Monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas

Seville, Spain

The Monastery of Santa María de las Cuevas, also known as the Monastery of the Cartuja hosts today The Andalusian Contemporary Art Center (The Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo).

Legend holds that the area, in Moorish times, was honeycombed with caves made by potters for ovens and to obtain clay, and that after the capture of the city by Christians in the thirteenth century, an image of the virgin was revealed inside one of the caves, where supposedly it had been hidden. It prompted the construction of a chapel of Santa María de las Cuevas to house the venerated icon. In the 15th century, the archbishop of Seville, aided by the noble family of Medina, helped found a Franciscan monastery at the site. Later constructions were patronized by don Perafán de Ribera (who built the Casa de Pilatos). In the 15th century, monks of the cloistered order of Saint Bruno were housed in the monastery.

Christopher Columbus' remains were first interred at Valladolid, then at the Monastery of the Cartuja by the will of his son Diego. In 1542 the remains were transferred to Colonial Santo Domingo.

During the Napoleonic invasion, the monastery was sacked and used as barracks. After returning in 1812, the monastery was finally vacated with the general closure of monasteries in 1835–36.

Following the confiscation Englishman Charles Pickman acquired the monastery in 1839. Commencing production in 1841, Pickman established innovative manufacturing methods such as importing raw materials, the use of molds, using specialised machinery, mechanical arms and presses, utilising British ceramist experience while employing pottery workers from nearby Triana. The initial success of the factory led to La Cartuja de Sevilla becoming one of the most popular brands in Europe and in Latin American countries. Production continued until 1984. The bottle shaped kilns and tall chimney are the legacy of the ceramics factory.

 

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Details

Founded: 15th century
Category: Religious sites in Spain

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sarah Green (10 months ago)
Amusing and different from the usual tourist sites.. Worth a visit
Luis Retana Acevedo (13 months ago)
The exquisitely simple beauty of this monastery is awe-inspiring. This simple beauty forms a timeless background for the fleeting quality of the contemporary art museum housed in the monastery. There is a small restaurant on the grounds. Entrance fee was €1,80 (in early April 2019). Parking on the street.
Paul McMichael (2 years ago)
Delightful place.
Patrick Bastow (2 years ago)
Really enjoying this place. Free on Saturdays. Not that many tourists. The Contemporary Arts Museum has some gloriously strange stuff but it’s worth a repeat visit as the art work changes all the time. There is also live music events - lots of Jazz etc. When we went there was a great live feminist music festival - very cool vibe
Simone S (2 years ago)
The contemporary art museum always offers interesting exhibitions. The bar is perfect for an Andalusian breakfast like toast with avocado and tomatoes, and when the weather is fine (that it almost all the time) it's a gorgeous place for a walk!
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