Hospital de los Venerables SACERDOTES - HOSPITAL OF THE VENERABLE PRIESTS
Located in Barrio Santa Cruz, in a pretty square with orange trees, the 17th-century baroque hospital was built to care for elderly, impoverished and infirm priests.
It is now used as an art gallery, notably about Velazquez, and is a peaceful place in this area which receives many visitors.
Designed by Leonardo de Figueroa, who built many of Seville's most renowned baroque churches, the chapel features some important works by Martínez Montañés, Murillo, Valdes Leal and Roldan.
Inside the hospital the cloistered patio features an unsual stepped sunken fountain, lined with pretty azulejos (ceramic tiles), surrounded by trees and flowers.
The hospital is home to the Fundacion Focus Abengoa; its Centro Velazquez (immediately on the left as you enter) aims to recreate the historic and artistic world of the painter. The centre displays other works from the period, and shows the the importance of his legacy. At this time, Seville's spectacular art scene was the main focus of attention for all Europe.
The centre shows works by the Sevillano painter including Santa Rufina, the Triana potter who was a Christian martyr, and Murillo's Santa Catalina, with her golden shawl.
Temporary art exhibitions are often held here - sometimes single paintings which are on loan for several months: Picasso's take on the eternally popular Golden Age theme, Mother and Child, was displayed in 2019/2020.
In addition, there is a collection of contemporary art upstairs, with pieces by Carmen Laffon, Ramon Gaya and Luis Gordillo, as well as early photographs from the end of the 19th century.
Dedicated to San Fernando, King of Castille, this ornate baroque building has extraordinary ceiling murals by Valdes Leal. Like the Hospital de la Caridad, the chapel has paintings by Murillo and sculptures by Pedro Roldán. The richly attired Inmaculada (painting of the Virgin Mary) which Murillo painted for this chapel now hangs in the Prado museum in Madrid. You can also visit the sacristy.
The hospital was founded by Justino de Neve, who was Murillo's patron. Previously on this spot was Seville's most popular comedy theatre, Doña Elvira, whose patron was the Count of Gelves. Plays by the likes of Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina and Cervantes would have been performed here.
Plaza Venerables 8. Tel. 954 562 696
10:00-18:00 daily December to February, 10.00-20.00 March to June, 10.00-14.00 July-November. Free entrance on Sunday from 14:00-18:00. Closed on 1 January, Easter Friday and 25 December.
The visit includes the church, Centro Velazquez and contemporary art collection.
Adults: 10 euros, over-65s and 13-18 years old: 8 euros; under 13 years: free. Includes audioguide (adult and child versions).
Tickets are sold in hourly slots of 50.
Special offer: guided tour included in the general ticket on Wednesday from 15:00-16:00.
Candle lit night visits
Hospital de los Venerables was open during the summer of 2016 for evening visits by candlelight.
During the night the you could find out about the history of the building and learn the stories of its noble inhabitants such as Elvira de Ayala, the countess of Gelves or Justino de Neve, and also about the Fundación Focus-Abengoa and its art collection. The library was open to visitors and also the watchtower.