Legends of Santa Cruz: Where is Murillo?

In a previous post we told you about the life of this famous and illustrious Sevillian painter from the 17th century. Today, we want to tell you what happened after his death and the mystery of the location of his remains.

Painting one of his works for a church in the province of Cádiz, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo suffered a very serious fall that caused a hernia. The artist did not take care of himself and finally the injury killed him. Although this fact has not been proven.


Well, following the wishes of the artist, his remains rested for a long time in the crypt of the Church of Santa Cruz, located in the current Santa Cruz Square in the old Jewish neighbourhood that receives the same name.

Previously, before being a catholic church, in the same location was a synagogue. In 1391, the Jewish temple was converted into the Church of Santa Cruz, and Murillo was buried there.

Then, what happened?


In 1807, France and Spain signed the 'Treaty of Fontainebleau'. With it, the French troops were authorized to pass through the country to reach Portugal, with whom they planned to enter the war. However, they did not follow the initial idea, and invaded Spain. King Charles IV and Ferdinand VII were forced to abdicate and surrender the crown to Napoleon Bonaparte, being he who names his brother Joseph Bonaparte, King Joseph I of Spain.

During the French occupation, many urban reforms were carried out in Seville, since the French appreciated that the structure of the city was too narrow and closed.

They began to tear down buildings, to create squares and avenues. An example is the Encarnación Square, where Seville had a convent destroyed by the French and turned into a square. After the expulsion of the French, the market would be located there. This market continues to exist under the Metropol Parasol viewpoint.

The same thing happened with the Church of Santa Cruz, the French demolished it and created the Santa Cruz Square. What is wrong with that? That the remains of Murillo and others who were buried in the crypt of the church were not removed before their demolition.

On several occasions they have tried to locate his remains, which are somewhere in the square. But, since the square belongs to the old part of the city, an area that is quite protected because it is historical heritage, this makes it difficult to search because certain aesthetic changes would take place in one of the main tourist attractions in Seville.

Even so, during the tours carried in the beautiful old Jewish quarter, the guides never forget during their visits through the wonderful Santa Cruz Neighbourhood to mention the origin of the square and everything that happened in it. Thanks to that, and the symbolic tombstone made by the Faculty of Fine Arts in 1858, the memory of Murillo would never be lost.


We hope ypu enjopyed this post and, you know, on each thursday, we will bring you more amazing stories.