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Seville, Spain

Hospital de los Venerables

This former charity hospital for elderly clergy houses some of Seville’s most treasured paintings.  

Tucked away in Seville’s labyrinthine Barrio Santa Cruz, this quiet and peaceful villa is now a museum housing a small but exquisite collection of oil paintings by Diego Velasquez, Francisco Varela, and other painters of the Spanish Golden Age.

Since 1991, the hospital has been the home of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, which had spent four years restoring the building. It was inaugurated by Queen Sofia and marked with an exhibition honoring Sevillian painters of the Golden Age.

The hospital’s Velázquez Center, dedicated to the famous painter Diego Velázquez, features only about 12 works of art in its permanent collection. The paintings are carefully guarded in a small and hushed room on the ground floor.

Justino de Neve, who was priest of the nearby Seville Cathedral, founded the hospital in 1675. He’s now buried in the chapel, which boasts an incredible carved altarpiece, ceiling frescoes, wall inset reliquaries, and a back gallery of ornamental objects. 

The hospital housed priests until 1840, when the threat of bankruptcy forced the brotherhood to offer the building to a textile manufacturer. The priests were transferred to a chamber at the Hospital de la Caridad. In 1848, a royal order returned the hospital to the brotherhood, which owns it to this day.

Know Before You Go

This place is in the center of Barrio Santa Cruz. Hours are limited.