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Santa Cruz Neighborhood

Santa Cruz Neighborhood (9)

You’re in one of the most important neighbourhoods in Seville. So the best thing to do is to take your time walking around in order to enjoy the whitewashed houses, their courtyards filled with flowers, the narrow winding streets, and, in particular, the neighbourhood’s legends and memories. The fact is that Santa Cruz is one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods in the Andalusian capital, and it charms visitors with its beauty.

The district began as a home to the old Sevillian Jewish community, after King Ferdinand III conquered the city and the most important Jewish community in Spain gathered in Seville. What you’ll find here is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways, built to let currents of fresh air flow to escape from the blazing heat of the Sevillian summer sun.

We recommend entering the neighbourhood on Callejón de los suspiros and walking along Calle de la Judería until you arrive at the site known as Las Cadenas. These chains were put up to prevent carriages from passing, and the local saying is that if you cross over them, you’ll never marry. 

Continuing on, you’ll come to the Callejón del Agua, so called because of the water that runs over the fortress wall. You’ll find numerous courtyards covered with flowers and plants along this lane, and interestingly the writer Washington Irving once lived at number 2 on this street. 

Further along you’ll come to the Plaza de Doña Elvira, home to a famous outdoor comedy theatre, which is where characters such as Lope de Rueda got their start. Nearby is the Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes, founded in 1675 by Justino de Neve. This is a 17th century residence where you’ll find a splendidly restored baroque church. Among the gems of the church are works by Valdés Leal, Alonso Cano, Pedro Roldán and even two bronze statues by Rubens. 

Later in the day, if you walk towards Calle Santa Teresa, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Casa Museo de Murillo, the last home of the painter who died after falling from his scaffolding while working on one of his paintings. Right in front of that is the Convento de San José, also known as “Las Teresas,” because of the Carmelites here. Inside you can look at some of Saint Teresa of Avila’s relics.

Be sure to head over to the Plaza de los Refinadores, where there’s a bronze statue of Don Juan, a character made famous thanks to the well-known Mozart opera. And stop off later at the Plaza de Santa Cruz [Holy Cross Square] and have a look at the forged iron cross in the centre, made in 1692 by Sebastián Conde. This plaza gave then neighbourhood its name. 

But keep in mind that this district is known for so much more than the few things mentioned here. It is also full of shops and fantastic bars and restaurants, especially on Calle Mateos Gago. So be sure to stop at any of these eateries and try some of their delicious speciality tapas.  

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