Altarpiece inside the Church of San Luis de los Franceses of baroque architecture from the 18th century in the historic center of Seville, Andalusia, Spain.


Iglesia de San Luis de los Franceses

La Macarena & Alameda de Hércules

The finest example of baroque architecture in Seville, this imposing (and deconsecrated) 18th-century church is a former Jesuit novitiate dedicated to King Louis IX of France. Designed by Leonardo de Figueroa, its unusual circular interior harbours four extravagantly carved and gilded altarpieces inset with paintings (Louis’ image is topped by a huge crown), and a central cupola. You can also visit the chapel decorated with macabre reliquaries (saints’ bones) in glass boxes, and the crypt.

The church was closed for decades, and only reopened after a major refurbishment in 2017. Don’t miss the beautiful ceiling murals, which carry messages defending the Jesuits against criticisms – unsuccessfully, as they were expelled from Spain soon after the church was completed in 1731. The main cupola’s decoration – use the cleverly angled mirror to study it, saving your neck – has the theme of continuity of worship: the old is represented by the Jewish Ark of the Covenant and seven-branched candlestick, and the new by the angels.

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