Visit the Barrio de Santa Cruz neighbourhood in 2023 ❤️✡️️ Guided tours

✡️️ The Neighbourhood of Santa Cruz

The Barrio de Santa Cruz in Seville is the heart of historic Seville with its monuments, the narrow streets of the Jewish quarter, its squares dotted with orange trees and many charming places to have tapas or shop. Let’s explore the most interesting parts.

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This charming and picturesque area is located in the historic center of Seville and is known for its narrow streets, colorful buildings, and lively atmosphere.

The neighborhood of Santa Cruz, one of the most beautiful historic urban spaces in Spain

💎 Basics of the Barrio de Santa Cruz

Charming plans and recommendations if you visit this neighbourhood.

  1. 🙋 Tailor-made visits, info: email or  Whatsapp
  2. 📷 Free tour Santa Cruz
  3. 💃 Flamenco Museum
  4. 🛎️ Hotel Deals
  5. 🙋 Guided tours
  6. 🐴 Horse-drawn carriage ride
  7. 📷 Alcazar + Cathedral Tour
  8. 🌙 Night visit
  9. 🙂 More activities in Seville

Visitors must wander about in the Barrio de Santa Cruz if they want to capture the essence of the most authentic Seville with its flower-filled courtyards, the winding streets lined with ancestral houses and where it is rumoured that the literary love between Don Juan Tenorio and Doña Inés was forged.

Such is the magnetism that the Barrio de Santa Cruz gives off that even the American writer Washington Irving (1783-1859) stayed in the area and probably later headed to Granada to write his Tales of the Alhambra.

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Brief history

Well, as we said, in this area the Jewish quarter of Seville was established in this area, and later suffered their departure after the expulsion of the Jews in 1483, although some of them did not abandon the neighbourhood for good. However, by the end of the 19th century, Santa Cruz was languishing and only regained its splendour with the revamps undertaken as a result of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.

Visitors will therefore come across a network of narrow streets that rewards walkers with one of the best views of the Giralda and picturesque corners to take Instagram by storm.

It was not in vain that such a virtuoso of the pen as Tirso de Molina (1579-1648) embraced the charms of the place, as he chose Santa Cruz as the setting for the love affairs of his Don Juan. Of course, our traveller will feel like a Doña Inés wooed by the charms of this neighbourhood.

The round marks on some facades formed by millstones that sixteenth-century builders reused to reinforce and protect the walls of the buildings at the height of the carriage axles in order to prevent damage to the buildings are characteristic.

Recommended itinerary in the neighbourhood of Santa Cruz

The area is a hive of monuments, streets and beautiful squares. In this Guide, we will stick to a few examples. It is up to the traveller’s feet to make sure that no step is left untrodden.

Recommended route: We start in the Plaza de los Reyes.

We start the route at the foot of the Cathedral and the Giralda. We look at the Cathedral and see the Puerta de Palos, separated from the street by a fence. It is from the fifteenth century and is decorated with a relief in its tympanum on the Adoration of the Magi, the work of Miguel Perrín. It is regularly used for worship and processions, especially during Holy Week. 

On the right, we see the Archbishop’s Palace, the official residence of the titular archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seville, a building dating from the 16th century, with a magnificent 18th-century Baroque façade. Inside, there is a magnificent collection of paintings and sculptures of the Sevillian Baroque, the third art gallery of the city with works by great painters including Pacheco, Zurbarán, Murillo, etc. This building cannot be visited. We turn our back to the Cathedral, facing Calle Mateos Gago, but before walking along it, on the right there is a small, almost hidden passage that leads to the …..

Placita de Santa Marta. Located behind the Convent of the Incarnation. It is accessed by a narrow alley. Its name comes from the old Hospital de Santa Marta founded in the fourteenth century and later converted into the current convent. It is presided over by a stone cross, the faces of which depict the Crucified Christ and the Pietà. The beautiful little square is decorated with orange trees and it is remembered that the famous canon of the cathedral Mateo Vázquez de Leca and Father José Torres Padilla, co-founder of the order of the Sisters of the Cross, together with Santa Ángela de la Cruz, in whose house he wrote his rule, died there. The poly-lobed arches of the original Mosque of the Bears, which predated the hospital, are preserved at the entrance to the little square.

