Convent of Santa Clara

The Convent of Santa Clara, today is a place of cultural activities and exhibition area of ​​the city of Seville, however it was a place of worship and closing convent of the Clarisas nuns. It is the first convent of this order that was founded in Seville and dedicated to Santa Clara de Asís

Its foundation was in the late Middle Ages, back in 1289 by King Sancho IV of Castile, and built adjacent to an old palace belonging to his uncle, the infant Fadrique de Castilla. The current convent complex was built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in a long period of construction. The palatial building, is a Mudejar construction raised after the Christian conquest of the city, and which only retains the so-called Tower of Don Fadrique, which however has part of Romanesque design of sillería, being one of the few monuments of this style in Andalusia and the only one in Seville

In the present dependencies there is the refectory, the main cloister with Renaissance influence and style, the kitchens, bedrooms and other rooms occupied by the old convent church, which was reused as a cemetery. In a silent corner is located the church, which had urgent reforms by the architects Juan de Oviedo and Miguel de Zumárraga between the seventeenth century, covering its interiors with plasterwork, incorporating the lateral portico and defining its bulrush. In fact, its portico of access to the church was influenced to carry out that of the Basilica of La Macarena itself, and its main altarpiece is dedicated to several saints of the order; containing four other minor altarpieces, made by Juan Martínez Montañés. In 1998 it was abandoned by the Franciscan Poor Clares.

In the early years of the 21st century, the convent to receive exhibitions and cultural events, was rehabilitated, although the budget was not enough to restore the entire complex so some units were left unfinished, the restoration itself being a modification of the building . This also produced the movement of land unearthed remains of nuns there buried and not enabled a place in the convent prepared for it, some ended up in the Archaeological Museum and others simply in a mass grave.

However, the restoration shows Mudejar-style tiles, some of which are on display in the Victoria and Alberto Museum in London and also a small exhibition in the Mudejar Art Museum in Seville.

Today, a complete and definitive restoration of the convent and archaeological research is still planned to find the remains of Don Fadrique’s palace.