Day Trip to Osuna

Osuna is a town in the Province of Seville with a population of about 18,000. It is located on the A92 Highway and is 115 km from Malaga. It can be done as a day trip from Malaga if one has a car.

The Unesco has declared that Calle San Pedro was the second most beautiful street in Europe and the town was declared a Historic-Artistic site. Osuna's history started with the Tartessians, the Turdetians, Romans and Moors. It sits on a hill and occupies a strategic crossroad between Seville, Cordoba, Granada, and Malaga. Osuna was conquered by Julius Caesar during the civil war between Pompey and Caesar. After that it prospered. After the Arab conquest in 711 there is little news about this town. It was reconquered for Christianity by Fernando III, the Saint, in 1239. The town was later given to the Order of Calatrava. The Tellez Giron head became the first Duke of Osuna in 1562. The family constructed many churches and monasteries and beautified the town to ascend in ranking among the nobles. At the end of the 18th century, the Duke and Duchess of Osuna were very prominent in Spanish society and they were the first sponsors of Goya. He painted them for posterity and these paintings are now in the Prado.

Today the town is a beautiful whitewashed town that is a perfect place to visit, and relatively unknown to foreign or national visitors. The town is really white, and one can hardly see any other color. Many Andalusian white towns have modernized and are a mixture of colors, but this white town has kept its traditions and is completely white and very clean.

 

The Hotel Palacio Marques de la Gomera is also one of the town's most famous landmarks. This palace was built for the Marques de la Gomera in 1765 by the architect Juan Antonio Blanco. It has a beautiful Baroque facade and entrance. Inside there is a big patio with a fountain in the middle. The sides of the patio are arcaded and the second story of the building has enclosed the arcade. The ceilings are coffered in wood and there is an impressive private chapel beside the patio. At the back of the building there is an open patio that is enclosed with a wall that has vines filled with flowers of several colors. The restaurant is the best in town. One can stay overnight at this hotel if one wants to experience staying in a palace.

The palace-hotel is located at the famous Calle San Pedro. There is another palace beside it called the Cillar del Cabildo Colegial. All the buildings on this street have first floor windows with wrought iron grills that jut out from the facade, and these are called hierros. This gives the whole street a very uniform and attractive look, making this street famous. There are other attractive buildings on the street also.

Collegiate Church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion

The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion is a very large church in the Plateresque style that is located on the highest point of the hill that overlooks the town. The church was built in the 16th century and was founded by the 4th Count of Ureña and is very spacious. It has a beautiful Baroque main altar and the chapels on the sides are all very attractive. One of the altarpieces was carved by Juan de Mesa. The church has a Sacred Art Museum which allows one to see the five paintings of Jose de Ribera (called El Espanolete), many of which he painted while living in Naples. His paintings are La Crucifixion, Las Lagrimas de San Pedro, San Jeronimo y el Angel Trompetero, El Martirio de San Sebastian, and El Martirio de San Bartolome. There is the famous Panteon Ducal on a lower level that contains the tombs of all of the Dukes of Osuna and their families. This is called the Panteon de Andalucia and is probably the most elaborate pantheon in the region.

Monastery of la Encarnacion

The Monastery of la Encarnacion is located just below the Collegiate Church. It is a Baroque building dating to 1547, with a beautiful chapel. The main altarpiece has a 16th century image of the Cristo de la Misericordia and a Dolorosa by Francisco Meneses. One can see this monastery only with a guide, one of the nuns in the monastery. One can see the cloisters with a patio that is arcaded. The walls that enclose the patio have wonderful ceramic tile from Seville with paintings of the 18th century. There is a second floor sacred art museum that is quite different. It has many sculptures and small altars that are fixed to the wall in a very geometric and pleasing pattern. There are little statues of the Child Jesus from the 17th and 18th centuries and a collection of historic clothes to dress the statues.

The Osuna University

The Osuna University is the third monument on top of the hill. It was founded in 1548 by Don Juan Tellez Giron IV, the father of the first Duke of Osuna, and it is located in a castle. Today the castle has been modernized and has a very large interior patio. The University is still active today and has many students.

The Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum is located in a building called the Torre del Agua, a Moorish building constructed in the 12th century and refurbished by the Order of Calatrava in the 14th century. This museum has a replica of the Toro de Osuna (Bull of Osuna), the original having been appropriated by the national government for the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid. The museum has archaeological remains found in the lands around the town, some from the Bronze Age.