We begin today’s Explorer post with a brief visit to Plaza Virgen de los Reyes, Virgen de los Reyes Square, which is the beautiful and iconic square located between the Cathedral and Barrio Santa Cruz. In its centre you can appreciate a gorgeous fountain constructed for the 1929 Ibero-American exhibition, defeated by an ornamental farola (street light), and surrounded by three of Seville most prominent historic buildings, the Cathedral (including the Giralda tower and the adjacent Patio de los Naranjos), the Archbishop’s Palace and the Convent of the Incarnation.
This iconic square is undoubtedly one of the city centre most visited attractions, as it provides a postcard view with the Giralda and Cathedral as a background, but today we would like to walk you to a little-hidden square which is just next to Virgen de los Reyes Square and constitutes a quiet Oasis in such a busy corner of Seville. The easiest way to locate the entering alleyway is by looking for the Pope John Paul II statue, and you will find it right behind.
Unknown even to many Sevillians, Santa Marta’s square is a haven of peace amid the hustle and bustle of Seville’s Old Town.A few orange trees, some bougainvilleas and gitanillas and the aroma of jasmine at night inhabit this hidden place of looks, a humble and modest timeless memory made of cobblestone and encircled by white walls, a peaceful corner for those tired, a hidden romantic spot… Reasonably, one of the most enchanting corners of Seville. The narrow alley of Santa Marta brings us to this little square that has no more exit than the same spot for which you enter. Walking through it feels like traveling into another time. The square takes its name and constitutes one of the few remaining remains of the old hospital of Santa Marta, founded in 1385.
Its center is presided by a stone cross on a pedestal that is surrounded by oranges and jasmines and was carried here from the old hospital of San Lázaro. The design is attributed to Hernan Ruiz II (the same architect who built the bell tower of the cathedral) and carved by Diego de Alcaraz In 1564. This small and centennial Cross was installed here on the occasion of the redevelopment of the Barrio de Santa Cruz in the early years of the twentieth century. On one of the cross sides there is a Piety carved, and a crucified Christ in the opposite.
From this little square you can appreciate impressive combinations of Seville’s Old Town highlights impossible to frame from any other angle.
Without any doubt, this is one of our favourite hidden places of Seville, a city which many visitors get to know the mainstream way, just following the main tourist path. Our private tours always ensure to provide a different view of the Andalusian capital.