Osuna (Seville)

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Osuna (Seville)


Osuna is a town in the province of Seville and autonomous community of Andalusia. It has a population of around 18,000 and a surface area of 592 km².

Osuna’s origins date to circa 1000 BC, during the Tartessian era, when it is believed to have been called Urso. Occupied by the Romans, the town would have undergone substantial development during Al-Andalus, when it was known as Ûsuna.

Ferdinand III led the Christian conquest in 1240, and the town was later ceded to the Order of Calatrava. In 1562, the title of Duke of Osuna was awarded to the Téllez Girón family, who had been Count of Ureña until then.

By order of the Téllez Girón family, a vast construction programme was developed, which completely reshaped Osuna’s landscape. It was during this period that the Collegiate church and University were erected and around 20 churches, a convent and several hospitals were founded. The lesser nobility that grew in the shadow of the Girón family constructed monumental stately homes and palaces.


The Collegiate church, University and La Encarnación monastery dominate the town, and together with the Dukes of Osuna fortress palace, comprise the “ducal acropolis”.

Traces of its rich Roman past can be observed in the theatre or the underground necropolis, known as “Las Cuevas” (the caves). Whitewashed streets, typical of Seville, are lined with palaces and stately homes, displaying the most elegant Andalusian Baroque.

The town’s religious architecture features the churches of La Victoria, La Consolación, San Agustín, San Carlos, El Carmen, Santo Domingo, El Espíritu Santo and the convent of La Concepción.

Civil architecture including the Torre del Agua tower, the oldest monument in Osuna, the Pósito granary, La Pastora arch, El Cabildo granary, the Palace of the Marqués de la Gomera and the town hall completes Osuna’s heritage.


The origins and evolution of Osuna’s Holy Week have been decisively influenced by the town’s privileged location halfway between Seville and Granada. To this end, the town’s expression of this celebration is the result of a series of influences from both cities.

The splendour of its Holy Week, which includes a mixture of art, colour and scents, is based on the impressive processions that pass through its streets and by its monuments creating a unique atmosphere.

The extraordinary sculptures that preside the processions are of incalculable value and include pieces by renowned sculptors such as Juan de Mesa, Vicente de Tena and José de Mora, among others.

The busiest day of all is undoubtedly Good Friday. The Jesus the Nazarene procession begins at daybreak and is escorted by a multitude of penitents, followed by the Dolorosa of the Servite Order. The two images meet on the esplanade in front of the Collegiate church and then, after a short pause, set off on the way back to their respective churches.