It belongs to the Religiosas Dominicas order since its foundation in 1461. Several reforms masked the original construction. The main cloister was built in the 17th century and the church was rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century. The patio dates back to the 17th century. It has a square floor plan divided into two sections, and it has semicircular arches over Tuscan columns on its four sides. The façade is made of white stone from Estepa, with carvings of Santo Domingo and Santa Florentina. The Madres Dominicas order inhabits the convent. The order is famous for their artisan bakery, especially for their Bizcochos Marroquíes, an Écija’s original recipe that dates back to the 18th century.
La Merced convent is next to the crossing roads of Córdoba and Palma del Río and was founded in 1509. The license was granted by Juana I la Loca, queen of Castilla. The Nuestra señora de la Merced order was born in 1218 to rescue Christians that were captured by the Muslims in the north of Africa, and was supported by the crown of Aragón. After suffering serious damage due to the Genil’s flood in 1543, it was moved to its current location. It remained there until the exclaustration. Later on, it was given to the community of Hijas de María Auxiliadora (Salesianas).
The convent and the church keep practically all their original dependencies, although they were transformed during the 17th and the 18th century. The belfry was built around 1630, reusing the remains of the Almohad tower of the Puerta de Estepa, which was demolished and dated back to the 12th and 13th century.
The convent is popularly known as Las Marroquíes in memory of its founder’s name, Francisca Marroquí. It was founded in 1599 and inhabited by las monjas descalzas de la Limpia Concepción de Nuestra Señora. The church has only one nave. It is covered by a coffered ceiling with a latticed pattern which dates back to the time of its foundation. Its baroque plasterworks are also remarkable.
The belfry was built in 1760. It is halfway between a belfry and a tower, and it has a square shaft made of brick that joins the triangular bells body. It is decorated with carved brick and tiling.
It has its origins in some houses located at Emparedamiento street. In these houses, women who had an immoral life were helped and guided into the right way. In 1570 they moved to its current location, and the church was blessed the 13th of May 1573, under the invocation of La visitación de Nuestra Señora Santa Isabel. The church is covered by a coffered ceiling with a mudejar latticed pattern that dates back to the 16th century. The façade, inaugurated in 1775, is made of white and black marble, and there is a carving of La visitación de Santa Isabel on the upper part. Finally, it has the emblem of the order of Los Mínimos de San Francisco de Paula. The quadrangular-based cloister has tri-lobed arches with an octagonal fountain made of marble in the centre. The belfry, with an angular disposition and made of carved brick and tiling, goes almost unnoticed due to the narrowness of the street.
Address: Padre García Tejero Street, 2, 41400, Écija (Seville).
DIVINA PASTORA CONVENT (HERMANAS DE LA CRUZ)
This convent belonged to the Capuchinos fathers from 1655 to the exclaustration, and it was given to the community of Las hermanas de la Cruz in 1924. The church, with only one nave, has a Latin cross floor plan with chapels on either side.
Address: Sta. Ángela de la Cruz Street, 20, 41400, Écija (Seville).
SAN JOSÉ CONVENT (LAS TERESAS)
The Carmelitas Descalzas community rented the Condes de Palma palace in 1641. Some time after they bought it for an amount of 12000 ducats and adapted it as church and convent between 1643 and 1655.
The remains of the old mudejar palace are preserved into the convent and they are numerous and very important: the structure and original organization of the premises as well as the patios with galleries, the predominance of quadrangular proportions and the plasterwork decorations.
The façade was commissioned by Don Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, first Conde de Feria, in the 15th century. He owned some manors in villages next to Portugal, that is why there is a predominant use of marine motifs.
Address: San Antonio Street, 41400, Écija (Seville).
SANTA INÉS DEL VALLE ROYAL MONASTERY
It belongs to the Clarisas Franciscanas community since its very origins. The first settlement of the foundation was located in the city outskirts, and it was moved to its current location in 1487. The convent has many benefactors, especially Isabel la Católica, who stayed in it while she was raising funds for the Granada war. The empress María de Austria, the Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia and the town hall have also made valuable contributions. The latter gave economical support to the nuns when they lost part of the convent due to some disasters, such as the fire in 1622 and the Genil’s flood in 1626.
The church has only one nave with a door made of stone from Estepa. A second door was walled up during the 1960’s, and a niche was placed in the centre, where the appearance of the Fátima Virgin is venerated. The nuns of the community make artisan bakery on demand.
Address: Mayor Street, 37, 41400, Écija (Seville).
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