This 18th century Catholic church, located in the Plaza del Salvador, is one of the largest churches in the city after the cathedral. An example of Andalusian Baroque, it was declared a site of cultural interest in 1985, where you can find Roman and Visigoth remains. A former mosque transformed into a cathedral that is a meeting place for Sevillians, who wouldn’t want to visit this relic with so many centuries of history?
The building was built on the remains of a Roman mosque, Ibn Adabbas, from the 9th century. At the time, it was the largest mosque in the city and the most important monument in the city, until the Almohads built the Great Mosque.
When the Christians conquered Seville, they continued to allow it to be used as a mosque.
However, in 1340 it was converted into the Church of the Salvador. The orientation of the church was changed and a high altar, a chapel and a choir were added. Between the 16th and 19th century it was considered one of the most important temples of sacred music.
In 1671, the temple was very deteriorated, losing its religious use, causing it to be demolished. It was not until 1674 when the reconstruction began by the architect Francisco Gómez Septién, succeeded by Leonardo de Figueroa. The façades were designed by the architect of Granada Cathedral, José Granados de la Barrera. The reconstruction was completed in 1712.
It was restored again in 2003 by Fernando Mendoza Castells, and was completed in 2008. It was inaugurated by King Juan Carlos I on 22 October 2008.
The Church of the Salvador, in Baroque style and rectangular in plan, is structured into three naves of the same height and several chapels at the top. The supports are quadrangular pillars with columns supporting vaults at a great height. The dome is a drum dome with an octagonal floor plan.
It preserves the old mosque, a part of the prayer courtyard, the courtyard of the Orange Trees.
The altarpieces are Baroque from the 18th century, among the most outstanding ones, we find:
- High Altarpiece. Work of Cayetano de Acosta, made in 1770, which represents in the centre the Transfiguration of the Lord. Around the scene are the Archangels, a pair of angels and the image of the Immaculate Conception.
- Altarpiece of the Christ of the Afflicted. This work was made by Gaspar Gines in 1635. In the centre is the image of Christ of the Afflicted, accompanied by the Coronation of the Virgin and the relief of the Holy Trinity. Above all, there is Saint Michael.
- Altarpiece of San Fernando. Made in 1760 by José Díaz, with images by Antonio de Quirós.
- Altarpiece of the Virgen de las Aguas. Gilded altarpiece by José Maestre made in 1727. It contains the Virgin of the Waters, together with Saint Ferdinand.
- Altarpiece of the Sacramental Chapel. Rococo style, made in 1764, which contains the image of Jesus of the Passion.
- Altarpiece of the Virgen del Rocío. Made in 1740, with the image of the Virgen del Rocío.
Behind the main altarpiece there is a museum, where 17th century paintings and other artistic objects are exhibited.
Brotherhoods and devotions
This church is one of the main venues for brotherhoods in Seville, among them we can find:
- Hermandad de la Sagrada Entrada en Jerusalén, anonymous, Cristo del Amor, the work of Juan de Mesa and Nuestra Señora del Socorro, attributed to Gabriel de Astorga. It goes out on Palm Sunday.
- Sacramental Archconfraternity of the Passion. Its titular figures are Jesús de la Pasión, by Martínez Montañés and the Virgen de la Merced, the work of Sebastián Santos. Maundy Thursday.
- Brotherhood of Our Lady of El Rocío. Image of the Virgen del Rocío, by XX.
- Brotherhood of Nuestra Señora de la Antigua. The Virgen de la Antigua and a sculpture by Antonio de Padua.
This imposing building, one of the most important in Seville at present, contains a number of curiosities, making it much more interesting when touring the city.
- Origin. The origin of the church, as we have already mentioned, was not Christian as is commonly believed. It was built by the Muslims as a mosque in the 9th century. It was not until the Christians arrived that it was transformed into the church of today.
- More than 400 bodies have been found under the oldest part of the temple due to all the remodelling. This is because the Plaza del Salvador, where it is located, was formerly used as a cemetery and the Hospital of San Juan de Dios was located in the square.
- Carlos de Borbón and his family, the granddaughter of Fernando VI and the grandmother of Juan Carlos I are buried in the crypts.
- It has been the setting for several films, such as “Nobody Knows Anybody” from 1999, starring Eduardo Noriega and Alejandro Amenábar.
Opening Times and Prices
The Church of the Salvador has been closed to cultural visits due to the current situation since 3 November. It is open exclusively for worship and prayer.
Mass timetable: Monday to Saturday: 20:00h. Sundays: 12:30h. and 20:00h.
Secretarial hours: Monday to Friday: 19:00 – 21:00 h.
Normally it had a schedule of cultural visits from Monday to Saturday from 11:00 to 17:30, and Sundays from 15:00 to 19:00. In summer it has special opening hours from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:30. On Sundays it is open as in winter from 15:00 to 19:00.
General Price: 4€, including free audioguide with the cathedral ticket.
Combined ticket Cathedral + Salvador: 10€
Free for people born or resident in the province of Seville, disabled, unemployed and under 14 years old.
How to get there
Address: Plaza del Salvador s/n
As it is located in the centre of Seville, in a pedestrian area, it is advisable to walk. Otherwise, there are several ways to get there if you are in the outskirts of the city.
Own or rented car. The church does not have its own car park, as it is located in a pedestrian area. There is a public car park in the old quarter, at Calle Albareda, 18.
Buses. There are several bus lines with stops near the church, including 0, 11, 12, 27, 24 and 32. The nearest stop is at Plaza Ponce de León, all the above lines pass through it. The bus timetable is from 7am to 1am.
Metro. There is a line that ends its project very close to the Church, in Plaza Nueva, the T1 line, which has been running since 7am, ending at 12:30pm.