Sevilla was the home and birthplace of the Spanish Inquisition starting in 1484 at the Convento de San Pablo el Real. This was a place that Santa Teresa became familiar with in association with her alleged lesbianism. In Sevilla, three resentful nuns complained about her behavior, accusing her of engaging in orgies with the prioress in Sevilla and with a 30-year-old priest named Gracián. Had she been found guilty, she could have been burned at the stake. Instead, she was acquitted.
Santa Teresa had appeared before them earlier in 1575 after being denounced by a woman expelled from the convent there. Her dialog with the Inquisitors convinced them of her innocence and she was also acquitted. While the original grounds no longer exist following a fire in July 1906, some parts of Convento de San Pablo el Real still remain and can be seen today. These include the Capilla de Montserrat and Iglesia de Santa María Magdalena.
Most of the original grounds though were located where the Hotel Petit Palace Canalejas at Calle Canalejas, 2; there is nothing at the hotel site to indicate its importance in the Inquisition and Santa Teresa’s life.
Callejón de la Inquisición, located between Calle Castilla and Paseo de Nuestra Senora de la O, is the location of the old barrio of Triana and was home to a number of Inquisition sites in Sevilla, including the courts, prison and office. At the complex, two women were found guilty of sodomy. One was executed by hanging, and the other was whipped. A similar prison in the period between 1578 and 1616 in Seville saw all fifty men, representing a broad swath of Spanish male society, found guilty of sodomy being executed.
Capilla de Montserrat was built between 1704 and 1710 based on plans by master builder Leonardo de Figueroa. It was originally home to the Hermandad de la Antigua y Siete Dolores, a religious order that became extinct. It would later pass into the hands of state, and finally to Hermandad de Montserrat in 1939.
The Iglesia de Santa María Magdalena, located at Calle San Pablo, 12, was built between 1694 and 1709 in the Baroque style following a designed by Leonardo de Figueroa. It currently serves a number of orders as their canonical seats, including Hermandad Sacramental de la Magdalena, de la Hermandad de Nuestra Señora del Amparo, de la Hermandad de la Quinta Angustia, de la Hermandad de Montserrat y de la Hermandad del Calvario. These three sites are within an easy walk of each other, requiring roughly 200 meters of walking start from Hotel Petite Palace Canalejas, going down the street in the same direction as traffic, taking a left down Calle Criso del Calvario before the Hermandad de Montserrat appears on the left in around 75 meters, and then continuing to where the street terminates 25 meters later, taking left down Calle San Pablo with the Iglesia Santa María Magdalena appearing on the left.
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