Barrio Santa Cruz, Seville 

The Santa Cruz neighborhood of Seville is the city’s main tourist area. Here you will find some of the cities top attractions including the Gothic Cathedral of Seville and the famous Giralda, as well as the gorgeous Real Alcázar and its lush gardens. The Santa Cruz neighborhood also has a beautiful and charming Jewish Quarter with narrow winding lined with shops and quaint little bars. 

It is one of the most authentic areas of Seville and encapsulates the passionate spirit of the city. The Barrio de Santa Cruz was made famous by the American writer Washington Irving (1783-1859) stayed in the area and surely later headed to Granada to write his Tales of the magical Alhambra.

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Barrio de Santa Cruz - visitor guide

Barrio Santa Cruz – An Overview 

Seville was known as Híspalis under Roman rule and the original settlement was located where the Barrio de Santa Cruz now stands. The city was once walled and was confined to, in the east, by the Puerta de la Carne, and to the south, by the Plaza del Triunfo. The cardo maximus (or great Roman road) once passed through the current Abades and Don Remondo streets. 

Within the walls of the Alcázar, you will find the famous Patio de Banderas, or the Patio of Flags, so-called because of the flags that were painted on the gate of the wall through which it is accessed. In the 1970s archaeological remains of a Christian basilica that could be from the fourth century, were found at this site.

In the 11th century, the palace of al-Zahir was built in front of the citadel, which was fortified like a castle and had high towers. Closer to the Guadalquivir river, the smaller palace of al-Zahi was built as well. But the largest of all the palaceswithin the city walls was the al-Mubarak. This most opulent of the palaces would become the Alcazar centuries later. Alfonso X took advantage of the space in the main building to build the Gothic palace.

After the reconquering of the city in 1248 the Jewish population settled in the neighborhoods of Santa Cruz and San Bartolomé, and their cemetery was located between Calle Cano y Cueto and Paseo Catalina de Ribera. Some of the inhabitants of the Jewish quarter of Seville were very close to the kings of Castile and held very influential positions within the court. It was the second most important Jewish community in Spain, after Toledo.

Three of the cities mosques were re-purposed as synagogues. But after an anti-Jewish revolt of 1391 these temples became Christian places or worship. The synagogues were demolished and the churches of San Bartolomé, Santa María la Blanca, and Santa Cruz were built.  After the French invasion of Seville in 1810 the church of Santa Cruz was demolished.

The Plaza de Santa Cruz was renovated in 1918 by Juan Talavera y Heredia, placing in the center the Cruz de la Cerralería, from the 17th century. 

Best things to see in Barrio Santa Cruz

The Barrio de Santa Cruz is legitimately a place where you should “get lost in”. It is an intricate network of small and charming squares, narrow streets, and passages, that feels unchanged by time.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the top highlights that Santa Cruz has to offer, here is our list of the essential sights to see during your visit:

Plaza del Triunfo

This spectacularly beautiful square is the heart of Santa Cruz. Surrounding it are the  buildings of the Cathedral of Seville, with the famous Giralda, the General Archive of the Indies, and the Reales Alcázares.

This monumental complex has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The square is known as the “Square of Triumph” because it survived, practically intact, the horrific Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, which also led to the installation of the Triumph monument.

La Giralda and Cathedral

Giralda and Cathedral

La Giralda and cathedral – Compelete visitors guide History and styles A lot has been said and written about the Sevilla Cathedral, Santa Maria de la Sede, and the Giralda, which was minaret of the old mosque on which it was built in the XV century. This is one of Spain´s top attracions. Seville was the capital of the Iberian Peninsula during the Almohad domination, it was its biggest mosque three centuries earlier. has two distinct

Discover La Giralda and Cathedral»

Square of Santa Marta

This charming little square can be accessed from the Plaza del Triunfo. This square is much smaller with hardly enough space to house four orange trees and a 16th century cross in the middle. It was once the site of one of the city’s original hospitals, now substituted by a small convent.

The Real Alcazar in Seville

The Real Alcazar of Seville

The Real Alcazar in Seville – Complete visitors guide When Europe was in its “dark” middle ages around the 13th century., Seville was an important city and as proof of this, we can enjoy today the architectural marvel of the Royal Alcazar of Seville. The Alcazar is one of the highlights of architecture in Spain and with no doubt, one of Spain´s main tourist attractions, and a must-visit during your stay in Seville. Unesco agreed a long time ago with all of this and the Alcazar was granted UNESCO heritage status to recognize its historical value.

Discover The Real Alcazar in Seville »

Patio de Banderas

Located right next to the Reales Alcázares building there is a large square known as the Patio de Banderas or the Square of Flags. Visits to the Real Alcazar end in this square and from here you will have one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the cathedral and the Giralda.

