Located in the square that today bears its name, the ancient parish of Santa Maria Magdalena, like several more of those which were raised after the reconquest of Seville, it was reconstructed in the days of King Pedro I, as a result of the strong earthquake that shook the city in 1355. Magdalena´s church was free of damage, remaining surrounded by three small squares: “La Pila” alongside the epistle, “The Bells” at the feet, and that of “The Lions” or “La Leña” at the head. As is widely known, the temple has three naves and Gothic-Mudejar physiognomy, it was knocked down by the French in 1811 and partially rebuilt in 1817, it was newly and definitively demolished in 1842, the parochial functions were passed to the extinguished Dominican convent of Saint Paul the Royal.
Saint Paul's church, current parish of Santa Maria Magdalena, is one of the most emblematic works of Leonardo de Figuera, the most representative architect of the Sevillian baroque period. One must remember that the old Gothic factory of this monastery collapsed on the first Sunday of Advent in 1691, necessitating the raising of a new temple that, nevertheless, preserved as vestiges of its medieval past both the zone of its polygonal head-board and three Mudejar chapels aligned to the feet of the side of the epistle that shaped the headquarters of the Brotherhood of Dulce Nombre of Jesus, fused in 1851 with the penitential brotherhood of “La Quinta Angustia”. Also it remained the plan of three naves separated by pillars of the previous church, which Figueroa updated and interpreted in a monumental way, granting great extent to the central nave and arranging a cross of very deep arms. The choir sits atop at the feet, occupying the first two sections of the principal nave. The sacramental chapel is attached to the nave of the epistle. The covers are solved by means of vaults of half-cannon domes and fajones arches, reserving the central section of the cross to lift an airy dome, with drum and lantern; the lateral naves present vaults of edge. For the interior the ornamental details of great wealth and variety, based on carved stuccoes and golden wood, besides the architectural structures of polychromatic marble that were arranged in the wings of the presbytery, all this in combination with the wall paintings and altarpieces that with time were accumulated in this enclosure, whose construction would conclude in 1709, though the consecration of the church had to wait until October 22, 1724.
Outside, Leonardo de Figueroa provides the temple with extraordinary originality, by means of the presentation of materials, adornments and diverse colors, alternating the wall coverings made with the reddish brick, the stony elements and the glazed yellow, white and blue ceramics. This predominant interest for the decoration is demonstrated with special emphasis on the dome, in the garrets or in the double reed-mace, executed in 1697, which is raised on the façade at the feet. The sculptural program in stone, in whose execution Pedro Roldán and his workshop intervened, emphasizing the effigy of Saint Domingo de Guzman that it is sheltered in the niche of the entrance of the cross, which dates back to 1694.