#FAVMonument: Royal Dockyards & Hospital of the Charity

We begin with a new section: our favorite monument, which will be on the networks under the hashtag of #FAVMonumento. Every Tuesday of the month has a post with a two of our favorites. It is very difficult to choose, since it is a city as beautiful as Seville, it is not possible to have only one favorite. Let's start with the Royal Shipyards and the Hospital de la Caridad, very close to each other and both impressive.

The shipyards are, without doubt, one of my favorite monuments of Seville. Unfortunately, several years ago they remain closed, according to the administration, due to lack of funds and agreements. Very close to the river, although outside the walled city, today we find the Royal Shipyards between the streets Temprado and Dos de Mayo, in the Arenal neighborhood. The fact is that this jewel so hidden and that so few people know is one of the oldest and least valued buildings in Seville. It was built by Alfonso X "El Sabio" in 1252 as a military shipyard for the Crown of Castile, and was in operation until the fifteenth century. Abandoned today to its fate, at the time it served to build large galleys made with wood from the Sierra Norte de Sevilla. They were made by artisans who were very cheap in their labor in exchange for privileges and many slaves, almost all Muslim prisoners. In addition to building ships, the building was used to house public celebrations due to its large size, fish market, warehouse, customs and even "luxury" prison for the noble and wealthy. Primarily it consisted of 17 ships of Gothic-Mudejar style and more than 7000 m2, although when it was no longer in operation, during the seventeenth century, some of them were sold to Miguel Mañara to become part of the well-known Hospital of Santa Caridad . In the eighteenth century the building will transform its operation and will be converted into an Artillery park. From this time we can appreciate the entrance of the Temprado street where we read very large "Artillery Factory" closing it in 1970. After certain restorations in 1995 it would open again to host exhibitions and cultural life closing again in 2009. Despite that the Royal Shipyards of Seville are declared of Cultural Interest and cataloged as a National Monument since 1969 remain closed since then. Today the Sevillian who wants to see the dockyards has it difficult, and the only possibility is to look out of any of the windows that are usually open on the Temprado street. In 2014, the Junta de Andalucía approved a rehabilitation project financed by La Caixa, with an investment of more than 10 million Euros, with which the Atarazanas are supposed to reopen in 2017. As of today, it has not yet begun to work on them.

One of my favorite monuments in Seville is the Hospital de la Caridad, outside the typical tourist circuit Catedral-Alcázar-Plaza de España, it goes unnoticed by most visitors to the city, who ignore this authentic jewel of the Baroque. This is a unique place because of its state of conservation both materially and spiritually. Since the seventeenth century it has been functioning as a hospital and shelter for men without resources, and in its Church of San Jorge we can see a whole treatise of religiosity and baroque philosophy. The Brotherhood of Santa Caridad already had some dependencies and a church in the rough, still to be built, when Miguel Mañara, a very rich noble of the city, enters the list of brothers after the tremendous personal crisis that caused the early death of his dear wife, with whom he had no offspring, and will invest all his life and his fortune in the realization of this project. The brotherhood, at that time, had as its mission to give a dignified and Christian burial to the bodies of the drowned in the river, the poor who died in the streets, and the executed whose corpses were not claimed. Miguel Mañara extended the reach of charity to the living, providing shelter during the cold winter nights, a plate of hot food, blankets and humane treatment. His example inspired many noble and wealthy people to make donations and become part of the institution and with these donations he was able to expand the hospital's facilities, open it all year, provide health and spiritual care ... and finish the church, hand in hand with his friends and brothers in Charity: Pedro Roldán, Murillo or Valdés Leal, leaving an artistic legacy that is all an ideological treatise, a complex and extraordinarily coherent message about death, charity, and the salvation of the soul. All this taking advantage of the architecture of the Alphonsine shipyards, which belonged to the Crown, which in addition to enabling its rapid construction, gives the peculiar aspect to the hospital and the church. Even today the brotherhood attends to the needy in this building and celebrates its funeral rituals practically the same as it did three centuries ago. Would you like to participate in #FAVMonument? Tell us in comments what is your favorite monument of Seville and why. With all the comments received, at the end of the month we will do a compilation post.

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