This blog post could also be subtitled: when the travel books let you down royally. Or a second option: the only church I have ever been pissed to have paid to go inside.
If you don’t want to read my short rant, here’s the Twitter version: the Hospital de la Caridad in Sevilla isn’t worth the 8 euro price.
Read more: Andalusia 1-Week Itinerary
The hospital/church was built in 1674 and cared for by a brotherhood concerned with picking up bodies of people left along the riverbanks, caring for the sick, spiritually caring for the convicted, and giving aid to the city when the river (frequently) flooded. These people were superheroes!
In 1662 Miguel Mañara asked to be admitted into this brotherhood. He was a very active member and he even fought to add an asylum/halfway house in the city of Seville that could accommodate up to 500 people a night along with expanding the hostptal to 150 beds. For all of his great works of charity, he has been elevated to the status of “Venerable” which means he is on his way to becoming a Catholic saint. Super worthy I think!
In case you’re interested here is a prayer you can say for the Venerable Miguel Mañara:
O my God, by that charity so heroic that you instilled in the heart of the Venerable D. Miguel Mañara, I beg you to concede the grace of the rebirth of the same spirit of faith, of humility and of love that encouraged to your faithful servant, among the Catholics in order to be sanctified in the same way he was sanctified in the practice of his virtues, and also to obtain the grace of…[insert name of person you want to pray for here]…whose favor I trust mainly to your divine goodness and in the endless merits of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Amen.
Also (because the church pamphlet asked) if you feel you have received grace on be half of the intercession of Mañara please let them know so they can make a case for his sainthood.
So my family was over the idea of visiting *another* church (that’s what you get when I plan the vacation! lol) so my husband, dad, sister & her boyfriend decided to go to the Science Museum instead while my mom (who obviously loves me very much) stuck with me to see this “super awesome” church that was listed as one of the “Top Ten Religious Art” from the book Secret Journeys of a Lifetime (it’s on page 188 if you’re curious). I was so excited to stumble upon a little darkened chapel bursting with gorgeous art. I mean Spain had already proved itself to be a repository of seriously breathtaking baroque altarpieces and dripping with gold. I was so ready…maybe that was part of the problem…?
Now when you look at the photos above you probably think I’m being totally unfair but hear me out!
- We paid 8 euros a person to go into this church (while the rest of my family paid 3 euros for a whole science museum & nearly every other church was 3-5 euros)
- We were literally the only visitors there (that’s not a complaint per se but demonstrates every one else got the memo)
- The chapel was nice…but not freaking worth a whole price of lunch!
- The audio guides were hilariously off. When both my mom and I clicked on the numbers we got TOTALLY different information. We were literally doubled over laughing in the church telling each other of things that neither one of us could see.
So, yes the church was nice but honestly it did not deserve to be on a top ten list and secondly I did not need to make a stop to see this church when we see so many others that were so beautiful I felt like I was already in heaven.
Please see some of those examples below of other churches we visited and then tell me how you think the Hospital de la Caridad compares:
P.S. Were not just idle complainers; the next day we took a survey about our time in Sevilla and we let our feelings be known about the church.