The full name of this enclosure that served as a residence for priests is the Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes.
It is a baroque building from the 17th century that is not the best known in the city but it is one of those magical places that you will love in Seville.
It is currently the headquarters of the Velázquez Center, dedicated to the brilliant Sevillian painter, author of Las Meninas and many other masterpieces of Spanish painting.
History of Hospital de los Venerables
The Hospital de los Venerables was founded by the Brotherhood of El Silencio to give shelter to elderly or sick priests.
Initially, from 1627, the Brotherhood rented a house in Seville to house these priests until this Hospital founded by Justino de Neve was built in 1675.
For many years the building fulfilled its mission by welcoming hundreds of priests thanks to alms, contributions and the Brotherhood’s own funds until it was unable to continue its function for economic reasons.
In this way, in 1840 it became a textile factory and the priests had to be transferred. It is currently the headquarters of the Velázquez Center and in it we can see a dozen paintings by this painter, among others.
The Visit to the Hospital de los Venerables
Actually the most impressive part of the Hospital de los Venerables is the interior, since the exterior barely attracts attention.
It is one of the best preserved baroque buildings in Seville and the complex can be divided into two parts, the residence itself and the Church.
In addition, in the center there is a beautiful courtyard halfway between a monastery cloister and a beautiful Sevillian courtyard. This patio is the main point of interest of the Hospital de los Venerables and it is essential to visit it.
Around the two floors of this courtyard are various rooms. The two floors are joined by a beautiful staircase where the baroque vault and its paintings stand out.
The Church, with a single nave, stands out for its paintings and its main altarpiece and is also a place that you should not miss. The choir, the sacristy and the main facade of the Church are also very interesting.
The Velázquez Center is also an important place to see. It consists of a permanent exhibition with works by Velázquez, Murillo or Zurbarán and various temporary exhibitions are held periodically.
The main painting in the exhibition is Santa Rufina, the first to be acquired and around which most of the exhibitions revolve.
You can find more information on the Hospital de los Venerables page.