Seville Province - Marchena

Granada Malaga | Seville | Cordoba

Sixty kilometres east of Seville, in the undulating cereal fields and olive groves of La Campiña of the Guadalquivir valley is Marchena. This pretty town liberally sprinkled with well-preserved monuments was in its heyday presided over by the dukes of Arcos, who built the elegant colannaded square, the Plaza Ducal, in front of what used to be the dukes' majestic mansion, which was sadly demolished in the early 20th century. Marchena is worth a visit for its collection of paintings by one of Spain's finest 17th-century artists, Francisco de Zubarán from Extremadura, along with other religious art.

The town has a long history, whose settlers left their mark most notably with the town walls, first constructed by the Romans, revamped by the Moors and largely rebuilt by the Christians under Ferdinand III, who captured the town in 1240. Today, the restored Torre de Oro is the most impressive tower along this wall, while the Puerta de Sevilla, also known as the Arco de la Rosa, is the best gate. In the mid-14th century the town became a seigneury of Ponce de León and in the next century, the dukes of Arcos.

Don't miss the Mudéjar parish church of San Juan Bautista, which houses the Museo Zubarán in its sacristy, with nine magnificent religious paintings by the renowned artist, of which the best is undoubtedly the canvas of La Inmaculada. Also part of the museum is a collection of intricately worked silver and gold liturgical objects, many dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. The museum is open on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 2pm.

In the church are two 17th-century sculptures by Alonso Cano and Pedro de Mena. The church itself is built in the Gothic-Mudéjar style and dates from the 14th century.

Built on the former site of a mosque, the Gothic-Mudéjar church of Santa María de la Mota has a fine Renaissance tower and belfry.

From Marchena you can walk, cycle or ride on horseback along the Vía Verde of the Countryside, a greenway that follows the course of an old railway line for 91km to Valchillón just outside Cordoba.

The tourist office in at Calle Las Torres, 955 846 167.

Art Galleries

Regular exhibitions of art can be seen at the Sala Municipal de Cultura.
Recinto Ferial. Tel. 955 847 240

A collection of sculptures and original sketches of the local-born artist Lorenzo Coullaut Valera are displayed at the Museo Coullaut Valera.
Calle San Francisco 43. Tel. 955 846 167

A remarkable collection of works by goldsmiths and silversmiths can be seen in the Museo de Zurbarán, as well as oil paintings by the Spanish artist.
Calle Cristóbal de Morales. Tel. 955 846 457


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