The historic Hospital de los Venerables building

What to see in seville

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The historic Hospital de los Venerables building

One of the most important monuments in the city of Seville

Seville is a candidate to be the true international capital of the Baroque, and the Hospital de los Venerables (located in the Plaza de los Venerables, in the heart of the Barrio de Santa Cruz, close to places like the Cathedral and the Giralda) is a wonderful setting for exhibitions that show the weight of the Baroque in this city, which attracts academics of art and history. Here you can see works by the famous painter Velázquez, Murillo, Zurbarán and Martínez Montañés. 

In addition, there is also an exhibition of contemporary art, and eventually organ concerts are held in which you can listen to European music from different periods from the 17th to the 21st century, with mainly Baroque pieces. This is one of the best instruments for the performance of baroque music.

A heritage dissemination project

The idea is to take advantage of the organ in the chapel of Los Venerables Sacerdotes, which was built by the German master organ builder Gerhard Grenzing, taking advantage of the fact that this church has an outstanding acoustic capacity. Having this valuable instrument in Seville deserves to be put to good use.

Reactivating the promotion of Seville’s cultural heritage

The Hospital itself is of great value. This building, which has a Baroque church with frescoes of the highest level, was built at the end of the 17th century (from 1676 to 1699) by the architects Juan Domínguez and Leonardo de Figueroa thanks to donations from the Sevillian nobility, the clergy and social institutions, and on a site that had been donated by the Duke of Veragua. This place is today one of the greatest examples of Baroque architecture in Seville.

When you visit it you can see what was once the hospital, the church, the sacristy or the beautiful and original courtyard with its very characteristic sunken fountain, which has a functional purpose, as the building is on a higher level than the pipes coming from the nearby Callejón del Agua that supplied this place, so the fountain had to be sunk to counteract this difference in level in the slope. The building has been officially declared a Historic-Artistic Monument for its exceptional Sevillian Baroque architecture.

Mission: to conserve beauty and artistic value

Immaculate Conception Day is celebrated every 8 December in Spain, a religious holiday linked to the Immaculate Conception which celebrates the Christian belief that the Virgin Mary had no original sin. Murillo himself painted The Immaculate Conception of the Venerables for this Hospital de los Venerables, which had been plundered by the French and has been preserved since 1941 in the Prado Museum in Madrid because of its enormous value.

A building linked to a precious initiative

This building began with the Christian idea of some priests to carry out pious work and has now become a historical monument. It was founded in 1675 by the canon of Seville Cathedral, Justino de Neve, who was also a personal friend and patron of the painter Murillo himself. The idea was that it should be a care building for the venerable elderly priests; and although in the 1970s it ceased to serve this purpose and today its use is very different, it retains the essence of that past.

In short, this building is an essential visit if you visit the Santa Cruz district of Seville because it is a key place for understanding a part of Seville’s history.

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