These two neighbourhoods, looking out over the Guadalquivir, opposite the Island of La Cartuja, were established in the Middle Ages and experienced their greatest periods of growth during the Renaissance and Baroque years, periods of great monumental richness. The Museum Square, of Romantic atmosphere, is the site of the Fine Arts Museum, opened in 1838 in the old convent of the Merced. The Museum Square marks the starting point of the elegant street, San Vicente, with magnificent houses of the 18th and 19th centuries. Not far away is the Church of la Veracruz and adjoining this building, are the Baths of the Moorish Queen, from the Almohade period, dating from the 12th and 13th centuries. Continuing along this street the traveller arrives at the Gavidia square, and then at Cardenal Espinola Street, the location of the Convent of Santa Rosalía. Built in the 18th Century by Diego Antonio Diaz, its main altarpiece was the work of Cayetano de Acosta. The Romantic Square of San Lorenzo contains the Parish Church of San Lorenzo, with a Gothic-Mudéjar tower, although the renovations of the 18th and 19th centuries drastically changed the structure. Inside, the church contains a sacramental chapel and a main altarpiece by Martínez Montañés. On the right-hand side is the Basílica of Jesús del Gran Poder, a modern building which contains the Image of Christ (17th century) one of the greatest treasures of imagery for processions in Seville, by Juan de Mesa. The square marks the beginning of Santa Clara Street, the location of several convents and stately homes such as the Palace of Santa Coloma. Nearby is the Monastery of Santa Clara whose 17th century doorway provides access to the Gothic-Mudejar church. The lnmaculada and the San Juan Evangelista figures are works by Montañés. Through a Gothic doorway the visitor reaches the remains of the Palace of the Infante (Prince) Don Fabrique, a tower built in 1252 with a square base and three bodies. The first two are covered with ogival vaults and the third, with an octogonal vault.
At the end of the street stands the Convent of San Clemente, used primarily as an exhibition hall. It is a large building erected by Alfonso X el Sabio. Its church, covered with 16th-Century Mudéjar coffer-work, is decorated with frescoes by Valdés Leal.
We recommend finishing off a walk in this area with a visit to the Alameda de Hércules. Built in the 16th century, the structure takes its name from the columns of a Roman temple which were brought from Mármoles Street to support sculptures of Hercules and Julius Cesar. From this point, the visitor can return to the shopping district in just a few moments along the steets Trajan and Amor de dios.