The origins of the town stretch
back to the year 1000 BC, as can be seen by the great number
of remains from each historical period.
Osuna got its name from the Turdetans, an Iberian tribute
which called it Urso; several objects remain from this period,
such as the "Bull of Osuna" and the "Reliefs
of Osuna" (these latter showing a Roman Influence. When
Pompey made his last unsuccessful stand against Caesar in Osuna,
the city fell into his rival's hands, and Caesar gave it the
status of a colony (Colonia Genetiva Iulia), the importance
of which is suggested by the laws found in the "Osuna
We know very little about the Visigothic period, and the subsequent
Moorish rule. All that remains of the period of the almohad
rule are a few sections of the ramparts and a tower, the Torre
King Ferdinand III (the Saint) conquered the town in 1239.
In 1264, King Alfonso X granted Osuna to the Order of Calatrava
(or which it was a major encomienda or concession).
In 1460, while the Master of the Order was Pedro Giron, the
town was traded fro Fuenteovejuna and Belmez, as a result of
which it became the seat of the Counts of Ureña. In
1562 the 5th Count of Ureña was made 1st Duke of Osuna,
and from then on Osuna became the Andalusian capital of the
domains of the Tellez Giron family, who were the founders of
the Collegiate Church and the University in the 16th century.
The Giron family, with their many religious foundations, did
much to make the urban landscape of Osuna what it is today,
with its mixture of convents and churches, lordly palaces and
manors, overlooked by the cliff on which stands the Collegiate
Church, the University and the remains of the ducal palace,
which is where we will begin our visit.
1. COLLEGIATE CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DE LA ASUNCION
This building, as we see it today, was started in the third
decade of the 16th century by Don Juan Tellez Giron, 2nd Count
of Ureña. The construction was entrusted to the finest
craftsmen of Seville, under the direction of his son, Don Juan
Tellez Giron, 4th Count of Ureña.
The church, built of ashlar in yellowish, sandy stone, has
five naves spanned with Renaissance style round arches and
was designed and built by Diego de Riaño and Martin
de Gainza. it has three entrances, one for each of the aisles
as well as the main door of the church, called the Puerta del
Sol. As well as the aforementioned Riaño and Gainza,
the Giron family employed in this great project craftsmen such
as Anton de Palencia. Arnao de Vergara, Torribio de Huemes,
Hernando de Esturmio, Juan de Zamora, Luis de Morales, etc.
As we walk around the interior of the church we will stop
to admire the extraordinary canvas El Cristo de la Expiracion
by Jose de Ribera, and El Cristo de la Misericordia by Juan
de Mesa (1623), as well as an interesting collection of paintings
and sculpture from the 16, 17th and 18th centuries.
2. THE DUCAL PANTHEON
This building stands next to the Collegiate church. It was
founded by Don Juan Tellez Giron, 4th Count of Ureña,
in 1548, and contains a pantheon, chapel and an atrium, all
designed in the Plateresque style. The atrium of the pantheon
is one of the loveliest examples of the Spanish Renaissance.
The crypt of the pantheon contains the remains of the Tellez
Giron family, Counts of Ureña and Dukes of Osuna.
3. THE MUSEUM OF RELIGIOUS ART
The museum stands on the site of the old sacristy of the Collegiate.
Its collection of paintings contains four canvases by Jose
de Riber dated 1616 and 1617, an interesting processional cross
by Pedro de Ribadeo (16th century), a plateresque coffer (16th
century) by Diego de Becerra, a collection of 16th century
Flemish paintings and religious gold and silverwork. The Sala
Capitular (Chapter room) contains and 18th century shroud and
the seats of the choir (16th century), with a coffered ceiling
mad e of wood and Cuenca Ceramic tiles, also of the 16th century.
4. THE UNIVERSITY
Founded by Don Juan Tellez Gironin 1548, this severe, rectangular
building, with towers at each of its four corners and a central
atrium surrounded with colonnades, is a highly refined example
of the Italian Renaissance style. Of special interest are the
wall paintings of the Sala de Grados ("Girona"),
the chapel with its fine paintings by Hernando de Esturmio,
and the assembly hall with its Mudejar coffered ceiling.
5. THE MONASTERY OF LA ENCARNACION
Originally built as a hospital, this building became a mercedarian
monastery in 1626. Of special interest are the ceramic friezes
which decorate the cloister and the upper gallery, certainly
the most complete collection of 18th century Sevillian ceramics
6. CHURCH OF LA MERCED
The church was built in the 17th century; the interior has
ingle nave with a barrel vaulted ceiling and is decorated in
the style of the Italian architect Serlio. The most outstanding
features are the entrance and the tower, created by Alonso
Ruiz Florindo (1756-1775), a perfect example of 18th century
7. CHURCH OF SAN AGUSTIN
Built in the second half of the 16th century, the interior
is composed of a single nave with barrel vaulted ceiling and
plasterwork decoration. There is an exhibition of statues and
paintings of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, including
El Cristo de la Vera Cruz (16th century), and El Cristo de
la Caña (18th century).
8. THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Housed in the tower known as Torre del Agua, an advanced bastion
of the Almohad fortress (12th century). This museum consists
of four rooms on the tower's two top floors, containing prehistoric
items, a number of Iberian pieces, reproductions of the "Osuna
Bronzes" and the "Osuna Reliefs", the originals
of which are in the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid;
plus a magnificent collection of Roman terracotta, glass, Muslim
remains, painted Visigothic bricks etc.
9. CONVENT OF LA CONCEPCION
Built in the 16th century according to the classic model for
convents, it has a single nave with barrel vaulting and 18th
century main altarpiece.
10. CEPEDA PALACE
This typical 18th century palace has a facade decorated with
pyramid-shaped stone "studded" carvings, two halberdiers
holding up the family coat of arms, a colonnaded atrium and
vaulted monumental staircase.
11. CHURCH OF NUESTRA SEÑORA DE CONSOLACION
This 16th century church has three naves with barrel vaulting;
it also contains two interesting paintings of Saint Peter and
Saint Paul, with influences of the Valdes Leal school.
12. CONVENT OF SANTA CATALINA
The original construction of the church dates from the mid
16th century. The Gospel side facade was added in the 17th
century, with a painting of Saint Catherine the Martyr. The
main altarpiece is of the 18th century. In the Sacristy, a
skirting board of 18th century Sevillian tiles, depicting scenes
of horse riding and bullfighting.
13. CHURCH OF SAN CARLOS EL REAL
This Jesuit church was founded in the early 17th century.
It has a single nave covered with barrel vaulting, chancel
with dome ceiling and wall paintings. The 17th century main
altarpiece comes from the vanished Church of San Francisco.
It contains a statue of San Carlos Borromeo and a carving of
Saint Joseph, also from the Church of San Francisco.
14. CHURCH OF SANTO DOMINGO
This church stands on the site of the former medieval church
of Saint Sebastian; it was founded in 1531 and endowed by the
4th Count of Ureña. The sanctuary is in the Gothic style,
and the late 16th century main altarpiece was created by Diego
de Velasco and Jeronimo Hernandez.
15. FORMER COURTHOUSE
Built in 1779, with Baroque facade attributed to Alfonso Ruiz
Florindo. On the door is an unusual variation of the coat of
arms of Osuna.
16. CHURCH OF LA VICTORIA
The church dates from the beginning of the 17th century. The
chancel contains an impressive 18th century altarpiece. Outstanding
paintings are La Virgen de los Dolores, by Jose de Mora; Jesus
Nazareno, influenced by the School of Roldan and an altarpiece
with scenes of the Passion, painted by Roldan el Mozo.
17. THE CATHEDRAL CHAPTER HOUSE
Located on the Calle San Pedro; designed by Alsonso Ruiz Florindo
in the last part of the 18th century. Its magnificent facade
displays the symbols of the Cathedral of Seville, the Giralda,
Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, and vases of lilies, as evidence
of the buildings ownership.
18. PALACE OF THE MARQUIS OF LA GOMERA
The facade of this palace was built in 1765, by Juan Antonio
Blanco, an architect from Estepa. It is Osuna's most important
civil building in the Baroque style. The lovely carvings around
the door are composed of interwoven curving and straight lines,
running below the watchtower. In the interior there is a magnificent
colonnaded atrium and private chapel.
19. PALACES AND NOBLE HOUSES
there are many aristocratic homes, most of the 18th century
(although there are several fine examples of 16th century civil
architecture as well), distributed harmoniously along the streets
of San Pedro, Gordillos, Compañia, and Sevilla.
20. CHURCH OF SAN PEDRO
It dates from the beginning of the 16th century, and has an
entrance in the Mudejar style. The main altarpiece and the
altarpieces along the right wall are in the Rococo style.
21. FORMER COURTHOUSE
Its facade dates from the 18th century, with two powerful
wreathed columns which support the base of the upper section
22. PALACES OF SEVILLA STREET
Several fine examples of Sevillian civil architecture can
be seen on the Calle Sevilla. The Palacio de los Torres, in
the baroque style (inspired by pre-Colombian themes from the
New World) and the Palacio de los Condes de Puerto Hermoso,
to name several, bear witness to the wealth of Osuna at the
end of the 18th century.
23. CHURCH OF EL CARMEN
Built in the 16th century. The interior is composed of three
naves with barrel vaulting. The main altarpiece is an extraordinary
example of 16th century art, with subsequent modifications.
The sacristy contains a 16th century Calvary.
24. CONVENT OF ESPIRITU SANTA
bullet in the 16th century and extensively remodelled in the
18th century. The main altarpiece is late 18th century Baroque.
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