Palacio de San Telmo
Historic Building and Palace in Seville
The Palacio de San Telmo or Palace of San Telmo is a historic building in Seville, Spain. This magnificent palace, built in 1682 is one of Seville’s most impressive buildings, and certainly the city’s finest example of the baroque style.
It was formerly the Universidad de Mareantes or University for Navigators a school to educate orphaned children and train them as sailors. It is now the seat of the presidency of the Andalusian Government.
It is built on a rectangular plan, with several interior courtyards, including a central courtyard, towers on the four corners, and gardens. Situated to the south of the centre, between the Hotel Alfonso XIII and the river, its 40-million-euro, 10-year refurbishment finished in 2010.
What to look out for:
- The main portal
- The balcony is supported by Atlantean figures.
- The Ionic columns are next to the twelve allegorical figures of navigation.
- Columns of the Corinthian order and figures of the monarchs Saint Fernando and Saint Hermenegildo.
- The figure of Saint Telmo in an arch in the center (holding the ship)
- Two seated statues with cornucopias
- The baroque chapel of the San Telmo Palace,with its single nave with a barrel vault and five altarpieces
- The Patio de San Jeronimo behind the entrance, with clock tower, palm trees and small busts of Seville’s most famous historic figures
- The Salon de Espejos, which has a dazzling geometric display of local azulejos on the staircase
- The Salon de Espejos or Room of Mirrors, built originally as a ballroom in the palace’s royal days
- The upstairs rooms’ parquet floors and inlaid and painted coffered wood ceilings
- The gallery of illustrious Sevillians along the north facade of the palace.
The History of the Palacio de San Telmo
Palacio San Telmo was built in 1682 to serve as a marine academy, training ships’ pilots, navigators and high-ranking officers. The palace was named after San Telmo or Saint Elmo, the patron saint of navigators.
In 1849 it became the a royal palace for the Dukes of Montpensier, who undertook major renovation work, including completing the north tower and building the mounting block entrance hall, the east wing and the ballroom. The new rooms are stuccoed and were gilded by Pelli and Rossi, whilst the walls are hung with paintings from the Vista Alegre Palace. The ballroom ceilings were decorated by Rafael Tejeo.
The Palace had extensive gardens similar to Versailles, which covering more than eighteen hectares, these were donated to Seville in 1893 and subsequently became the María Luisa park. Maria Luisa Fernanda donated the palace to the Archbishopric on her death in 1897. In 1901 the palace became a seminary again, this time for priests, also taking in wounded soldiers during the war with Morocco.
The palace fell into disrepair and in 1952 it was badly damaged by a fire, but was refurbished in the 1980s and today is the presidential headquarters of the regional government.
Other names of Palacio de San Telmo
The Palacio de San Telmo has the following names: Palace of San Telmo.
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Visiting Palacio de San Telmo
To visit Email: [email protected], with full name and ID number of person making the reservation. Visits:
Thursdays (4:00 pm – 9:00 pm), Saturdays (10:00 am – 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm).