Originally built in the 17th century as a seminary school for the orphan children of sailors (on property belonging to the institution responsible for the Spanish Inquisition), The Palacio de San Telmo is now Andalucía’s presidential palace. Over the years, it was a number of things, including the private residence of the Dukes of Montpensier beginning in 1849. It’s an impressive example of Sevilla’s Baroque architecture and I find it fascinating — although, interestingly, I never found Baroque architecture fascinating when I was forced to study it for my art degree. If I’d only known.
|GRAND AND MINI PALACIOS DE SAN TELMO, WITH THE THREE WISE MEN OUT FRONT.|
But this is not the story of the Palacio de San Telmo, this is the story of the Second Palacio de San Telmo. As I’ve mentioned in recent weeks, there are Nativity Scenes (Belénes) all over town right now. Of course, the convent/church around the corner, Santa Rosalía, has a very popular Belén. It’s visited by school groups, tourists, and locals every day.
|APPARENTLY, THIS IS REALLY WHERE IT ALL BEGAN.
IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY, YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO SPOT THE ARCHANGEL GABRIEL.
I went around the corner after breakfast today to check out Santa Rosalía’s Belén and I was delighted to find that it includes a reproduction of the Palacio de San Telmo and another building known as the Costurero de la Reina (The Queen’s Sewing Box), which was built in 1893 as the guard house/garden retreat for the Palacio de San Telmo.
|THE QUEEN’S SEWING BOX (BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE A SEWING BOX, I’M TOLD).|