Calle del Agua

The Calle del Agua or Callejón del agua is a magical little street that runs along one of the outer walls of the Alcazar. Here you will find the beautiful patio of Washington Irving’s house which you can recognize by a plaque on its facade.

Santa Cruz Square

This square is one of the more magical spots in the city. It houses several orange trees and a monument from 1692, known as Cruz de Cerrajeria, which was initially installed in a central area of ​​Calle Sierpes, but was finally moved to that place in 1921.

The famous Spanish painter Murillo was buried in the church that once stood in the same spot, which is remembered with a plaque that you can now see installed in the square.

You will also find a monument dedicated to the literary figure of Don Juan Tenorio, who had a special connection with the Barrio de Santa Cruz.

Mateos Gago Street

Mateo Gago street is well known in the city for the many shops, bars and restaurants it holds and it is a must if you want to enjoy a cold drink in the heart of Santa Cruz.

Tours of the Barrio de Santa Cruz

If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything during your visit to this charming area of Seville you can always take a guided tour. 

Where is Barrio Santa Cruz?

Barrio Santa Cruz is the southernmost neighborhood within the Casco Antigüo district of the city of Seville. It borders: to the north with the streets of Francisco Bruna, Blanca de los Ríos, Francos, Pajaritos, Bamberg, Aire, Fabiola, Cruces and Mariscal streets; to the east with Menéndez Pelayo avenue; to the southeast with Avenida de María Luisa; to the southwest with the Paseo de las Delicias; and to the west with Avenida de la Constitución and Plaza de San Francisco. A portion of the neighborhood is located along the bank of the famous Guadalquivir river. 

distrito casco antiguo seville barrio santa cruz

Map of El Barrio de Santa Cruz

Video tour of the Barrio de Santa Cruz

Plan your trip to Seville

Other tourist attractions in Seville

Seville is one of those cities in Spain that makes it hard to decide what to drop and what to visit. Amongst the top sights in Seville there are however a few which are a must-do.  

Torre del Oro
Torre del Oro- Seville

Torre del Oro, one of the icons in Seville This 12 sided fortress tower dates from 1220, the era of the almohade, and was originally part of the Alcazar. At the time it was built it was linked by a

Southern Spain - Plaza de España
Plaza de España in Seville – a complete guide

Plaza de España in Seville Another location worth mentioning is the Plaza de Espana, built for the Ibero-American exposition in 1929 and inaugurated by king Alfonso XIII. With a semicircular shape and made of brick, marble and pottery, this monument

Flamenco Shows
Flamenco Shows in Seville

Flamenco shows in Seville – Guide to decide the best show for you This shows offers great value for money and it is a perfect way to be introduced to the passion and art of Flamenco in Spain. More than

Great hotels near the El Barrio de Santa Cruz

Our expert local guides have hand picked 4 of our favorite hotels near the Santa cruz neighborhood. This is a highly demanded area of the City, and some of the hotels are fantastic, with true Sevillano charm: patios, tiles, and amazing terraces.

La Puerta de Palacio
La Puerta de Palacio hotel next to la Giralda

Hotel La Puerta de Palacio in Seville The Puerta de Palacio hotel in Seville is located at a building that dates back to 1929. The highlight of the hotel is its beautiful patio. Besides the patio, you can expect the traditional Andalusian style, with tiles and lots of light, and

Joya del Casco Boutique Hotel by Shiadu 2 star
Joya del Casco Boutique Hotel by Shiadu – pool in Seville centre

Joya del Casco Boutique Hotel by Shiadu The Joya del Casco Boutique Hotel by Shiadu is located in the center of Seville and features a typical Sevillian terrace and an outdoor pool. Location The hotel is 600 meters from the Santa María La Blanca Church, 1,8 km from the Plaza

Hotel Amadeus & La Musica 9
Hotel Amadeus La Musica – Santa Cruz neighborhood of Seville

Hotel Amadeus La Musica in Seville The hotel is housed within two buildings that are joined together and are decorated with a musical theme. The hotel features a XVIII century patio where guests can sit back and relax and enjoy a drink. The hotel features also a soundproof room with

Where to eat near El Barrio de Santa Cruz

This is one of the more touristy areas of the city, so make sure you pay attention when choosing a place to eat. Tourist traps sit alongside really great places to eat, so keep your eyes peeled. Two of our favorite tapas bars in the area are Bodegas Santa Cruz and Alvaro Peregil tavern both offer good value and true Andalusian experience and dishes. 

We also share 2 excellent (more formal) options to enjoy fine dining.

Maria Luisa
Maria Luisa restaurant in Seville

Maria Luisa restaurant in Seville María Luisa’s gastronomy aims to highlight the Andalusian gastronomic culture, using only the highest quality local products. Maria Luisa, located inside the trendy Mercer hotel in the heart of Seville, offers traditional recipes, made with innovative techniques and sensibilities. The menu is contemporary and original,

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