Basílica de la Macarena – Home of Seville’s Most Revered La Macarena:
Across the road from our hotel the Tryp Macarena is the Basilica de la Macarena, home to the most revered image in Seville, Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza or Virgen de la Esperanza (The Virgin of Hope). This 17th-century holy icon is commonly referred to as La Macarena by locals. She is the patron saint of matadors and is also a favorite of Spanish gypsies.
The neo-Baroque Basilica de la Macarena was completed in 1949 as the new home for La Macarena. Until a fire in 1936, the Virgen de la Esperanza was previously housed in the 13th century Iglesia de San Gil.
Dressed in magnificent robes of gold and silver, the beautiful statue of La Macarena sits in a place of honor above the main altar in the Basilica. According to locals, the five teardrops which run down her elegant cheeks inspire them to want to comfort her. The four large emeralds on the statue were bought by Seville-born matador Joselito. He spent a large portion of his fortune acquiring these emeralds for the statue and when he died in the ring in 1920, the Macarena was dressed as a widow for a month.
La Macarena at Semana Santa
Since the 17th century, La Macarena has also taken pride of place in Seville’s Holy Week celebrations. During the seven days before Easter the streets of Seville are abuzz with numerous processions and floats.
These culminate in the Good Friday procession of La Macarena, one of the most expressive processions of all Holy Week. The celebration begins at midnight and lasts some twelve hours. Massive crowds of people gather outside the old Macarena ramparts waiting for the door of the Basilica de la Macarena to open so they can greet their most venerated icon and follow the procession through the city streets.
The Basilica’s treasury also houses a collection of rare ecclesiastical relics, including La Macarena’s rich vestments and other lavish Semana Santa accoutrements.
Next to the Basilica are the remains of the Arab wall that once surrounded the city and the Puerta de la Macarena.
Basilica: Daily 09:00 – 13:00 and 17:00 – 20:00
Treasury: Daily 09:30 – 13:00 and 17:00 – 20:00
Calle Becquer 1
Map of Seville: