The Macarena neighbourhood, in the northern part of the city, is one of the best known and most popular in the historic centre. It is a mixture of the most ancient traditions and the most modern trends.
According to most sources, it dates back to Roman times. The area of the neighborhood Macarena would have been located outside the city walls at this time. It would have been mainly dedicated to vegetable gardens, with few buildings until almost the 13th century. From this time onwards, the district was developed around the Church of San Gil . This was very close to the gate of the Almohad wall and its construction was started by King Alfonso X The Wise, the king who divided up the city after its conquest by his father, Fernando III.
The Macarena Church
Behind this church of San Gil, a good example of the Mudejar churches that are to be found in this neighbourhood, we find the Church of La Macarena, one of the few in the city that are open for nearly the whole day, due to the great devotion of the Sevillians to the famous Virgin of La Macarena that is placed at the main altar. Inside, we find the great display of 20th century Sevilles Baroque, the city’s deep devotion to the virgen Mary and the interwoven mixture of religion and folklore so characteristic of the city. A visit to the Church Museum is essential to understand this, as it takes us trough all sides of the main religious festivity of the year : The Holy Week.
The Feria Market
A few meters away we can walk the long and narrow San Luis street. Already in the Muslim era, carts passed through it full of vegatables on their way to the market. The current one is just a few minutes away. It is one of the oldest in the city. Is close to the Palace of the Marquises of La Algaba, now the Mudejar Interpretation Centre. Meat, fish, vegetables, legumes, cheeses, wines, breads, pastries… Here we can buy all these products, but also, as it is the tendency all over Europe now, places where to seat down and have some tapas of local and international cuisine and wines to go along with them.
The Feria Street
One of the oldest streetmarkets is still held here: EL Jueves ( The thursday), so called because this is the day on which it is held. It is the heir to one of the two fairs granted to Seville in the 13th century. We can find everything from authentic antiques and curiosities to rusty screws and similar objects for a few cents. The street itself, many metres long, offers all kinds of shops and businesses, some of which have survived for decades and others offering the latest tendencies in ecology, recycling and gourmet products.