Convent of Santa Paula

This downtown convent is located on Santa Paula street, whose initial name was Calle de los Dolores since it was conquered by Christians until 1416, close to the time of the founding of the monastery of Madres Jerónimas.

Dona Ana de Santillán was the promoter of this space and she bought from the Jerónimos monks of Buenavista a series of properties near the parish of San Román that were linked to her, and whose order was granted in 1473, soon after in the mother prioress of the convent.

Mrs. Isabel Enríquez, at the end of the 15th century, arrived in Seville and encouraged the construction of the church, and as such she received the honor of being buried in the May chapel and all due to her great generosity to the temple and the choirs that the church was finished. in 1489.

Monastery was dedicated by the two founders to Paula Romana, who was penitent disciple of San Jerónimo, descendant of the Scipios and the Gracchi.

It was the first monastery in Seville that was proclaimed a Historic Artistic Monument, and also a pioneer in creating a museum located in the premises.

In the area near the booths there is a small staircase that leads to the museum of two naves in its main nucleus of which the first is illuminated by flying lattices, and allows us to see the ornaments of the convent as its lace and the Child Jesus and his Births

The other nave is the Sala de San Isidoro, with a Mudejar-type roof and where a seventeenth-century exhibition is offered: furniture and paintings belonging to the Sevillian, Madrilenian and Valencian schools, also showing us a Mexican crucified and a huge Nativity made by Ribera.

The Coro Alto area, part where the museum ends, and which is covered by a Mudejar coffered ceiling as an extension of the one indicated above.

The cover of the church shows us as a novelty the possibility of joining the Mudejar Gothic of its pointed arch with three archivolts with areas of red and yellow bricks, and the ceramics of Lucca della Robbia. It shows a mixture of two styles, the Gothic and Renaissance with the angels and the gothic cartouche of Pedro Millán, surrounded by flowers and fruits, with a birth in the interior, in white and blue. The tympanum has a royal shield made of white marble, with the yoke and arrows of the Catholic Monarchs, dated 1504.

The building of the church is of a single ship, with a presbytery for double gothic vault which is crossed by a high frieze of tiles with an orange background. The Retablo Mayor is by José Fernando de Medinilla, from the 18th century.

On the walls of the presbytery are the tombs of the marquises, both patrons of the institution.

The altars are dedicated to the San Juan Bautista and San Juan Evangelista, but we must not forget the center of the altarpiece where San Juan is a writer, seated, with a dramatic gaze directed at the sky, hoping to draw the images that he evokes and that was made by Martínez Highlander. This work derives from a Virgin destined to another convent, today in the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville.

The image of St. John the Evangelist points to the Lamb with the right and with the left shows the deep meditation of his face dressed in camel skin, buriel and mantle. In the altar there are small children’s figures, and we can say that together the work stands out for its attractive adornment where it brings us closer to the baroque.

Another of the works to be highlighted is San Cristóbal, which is a mural copy of the one found in the Cathedral, on the altar of La Crucifixión, whose author was Felipe de Ribas, where is the Santo Cristo de los Corales from the end of the 15th century :

The last place that we must not forget is the low Choir located at the foot of the nave, whose walls run tiled benches, with seventeenth-century ceramics, in yellow, green and blue. The walls are frescoed, decorated with fruit, floral and bird motifs, with some that shelter two Virgins, those of Divine Love and Health, in front of them, the owner of the Santa Paula convent, carved in wood next to San Jerónimo penitent, by Juan de Astorga.

Like all convents, its motto is “Ora et Labora” and its nuns dedicate themselves to creating liturgical ornaments, fans of cane and cloth, high quality pastries, highlighting their bacon of heaven, their muffins and their jams.