Calle Mateos Gago.An important artery of the neighbourhood with views of the Cathedral and the Giralda. Here we can see countless bars and restaurants, including the Bodega Santa Cruz or Las Columnas, on the corner of Calle Rodrigo Caro, and the Bar Giralda with the Arab Baths, an Almohad Hamman, inside.

From Mateos Gago Street

On this street there are old palatial homes, such as the Casa Palacio de Salinas, which can be visited and is included in the Route of the Palace Houses of Seville, and on the nearby Calle Abades you will see the Palace of the Pinelo, home to the Academies of Medicine and Belles Lettres. Continuing talong Mateos Gago you will see the Parish of Santa Cruz and at the end of the street, Casa Fabiola, home to the Bellver collection, a museum of Andalusian art of Genre style. We retrace our steps a little and at the Bodega de las Columnas, take Calle Mesón del Moro and the narrow Calle Ximénez Enciso, from which Calle Santa Teresa, which we will visit later, starts on the right.

Calle Ximénez Enciso

Continuing along Ximénez Enciso, we turn right into Calle Cruces, to find a small square with three columns topped by wrought iron crosses representing Calvary.

From this square, take the narrow Calle Mariscal to access the Plaza de los Refinadores, next to the Murillo gardens. Its name comes from the area’s leather refiners. Beautifully decorated, it is presided over by a statue of Don Juan Tenorio.

Monument to Don Juan Tenorio

Taking the narrow Calle Mezquita, we will come to another square:

Plaza de Santa Cruz

Landscaped, presided over by a cross of ironwork and surrounded by gardens, commemorating the Exaltation of the Cross. It was moved from Calle Sierpes, its original site.

This was the site of the original parish church of Santa Cruz, which was demolished by the French during the occupation, and under the slabs of the church lay the remains of Murillo, the excellent 17th-century painter. Now there is only a commemorative plaque that serves as a tombstone.

Highlights include a typical Sevillian house with courtyard at number 9, the regionalist building of the French Consulate at number 1, and the Tablao Flamenco de los Gallos. This square has access from Calle Nicolás Antonio to the Jardines de Murillo gardens with the remains of the Alcazar wall.

From this Plaza, we can approach Calle Santa Teresa to see the Casa de Murillo and the Convent of San José del Carmen Las Teresitas.

Very close to the Plaza de Santa Cruz, we come to the next square:

Plaza de Alfaro. Presided over by a beautiful Rosina’s Balcony, it is supposed to have been one of the stages on which Beaumarchais developed and Rossini set to music the famous comic opera ‘The Barber of Seville’.
The Reja del Diablo, a wrought iron window in house number 1, is a jewel of craftsmanship. Here you will find the Artesanía Alfaro shop. It is said that the Sevillian painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, who was buried in the nearby Plaza de Santa Cruz, died in a house in this square.

From Plaza de Alfaro take Calle Lope de Rueda where the Casa Palacio de la Marquesa de Pickman is located, with a Renaissance façade of great architectural quality from a palace in the city of Úbeda.

After passing through the Rincón de Murillo, with its typical bar, continue along Calle Reinoso and Jamerdana to access the Plaza de los Venerables.

Plaza de los Venerables. Very touristy, it is presided over by the Hospital de los Venerables with its church and museum, inside which there are works by the great painters and sculptors of the Sevillian Baroque. The typical Hostería del Laurel, which appears in the famous play of Don Juan Tenorio, is in this square.

On nearby Calle Jamerdana, a plaque commemorates the birthplace of a Hidalgo whose legend was captured in the play Tenorio by José Zorrilla.

