Basílica de la Macarena

Basílica de la Macarena (28)

The Basílica de la Macarena was built in 1949 in accordance with a plan drafted by architect Aurelio Gómez Millán. Initially the purpose of the building was to house the image of the Virgin of the Esperanza Macarena, which until then had been in the parish of San Gil, where it was saved from a fire in 1936.

The church has a single nave and four side chapels. The main altarpiece was created in neo-baroque style in the workshop of Juan Pérez Calvo, carved by Rafael Fernández, gilded by Antonio Sánchez, with religious imagery by Ortega Bru. 

Over the altarpiece, among a cascade of silver and gold, you will see the celebrated image of the Virgin who, although we don’t precisely know the artist, is believed to be the work of Luisa Roldán, alias “La Roldana.” This is due to the fact that, as they say, only a woman could have crafted such beautiful features.

It is home to the Brotherhood of la Macarena, one of the largest, and the image of the Macarena is carried in procession through the streets of Seville at dawn on Good Friday, accompanied by the penitent, tracing the path between this Basilica and the Cathedral. “¡Guapa! y ¡guapa!” is the traditional cheer. The Virgin of the Macarena is one of the most venerated and beloved. You’ve undoubtedly seen the image in which hundreds of the faithful gather here at dawn to watch it move and be raised towards the sky, passing beneath its arch, which was one of the doors of the Almohade wall.

The other float that this brotherhood takes out in procession is “El Cristo de la Sentencia”, a work by Felipe Morales Nieto from 1654. It represents the moment when Pilate washes his hands and condemns Jesus to death. Christ can be found in the chapel of the eastern wall, created by Juan Pérez Calvo, and the sculptures that accompany him were created by Ortega Bru.

In one of the chapels you will find "La Virgen del Pilar" flanked on either side by images of weeping angels. In another is the beautiful “Virgen del Rosario,” by Pedro Duque Cornejo. And at the foot of the temple is the chapel of "Stmo. Cristo de la Salvación" an image of the crucifixion, by Ortega Bru. 

The choir, with its neo-baroque altarpiece, was created by Juan Pérez Calvo in 1949, accompanied by sculptures by Luis Ortega Bru. In the centre is a shrine created by silversmith, Fernando Marmolejo.

We recommend a visit to the Basilica’s museum, where you will find opulent processional robes, as well as the jewels of the Virgin and various items of clothing that, in a sign of thanks and devotion, have been given as gifts, for example, by important bullfighters. 

And if the Macarena is the great queen of Seville, you have to go to the Plaza San Lorenzo to discover its king, considered so due to the great devotion that Sevillians profess for it.

In the Basilica of Gran Poder, you’ll find "Jesús del Gran Poder" which is considered the very height of Sevillian baroque imagery, created by Juan de Mesa in 1620. This cedar-carved figure stands 1.81 metres high and represents Jesus with the Cross on his back, trudging to Calvary. His features are stunning, with visible signs of suffering. The Brotherhood of Gran Poder, one of the largest in Seville, carries it on their shoulders at dawn on Good Friday.

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