Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

Church of San Luis de los Franceses

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This emblematic building has been owned by the Seville Provincial Council since the 19th century after a process of confiscation. The complex was built between 1699 and 1731 and is one of the best preserved examples of Baroque in Seville.

The architect was Leonardo de Figueroa and the project was supervised by a select group of Jesuit intellectuals. It stands out for its high symbolic content and for the combination of elements from the European Baroque and traditional local forms.

After the definitive expulsion of the Jesuits in 1835 it became a seminary, a Franciscan convent, a venerable hospital, a factory in the 19th century, a hospice and at the beginning of the 20th century, already desacralised, a stage for performances such as Don Juan Tenorio.

The purpose of the Jesuits with this church was to show the young novices and visitors to the temple the power of the Society of Jesus. Therefore, the altarpieces show the greatness of the Jesuit saints and the achievements of the order. The domestic chapel was conceived as a private chapel for the students of the novitiate and for more than 300 years entry has been forbidden to visitors.

It was among the few churches that did not burn down in the Civil War, being next to the centre of the resistance in Seville during the occupation of Queipo de Llano. In the 1920s, a lightning strike penetrated the vault of the choir and destroyed an oil painting on the door of the church. The crypt was used for years as a real cemetery.

After the restoration carried out in the last lustrums, the Church, the domestic chapel and the crypt have been opened to the public for the enjoyment of all Sevillians, as well as all tourists.

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