Head back along Calle Jamerdana, where a plaque recalls the Sevillian José María Blanco White, continue through the Andreu passage and the narrow Calle Rodrigo Caro to reach …

Plaza de la Alianza. Located next to the walls of the Alcázar, which continue along Calle Rodrigo Caro and Calle Joaquín Romero Murube. It is a beautiful corner.

Square presided over by a fountain paved with cobblestones and boulders, adorned with abundant vegetation, and decorated with a tile of the Christ of Mercy from the nearby church of Santa Cruz.

Among its typical houses was the studio of the American bullfighter John Fulton, a plaque commemorates him.

Continue along Calle Rodrigo Caro towards….

Plaza de Doña Elvira Square.  A typical Andalusian square landscaped with orange trees, with ceramic benches and lined with Sevillian houses. Ideal for sitting and resting.

In the square, we can see a plaque where the house of the Comendador de Calatrava Don Gonzalo de Ulloa, father of Doña Inés, the protagonist of the play Tenorio, was located.

Calle del Agua. Leave this square and walk through the very typical Calles Vida, Susona or Pimienta. In the latter lived historical figures such as Doña María Guerrero, the great theatre actress of the twentieth century; José Sebastián Bandarán, who stood out as a canon of the Cathedral of Seville; and the film Currito de la Cruz, the most famous film about bullfighting, would be shot there. These streets lead to the beautiful Calle del Agua, which follows a wall of the Alcázar, where water was supplied to the palace.

It has houses with large Sevillian courtyards, such as the Corral del Agua Restaurant, and the Artesanía de Abanicos Ventura fan shop.

In a tavern on this street, Carmen meets Don José and Escamillo, an episode from the opera Carmen, which is commemorated on a plaque.
On its wall, a plaque commemorates the romantic writer Washington Irving.

Calle Judería. Heading south, we will arrive at the typical Calle Judería (Jewish quarter street) next to the walls of the Alcázar, with its fountain and a plaque dedicated to the poet Luis Cernuda.

We pass through a gate through which some Jewish families managed to leave the city during the Christian persecution in the 14th century. This is why the gate and the surrounding street are called Vida (life). Following the street, after passing under a tower and several houses, where a plaque commemorates the flight of Carmen, the protagonist of the opera of the same name, we arrive at the Alcázar’s Patio de Banderas.

  Patio de Banderas.  Its name is related to the flags that were painted on the door of the wall that gives access from the Plaza del Triunfo. Inside this door, we can see a seventeenth-century altarpiece presided over by the Immaculate Conception with San Joaquín and Santa Ana, San Pedro, San Fernando and in the upper part San José. It was the place used for those arriving on horseback, as it was the site of the Apeadero del Alcázar, which is notable for its 17th-century Mannerist façade. It was here that Felipe V established the Royal Armoury.

Patio Banderas, after leaving the Alcázar

Old Jewish Quarter

Also called Barrio de San Bartolomé, it is a network of winding streets, less touristy, but perhaps more authentic than the previous neighbourhood. It is separated from Santa Cruz by Calles Santa María la Blanca and San José, with the square and convent of the Mercedarias and the Parroquía de San Bartolomé, with its slender bell tower, standing out within it.

There are several palaces in the neighbourhood: in Calle Verde, the palatial home of the Padilla family, today the Hotel Casas de la Judería, and the palatial home of Miguel de Mañara, in Calle Levies, today the headquarters of the Andalusian Regional Government’s Department of Culture.

In Calle San José, it is worth visiting the Church of San Nicolás, the seat of the Brotherhood of Candelaria, which processions on Holy Wednesday and in Calle Santa María la Blanca, the 17th-century church of the same name, built on an old synagogue, and located next to the Palace of Altamira, headquarters of the Andalusian Regional Government’s Department of Culture. See guided tours in the Church of Santa María la Blanca.

The Church of Santa María la Blanca in Seville

The Church of Santa María la Blanca in Seville

Jardines de Murillo

Leaving Calle Agua, you can access these lush gardens that surround the wall of the Alcázar and extend to the ring road.