The hermitage of La Soledad


Origins of its construction

Building difficult to date, known as hermitage of Soledad, is located in one of the most historic areas of Huelva, in the neighborhood of San Sebastian, patron of the city, and very close to the parish church of San Pedro. In its beginnings, the hermitage must have been dedicated to the apostle Santiago after the conquest of the Christians of the city. It is logical that this was so because during the conquest (XIII century) of Alfonso X the Wise, the order of Santiago had a leading role. Difficult is also to specify its foundation and everything around it are conjectures. The hermitage that today is open to worship and welcomes the brotherhood of Santo Entierro dates back to the 18th century, since in the chronicles of the city of Huelva, after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, there was talk of the few alterations suffered in the hermitage. We can then talk about the existence of two possible different buildings in time and styles.


It is a small Baroque church with a rectangular plan with only one nave and three side chapels. Its construction was carried out the fifteenth century under the invocation of the Apostle Santiago. Its exterior is austere due to its recent reconstruction and its various functions throughout its history.

The current building is made up of a rectangular nave whose access is through a staircase that leads to the entrance door made under a very low arch delimited by two lateral pilasters and a split pediment in whose center is inserted a belfry with lateral brackets and topped by an unopened pediment. As for the nave, it is closed in flat head, having in its presbytery area a square-shaped crypt with ramp access, used as the last dwelling of Don Pedro de Guzmán y Quesada and family. In the main chapel it had to be covered with an altarpiece where supposedly the images of Santiago and Nuestra Señora de la Soledad would appear. The building is completed with three side chapels located on the left wall of the church. The lighting system of this church came from the oculus located in the entrance area and the building's own door.

The church of the thousand stories

Throughout the centuries, the hermitage of solitude had different uses. He had the honor of being, since the seventeenth century headquarters of the Chair of Latinity and Grammar, created by Don Diego de Guzmán y Quesada. In 1854, the building became a hospital. Later, around 1869, the property of the building became the property of the town hall, from which, it suffered an abandonment until in 1880 Christian schools were created, whose works covered from that same year until 1885. Years later the The use of the hermitage would go from being an academy and a place for rehearsal of the municipal band to a hostel for passers-by, until the beginning of the 1980s, which was recovered by the bishopric of Huelva and it was concluded that it was demolished in its entirety by the state of abandonment in which it was, a proposal that was criticized by the people, thanks to which was preserved what undoubtedly could be one of the oldest temples in the city.

The rehabilitation began in 1992 today is the headquarters of the brotherhood of the Holy Burial, who in this building house their processional carvings among which stand the Christ Yacente, whose head is before 1936, the Virgin of Sorrows (1958) and the Virgin de la Soledad (1944), sculptures by sculptor León Ortega.