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.
CC BY-SA 4.0
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.