Monastery of Santa Paula - Seville

Source: Willem Vandenameele

In the heart of the San Julián district is the bell tower of the Monastery of Santa Paula .

In 1473, Pope Sixtus IV granted the founding bull of the monastery to Ana de Santillán y Guzmán, a woman who moved to San Juan de la Palma after becoming a widow. During this retreat she came up with the idea of creating a closed monument for the Hieronymite Order. Later, in 1475, the church was blessed and in 1483 Isabel Enríquez, widow of the Constable of Portugal, promoted the construction of the current monastery church.

It houses the only museum in a Sevillian monastery with unique pieces from the Sevillian Baroque period and from other parts of the world. You can also see the trousers of the women who entered the convent, some altarpieces with pieces by Montañés, Mesa and Medinilla and paintings by José de Ribera and Morales. The monastery section has two cloisters connected by an arcade with four openings on paired columns and semicircular arches.

The church dates from the 15th century and has a Gothic-Mudejar style, its most notable features being the ceiling of the presbytery and the nave covered with a wooden coffered ceiling with Mudejar elements. The Baroque main altarpiece is dominated by a statue of Santa Paula , sculpted by José Fernando de Medinilla in 1730.

On the sides of the chancel are the tombs of the Marquises of Montemayor and 18th-century paintings illustrating the life of Santa Paula. Also worth mentioning are the altarpiece of San Juan Bautista and that of Santo Cristo, both by Felipe de Ribas, and that of the Virgin of the Rosary.

It is one of the most accessible monasteries, open to the public for the sale of exquisite products made by the nuns, such as jams and jellies or quince jelly.

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