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Convent of Santa Paula
Calle Santa Paula, 11
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10:30 to 13:00H.
One of the hidden gems of Seville is the Convent of Santa Paula. The convent is the home of Jeronimas nuns (followers of St. Jerome). Today there are 32 cloistered nuns who live in the convent and live by selling convent sweets. The convent was founded by Doña Ana de Santillan in 1473. The building has a 16th century main doorway with Plateresque decoration. There is a chapel with one nave with a ceiling that dates to 1623 and a Baroque altarpiece from 1730.
The museum is the surprise of the visit. Madre Maria Bernarda is the nun in charge of showing the museum. She is a very friendly nun and will explain and show the art objects in the museum. In the old Spain, it was the custom for parents to donate art objects to the convents when their daughter became a nun. This dowry has accumulated over five centuries and now the museum is the home of many pieces of art, some surprisingly beautiful. The most important piece of art is the sculpture of La Dolorosa, showing the Virgin Mary in grief after the death of Christ. Pedro de Mena was the sculptor of this piece. He was one of the most important sculptors in Spain in the 17th century and he became famous for creating the choir stalls and chairs in the Cathedral of Malaga.
Near the entrance to the convent is a room where the nuns sell their sweets.
This is the entrance to the chapel.
The main altarpiece in the chapel.
Pedro de Mena's "La Dolorosa"
The Christ Child