Monasterio de Santa Paula Overview

Located in the heart of the San Julián neighborhood, the Monasterio de Santa Paula is a cloistered monastery that boasts a rich heritage of culture and art. This was also the first monastery in Seville that received the designation of a historic monument. It has been under the occupation of cloistered nuns for over five hundred years and today it holds an active place in the community.

The Monasterio de Santa Paula, founded by Doña Ana de Santillana in 1473 for nuns of the cloistered Order of Saint Jerome comprises a church and a cloister. Among the first monasteries in the city to receive the designation of a historic monument, the edifice is a popular tourist attraction. The convent opened its doors to visitors after being converted into a museum.

It houses a permanent art collection, and is also well known among the local community for the delicious candies, marmalades, and madeleine cakes handmade by the nuns here that are then sold at the site. The unique design of the Monasterio de Santa Paula, particularly the church within, is a seamless blend of Gothic and Mudéjar style with Renaissance elements.

As you witness the structure from the outside, it presents the appearance of a modest building with a brick doorway. Once you step inside, you will find yourself in an atrium facing the church. As you enter the church you will see one of its most significant features which is an early 16 th century brick-and-tile creation by sculptor Pedro Millán and Francisco Niculoso Pisano.

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• Step into the solemn atmosphere of this 15th century monastery that is also the first of its kind in Seville to become a historical monument
• Marvel at the imposing entryway to the church that is a beautiful combination of Gothic and Mudéjar style architecture with Renaissance elements
• Witness one of the most elegant belfries in the city with its slender structure comprising two levels and four bells
• Admire the richly decorated Gothic-Mudejar ribbed ceiling and the stained glass windows decorated with plasterwork and paintings
• Pick some of the delectable marmalades, candies, and madeleine cakes made and sold by the nuns’ confectionery here

How To Reach

By Bus: you can either take the bus line M-165 or M-168 as they follow routes that pass near Calle Monasterio de Santa Paula. The nearest bus stop where you should disembark is in Espartinas which is only a 4 minutes’ walk away.

By Train: You can avail the C5 train line and get off at the nearest station which is Urb El Loreto V that is only 282 meters away from your destination and takes about 4 minutes to cover on foot.

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the monastery is in the early hours of the morning. The gates of the Monasterio de Santa Paula open early for visitors and continue until mid-afternoon. Visiting early not only helps you avoid big crowds and large tour groups but also lets you explore the place while the weather is relatively cooler.

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Other Essential Information

Tips To Visit Monasterio de Santa Paula

  1. Wear clothes that covers your knees and shoulders as this place has a religious significance
  2. Visit early to explore the monastery in relative quiet and soak in the peaceful atmosphere of the place
  3. Pick a few bottles of the delicious jams and marmalades made and sold by the nuns here to take back home with you

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Day Wise Timings
Open Today
Normal Timings:
05:00 PM to 06:45 PM
Normal Timings:
05:00 PM to 06:45 PM
Normal Timings:
05:00 PM to 06:45 PM
Normal Timings:
05:00 PM to 06:45 PM
Normal Timings:
05:00 PM to 06:45 PM
Normal Timings:
05:00 PM to 06:45 PM
Normal Timings:
05:00 PM to 06:45 PM
Point of Interest for Monasterio de Santa Paula
The façade

The façade

The exterior of the church is one of the monument’s most attractive and well preserved features that dates back to the year 1504. Created using a combination of Gothic and Mudejar styles, with innumerable references to Renaissance elements, this is a significant aspect of the monument. It is the creation of famous sculptor Pedro Millán in collaboration with the Italian potter Francisco Niculoso Pisano. The church also features high and low choirs at the foot of the nave, a presbytery covered with Gothic ribs, nave covered with a wooden coffered ceiling with distinct Mudejar elements.

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The Chapel

The Chapel

You will come across the Chapel in the atrium as soon as you step through the entrance of the Monasterio de Santa Paula. The entire church has been opulently adorned in keeping with other popular historical monuments of Spain, and features large art pieces on the side walls. It also boasts mural paintings and iconography that add to the supreme beauty of the structure.

One of the main altarpieces is a sculpture of Santa Paula that was made by José Fernando de Medinilla in 1730. Other important aspects include the Tombs of the Marquises of Montemayor, covered with basin tiles located on the sides of the presbytery. You can also see the tomb of Doña Isabel Enríquez and her brother on the left wall and the altarpiece of San Juan Bautista on the right.

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The Museum

The Museum

There is also a popular museum in the convent which is one of the primary reasons behind the doors of this cloistered space opening up to visitors. You can access this area through a small patio going up a staircase that directly leads into one of the rooms of the museum. The room houses a good collection of permanent artwork which include paintings depicting various saints, as well as sculptures and old books. Some of the most notable paintings include those from the 16th to the 18th centuries of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Holy Family from the Murillo school, the scourging of Saint Jerome from the 17th century, and the Ecce Homo and Calvary.

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The Cloisters

The Cloisters

The two cloisters are situated in the closure area, amongst which the larger main cloister was made by Diego López Bueno in the 17th century. The other smaller one of the cloisters is called the “small patio”. They are connected with each other with an arcade with big columns and arches. The area also comprises auxiliary spaces of lesser architectural importance such as laundry rooms, warehouses, and such others.

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