Plaza de San Francisco

Plaza de San Francisco (13)

The Plaza de San Francisco is named for the old Franciscan convent that used to occupy part of the western half of the square, which today opens on to the Plaza Nueva

At the outset of the 16th century the town council, the present-day Ayuntamiento (town hall), was established here, and shortly afterwards, the palace of the Audiencia Real. The fountain at one end of the plaza, also from this era, is dominated by a statue of the god Mercury, the symbol of trade, created by Juan de Bolonia. 

In addition, since its creation, many writers have lamented both how narrow this space is and its lack of opulence, legacies of mediaeval urban planning. However, the Plaza de San Francisco continues to fulfill its representative role as home of the Ayuntamiento. 

The Plaza de San Francisco has been, and continues to be, the site of a wide array of events. Among the most memorable is the fact that, during the Middle Ages, it was a bullring, and later the area for public executions that were attended by thousands of people. It was also where the Inquisition decided who would burn at the stake in the Quemadero (“bonfire”), located in the area occupied today by the Prado de San Sebastián. 

During Holy Week, this plaza becomes the centre, the very heart of Seville. And this is where all of the Holy Week processions take place, and where box seats are set up in order to transform the plaza into a holy theatre. The Corpus Christi and Virgen de los Reyes processions are also held here.

Additionally, it is the point where the city comes to celebrate. Whenever the Sevilla F.C. football team wins a major match, this plaza is where the fans gather to celebrate it. 

And it’s also where the must-see Calle Sierpes ends – or begins - depending on how you look at it. One thing is clear: it is nearly impossible to visit Seville without setting foot in this central plaza.

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