The Palace of San Telmo

What to see in seville

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The Palace of San Telmo

Current seat of the Junta de Andalucía

 

This is the venue for official visits, receptions for Kings and ambassadors, the presentation of medals and titles, the signing of important agreements and even very special concerts, among other activities.

 

For almost a decade, a complex process of rehabilitation, recovery, reconstruction, restoration and refurbishment work has been carried out to restore the splendour of this historic Palace of San Telmo, which is located outside the historic centre on the Paseo de las Delicias, a site that already has a high historical significance as it is located between the famous Puerta de Jerez and the Hotel Alfonso XIII, very close to what was once the Royal Tobacco Factory.

 

Its integration with the landscape of the nearby Guadalquivir River and its beauty make this palace one of the most impressive examples of Baroque architecture, not only in Seville, but in the whole of Spain.

 

Outstanding building in Seville

The work, by Atelier Vázquez Consuegra, began as a College-Seminary of the University of Seafarers for almost a century (between 1682 and 1796) in a late 17th-century building that was a benchmark of Sevillian Baroque architecture. Later, during the second half of the 19th century, it was the residence of the Dukes of Montpensier.

 

It was later ceded to the Church to serve as the Metropolitan Seminary until the end of the 20th century. Today it is the seat of the Presidency of the Junta de Andalucía, the Government of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, so some remodelling has had to be carried out to adapt it to a completely different use, given its religious past as a seminary.

 

An iconic and dejected palace

Just as the uses of this place have varied, so has its appearance, and by the 20th century it has become a heterogeneous mixture of styles. In the 1980s, work was carried out, such as restoring the front of the building.

 

Inside, there are diaphanous spaces in white and grey tones as well as others in which blue, ochre and reddish colours blend together. The recovery has been almost integral in order to finally give coherence to the whole ensemble while maintaining the main bay. The central courtyard, the chapel and the perimeter walls; but it is true that it has suffered too much from the long history of interior demolitions and adaptations for its different uses.

 

In the latest project, two courtyards that belonged to that first work at the end of the 17th century have been recovered: the Patio de San Jerónimo, now built on the numerous historical remains, and the old courtyard annexed to the Chapel, which has been restored to its former dimensions. The idea is for the Palace to resemble those complex spaces of its Baroque origins rather than those of its ecclesiastical period, when they had a more inert appearance.

 

An image of a garden paradise

The garden has been restored with masses of vegetation and a wild appearance in a mixture of fruits, flowers and colours, which have brought back the enviable garden that existed when it was the residence of the Montpensier family. Elements such as lights and benches have been added to this enormous garden to give it a more practical feel.

 

Guided tours of the San Telmo Palace

Guided tours with an expert guide, which require prior reservation, provide a tour lasting about an hour and a half, and give you an idea of why this is one of the city’s great architectural gems and of its historical importance.

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