On the northern tier of the central city, this church possesses the most revered image in Seville, "the Virgin of Hope," which locals call La Macarena. It is strictly for Madonna worshipers (of Catholic, not Kabbalah, ilk). She is the patron saint of matadors and a favorite of Spain's Gypsies. The Seville-born matador Joselito was so taken with her that he spent a good hunk of his fortune to purchase four emeralds for her. When he died in the ring in 1920, the Macarena wore widow's weeds for a month.

The work, which may date as far back as the close of the 17th century, is attributed to the sculptor Pedro Roldán. The fraternity worshiping the Madonna appears in procession on Sacred Friday every year, leading "Christ's float" through the city streets, with the Madonna forever raining five tears of sadness.

Difficult to reach by public transportation, the church is best approached by taxi going along the outer ring from Colón to Torneo to Resolano Andueza. Also on-site is a treasury displaying rare ecclesiastical relics.

advertisement