Hospital los Venerables, Seville

The Hospital de los Venerables (officially the Hospital de Venerables Sacerdotes, Hospital of Venerable Priests, popularly known as the Hospital of the Venerable), is a baroque 17th-century building that served as a residence for priests. It currently houses the Velázquez Center, dedicated to the famous painter Diego Velázquez. It is located in the Plaza de los Venerables, in the center of the Barrio de Santa Cruz and close to the Murillo Gardens, the Seville Cathedral and Alcázar.

The hospital was founded by Canon Justino de Neve in 1675, to be the residence of the venerable priests. In 1840, the hospital became a textile factory, and the former residents were moved to the Charity Hospital. Complaints from the brotherhood led to a Royal Order in 1848, which returned their property and allowed the priests to return to their old home. The Plaza de los Venerables has been named after the priests since 1868.

The building is in the Baroque style with two floors. The hospital ceased to be a residence in the 1970s.


The hospital has a Seville courtyard with a stepped central fountain with circular steps that are decorated with tiles. Around the courtyard are galleries with Tuscan arches on marble columns with ática bases. The fountain was designed by Bernardo Simón de Pineda es and built by Francisco Rodríguez, the tiles on the fountain were made by Melchor Moreno.

On the east side of the courtyard was the infirmary. It is a rectangular hall with central arches, the arches are decorated with symbols that relate to the invocation of the Hospital of San Pedro. The stairway is covered by an elliptical vault that is decorated with Baroque plasterwork.

Upstairs there is another living area, identical to the one on the ground floor, which connects to the church choir. The library is also on the upper floor. In the southeast corner is the top lookout tower which is decorated in Mudejar style. The building facade is white lime contrasting with red brick pilasters, architraves, and cornices.


The church has a single nave covered by a barrel vault with lunettes and arches. The nave is decorated with mural frescos by Valdes Leal: frescos in the chancel represent the invention of the Holy Cross; on the right side of the presbytery is represented San Fernando delivering the mosque to the Archbishop; on the left side is shown San Fernando before the Virgin of Antigua. The reliquary urns are copper and Flemish in origin. Marble paintings of the Immaculate Virgin and Child were made by Sassoferrato. The paintings that cover the vault and the walls were made by Lucas de Valdés, son of Leal.

Velázquez Centre

The Velázquez Centre is an exhibition center that began in July 2007 with the acquisition, by the Focus Foundation, of a painting of Santa Rufina that is attributed to Diego Velázquez and valued at 12.4 million euros. Some of the hospital rooms have been renovated to exhibit the Santa Rufina and others in the permanent collection. There are about a dozen works of art including the Imposición de la casulla a San Ildefonso by Velázquez and the Portrait of Martínez Montañés (1616) by Francisco Varela, both owned by the City of Seville. The Focus-Abengoa Foundation has provided another canvas attributed to Velázquez, an Immaculate Conception from the early seventeenth century. Other artists represented are Francisco Pacheco, Murillo and Bartolomeo Cavarozzi.

This text is based on a Wikipedia article written by contributors under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

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  Pl. Venerables, 8, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
 +34 954 56 45 95
Opening hours
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
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