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Church of San Carlos El Real

17th century. Former Jesuit convent. Free entry.

The Jesuits came to the city in 1612, settling initially in the space of the former hospital of La Encarnación. In a short period of time, they acquire the buildings needed to set their new church up, between Maese Diego, Hornillos and Sevilla streets, in 1615. Three years later, following the design made by Pedro Sánchez, the works of the convent of La Compañía begin. This convent will be renovated due to different interventions in the 18th century.

The Jesuits were secularised by a Pragmática Real (Spanish Ancient Regime law) in 1767. When they left, the convent was abandoned and the church, which wasn’t lost, was deprived of its most important works. Its main altarpiece can be found in the parish of El Saucejo. The whole ensemble became the property of the State –hence the name Real­- and was transferred to the Economic Society of Friends of the Country of Osuna and, after its dissolution, to the City Council. It was also used as a Primary Education School and, since 1989, it houses the House of Culture.

Its entrance, from the 18th century, is not external, as it is inside the hall which leads to the former Jesuit convent. This anomalous situation was provoked by the inclusion in the convent of an alley which leaded to the main entrance. It is made of polychromatic marble and it is decorated with jamb shafts.

Inside, the church has a single nave, covered by a barrel vault. In the presbytery, we find a baroque altarpiece from the last third of the 17th century, gilded in 1674, coming from the ruined convent of San Francisco. On this altarpiece, we can find on the sides the images of La Dolorosa Virgin and San Antonio de Padua; and, in the centre, the sculpture of San Carlos Borromeo, patron saint of the church.