Hospital de los Venerables (Sevilla)

( Hospital de los Venerables )

The Hospital de los Venerables (officially the Hospital de Venerables Sacerdotes, Hospital of Venerable Priests, popularly known as the Hospital of the Venerable) of Seville, Spain, is a baroque 17th-century building which served as a residence for priests. It currently houses the Velázquez Center, dedicated to the famous painter Diego Velázquez. It is located in the Plaza de los Venerables, in the center of the Barrio de Santa Cruz and close to the Murillo Gardens, the Seville Cathedral and Alcázar.

In 1627, the Brotherhood of Silence (Sevilla) decided to provide for elderly, poor and disabled priests. They rented a house where the priests were given shelter and assistance. In 1673, the brotherhood decided to build a new shelter for the same purpose; this was the Hospital de los Venerables.

The hospital was founded by Canon Justino de Neve [es] in 1675, to be the residence of the venerable priests. Construction began that year, under the direction of the architect Juan Domínguez. In 1687, the project was taken over by the architect Leonardo de Figueroa who completed the building in 1697. The church was built in 1689, and is dedicated to San Fernando. The hospital was funded by the brotherhood, charity and the monarchy until 1805 when it could no longer be adequately supported.

In 1840, the hospital became a textile factory, and the former residents were moved to the Charity Hospital. Complaints from the brotherhood led to a Royal Order in 1848, which returned their property and allowed the priests to return to their old home. The Plaza de los Venerables has been named after the priests since 1868.

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Bobo Boom - CC BY 2.0
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