Santiponce Itálica

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Puerta de la Macarena

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The gate de La Macarena (in Arabic: Bab-al-Makrin), also known as Arco de la Macarena, is along with the Postigo del Aceite and the Puerta de Córdoba the only three city gates that remain today of those who had the walls of Seville. It is located on Resolana street, within San Gil area, which belongs to the district of Casco Antiguo of the town of Seville. Facing it stands the Basílica de La Macarena, which houses the image of the Our Lady of la Esperanza Macarena, one of the most characteristic images of the Holy Week in Seville and closely linked to the gate.

This is the entrance of the walls located further north of the town, and the higher of the set, and is one of the few remnants that remain from the walls of the town, along with the stretch of the walls that it connects with the Puerta de Córdoba through a wall in which seven towers are preserved. Although the town's walled enclosure was built in Julius Caesar's time on top of the old Carthaginian defence, the gate corresponds to the extension made by Sultan Ali ibn Yusuf in the 12th century.

It was the gate used by the kings who visited the town for the first time, and to its walls it rose an altar where they made their tribute, and after which they were given the keys to the town, and so did Alfonso XI of Castile (1327), Isabel I of Castile (1477), Fernando II of Aragon (1508), Carlos I of Spain and his fiancée Isabel of Portugal (1526), and finally Felipe IV (1624).

Its commercial importance as a trading point for wine and bread was increased in the Modern Age by the construction of the Hospital de las Cinco Llagas or Hospital de La Sangre around 1546 by the will of Mr. Fadrique Enríquez de Ribera, building in front of the door of the Macarena a great Renaissance building that added to the sanitary and aesthetic values that of the urbanisation of a wide plain that used to be a simple crossroads.

Its current appearance is the result of a remodelling carried out between 1723 and 1795, in which the Islamic architectural elements were replaced by the classicist style it has as of today.

The remains of the town's walled enclosure, including this gate, were declared a Cultural Heritage Site in 1985.

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