The Baroque movement coincided with the beginning of the decadence of the Spanish empire.
Seventeenth-century Seville saw the decadence of trade with the Americas, plague epidemics, poverty and begging. The situation led to the strong surge in religious feeling, the driving force behind this typically Sevillian art. Masterpieces of Sevillian Baroque are the small Church of Santa María la Blanca and the magnificent El Salvador Church and the Magdalena Church, all of which are exceptional examples of the style, where we will be amazed by the works of renowned artists such as Juan de Mesa and Martínez Montañés or the genius of Murillo.
At that time, straight narrow streets were laid out and architects abandoned modest facades in favour of buildings with a more monumental appearance. Before the town palaces and the churches appeared plazas which were ideal as market places or for fiestas. The city wall, with almost 200 towers and a dozen gates, was built to protect the city from flooding and from the plague.
The flagship of Spanish Baroque
Located in a neighbourhood surrounded by Mudejar churches, San Luis is, though it may appear a paradox, one of the most important Baroque churches in Europe. San Luis, which was to be a Jesuit novitiate, was finished in 1731 in the old Calle Real, by which the king and queen entered Seville. It is a perfect work of art, with all of the elements blending to produce a single effect.
Santa María la Blanca
The Hebraic past of Andalusia
A mosque, a synagogue on land assigned to the Jews by King Alfonso X and a Gothic-Mudejar Christian church after the attack on the Jews in the pogrom of 1391. One of the high points of Andalusian Baroque art with a spectacular ornamental display created to celebrate the Papal Brief on the Immaculate Conception, it suffered in the sacking of the city during the Napoleonic invasion.