

CHAPEL OF SAN ONOFRE

This small chapel was originally part of the now-defunct Casa Grande de San Francisco, a huge Franciscan convent that was located until the 19th century in what is now Plaza Nueva and its adjoining areas. In fact, it can be considered that it is the only vestige that has reached our days of the disappeared convent.

On the outside, the chapel does not have a façade, since it was inserted in one of the buildings that surround Plaza Nueva. Inside, we see that it has a rectangular plan with a single nave, covered by a barrel vault with transverse arches and lunettes.

The main altarpiece was made by Bernardo Simón de Pineda around 1680 and the sculptures that appear in it have been linked to the workshop of Pedro Roldán. In the central niche appears an Immaculate Conception, flanked on both sides by San Fernando and San Hermenegildo.

The chapel has other altarpieces, among which the one dedicated to San Onofre stands out, at the beginning of the Gospel side, made at the beginning of the 17th century. Its sculptural part was made by the great Martínes Montañés, while Francisco Pacheco, Velázquez's father-in-law, was in charge of the paintings. The image of San Onofre is by Pedro Díaz de la Cueva from 1599.

CHAPEL OF THE ROSARIO DE MONTE-SION

In this chapel on Calle Feria, the Brotherhood of Monte-Sion has its brotherhood, which makes its penance station every Holy Thursday with two steps, the Lord of Prayer in the Garden and the Virgin of the Rosary.

The Brotherhood was founded in 1560, the result of the union of two previous brotherhoods. Around 1576, construction work began on its current chapel, on a small plot ceded by the old Dominican convent of Nuestra Señora de Montesión.

The exterior of the chapel is very simple, with a large flat door on which the inscription 'REGINA SACRATISSIMI ROSARII' (QUEEN OF THE HOLY ROSARY) stands out. As a curiosity, it can be noted that the door is not the original one, but was enlarged in 1915 to allow exit from the steps through it. On both sides you can see the ceramic altarpieces of the holders of the Brotherhood, both works by Alfonso Chaves from 1960. The large door that is attached to the facade of the chapel is the old access to the disappeared Dominican convent that we have mentioned.

Inside, the chapel is rectangular in plan with a single nave. The wooden roof stands out, an armor made following the original pair and knuckle technique from the end of the 16th century.

The main altarpiece of the chapel is contemporary, since the temple was assaulted in 1936, during the first days of the Civil War, losing part of its heritage.

Artistically, the holders of the Brotherhood stand out. The Virgen del Rosario is an anonymous dolorosa from the late 16th or early 17th centuries, one of the oldest Marian images among those in procession during Holy Week in Seville. For his part, the Lord of Prayer in the Garden was made by Pedro Roldán around 1675.

In an altarpiece on the Gospel side, Cristo de la Salud is venerated, also the head of the Brotherhood, although he does not carry a procession. It was made by Luis Ortega Bru in 1954 to replace a previous one lost during the fire of 1936. Despite being a relatively recent work, it is a crucified figure of great artistic quality, since its sculptor, Ortega Bru, is one of the of the highest quality and originality among those who worked in Seville during the 20th century.

HAITI ROUNDABOUT

This gazebo has kept its original appearance since it was placed in the Garden of Earthly Delights around 1864. It was made up of a series of 18th-century sculptures and pedestals from the Archiepiscopal Palace of Umbrete. It has an elliptical shape and delimiting its contour there was a continuous marble bench with a metal back. The pedestals are in the Rococo style and were made by the eighteenth-century sculptor of Portuguese origin, Cayetano de Acosta. The busts are replicas of the Italian originals that were here for more than a century and that were returned to Umbrete in 2006. They represent a series of Roman characters depicted in a beautiful baroque style. In the center of the gazebo there is a marble fountain with an octagonal vase. The fountain is a replica of the original from the 18th century that is now in the Fuente del Estanque, in this same garden.

SCULPTURE TO THE GOD PAN

Pan was the Greek god of shepherds and flocks, especially revered in the Arcadian region. He was identified with Faun in Roman mythology. He was depicted mixing human and animal features, with legs, tail, and ram's horns. Here we see him resting on a trunk, with striking hooves for feet, in an Italian sculpture from the 18th century from the Archbishop's Palace in Umbrete. It is made of marble and measures approximately 1.60 m. It sits on a pedestal also made in the 18th century by Cayetano de Acosta, about 2 m high and in a Rococo style.

SCULPTURES OF AVENIDA DEL LÍBANO

The path inside Jardín de las Delicias that leads to Plaza de América is known as Avenida del Líbano. It is framed by a series of rococo pedestals made in the 18th century by Cayetano de Acosta for the Archbishop's palace in Umbrete. On them rise a series of sculptures of Roman characters, replicas of the Italian originals from the 18th century that were in the Umbrete Palace itself. The replicas were made in 2006 when the originals were returned to Umbrete for better conservation.

HIGH HALL OR SALÓN ALTO

This set is made up of a rectangular base with a slatted floor that is raised by means of a three-step tier. In the corners are a series of four Rococo pedestals made by Cayetano de Acosta in the 18th century. On them we see four vases made of artificial stone. They are replicas of those made for the Jardines de Cristina, in front of the Palacio de San Telmo. They were arranged here during the remodeling of the garden undertaken in 2007. Originally, a series of sculptures representing the Greek gods Apollo, Zeus, Ares and Hera were located on the pedestals, all of which have now disappeared.