The Hospital of Holy Charity

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The Hospital of Holy Charity

A place that continues to project a charitable influence today

It is said that the city of Seville has to be visited several times to take in everything that is really worth seeing. As part of the construction of the Atarazanas Reales (a must-see in the city) is the unmissable complex of the Hospital de la Santa Caridad, a place also with a millenary history and not so well known to tourists but really special. Both, the building and the Church of San Jorge occupies part of the site of the treasure that is the Reales Atarazanas. 

The heritage of the Hospital de la Santa Caridad

The Hospital de la Santa Caridad in Seville houses very valuable pieces by the Sevillian Baroque painter Juan de Valdés Leal. Great contributions such as the canvas Finis gloriae mundi (1672), one of the two that make up the diptych of the Last Days, the canvas Don Miguel de Mañara reading the Rule of the Brotherhood of the Holy Charity (1681), who in fact commissioned some works for the Hospital itself due to the good friendship that existed between them; or the image of the Virgin of the Rosary (1680), also carved and polychromed by Valdés Leal. 

The great legacy of Miguel de Mañara

From an illustrious family, Don Miguel de Mañara was the man who promoted the creation of a hospice in this place to take in people who had no place to spend the night, to which years later he added a dining room and a hospital for the terminally ill who, once they had been evicted, other hospitals refused to take in. It was precisely the work of this man that inspired some of the valuable works of Murillo, Valdés Leal and Pedro Roldán. 

In the Church of San Jorge in this Hospital de la Santa Caridad, restoration work has also been carried out to maintain two priceless works by Murillo: an Immaculate Conception located in the central area of the church and another piece that is in the front chancel of the church on an altar, which consists of a small oil painting on panel depicting St. John the Baptist as a child.

An important and much-loved work in the city of Seville.

With this Christian inspiration, the Brotherhood of the Holy Charity was born, founded in the 15th century (specifically in 1456) and which began its work by accompanying those condemned to death to the scaffold or recovering the bodies of people drowned in the nearby river to give them a dignified and Christian burial, among other good deeds. But it was the venerable Miguel de Mañara who gave it the real impetus as a place of welcome for people in need, which it still maintains today.

The last resting place of those who have nothing

Today this place houses more than 80 residents in its house-home for people over 65 years of age who are without resources, on the threshold of poverty and at risk of exclusion; and who find here a social dining room and a roof as a residence, in which to live in a single room with bathroom and air conditioning. And this is achieved thanks to the members and volunteers of the Brotherhood, as well as the work of some specialised professionals and volunteer doctors.

The Santa Caridad, after 400 years giving shelter and comfort to people in life and in death, is so appreciated that it has the support of different entities and foundations that every year help a little with their contributions so this beautiful social work can continue to be carried out.

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