It's no coincidence that the Plaza de España has been the set for many movies (Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars, etc.) thanks to its masterful architecture. Anibal Gonzélez designed multiple buildings from the Ibero-American Expo of 1929 but this is definitely the high-point. It's simply so photogenic that I never get tired of snapping it from all angles.
La Giralda is a part of the Cathedral of Seville, although for its history it deserves its own separate chapter. Not for nothing, it is all that remains of the mosque on which the aforementioned cathedral was built.
It is the tallest building in Seville, not counting the Alamillo Bridge, and at one time, was the tallest tower in the world.
Inside it does not have stairways but ramps. It was created this way so that horses could climb to its highest point. It is crowned by a set of bells and Christian architecture (Renaissance) and by the very well-known Giraldillo, a weathervane statue that symbolizes faith and which eventually gave name to the whole building.
When you walk into this place you get the feeling that it was great. If you take it slowly you can appreciate Arab, Jewish and Christian craftsmanship in a harmony that makes you reflect on tolerance and respect between different cultures and religions. In particular, the Patio de las Doncellas (courtyard of the maidens) is a gem to discover.
Perhaps the fact that being half from there and having family there, my objectivity may be impaired, but along with those of Toledo and Granada (cathedrals I've seen), that of Seville is one of the most impressive and beautiful in Spain.
Since before Easter it has been undergoing an exterior remodelling process recovering the authentic background colour of its stone, whilst its interior pillars remain in process of repair.
For those who do not know or have not seen, besides the cathedral itself, the price one pays to see the treasure that lies at the side and the to climb La Giralda, I sincerely recommend, although you must be patient, as there are 36 flights of ramps (by the way, do not wear shoes that slide).
From each one of the ramps you have small windows from which you are able to take photos of the details of the roofs and spikes of the cathedral which are amazing. On top of everything, from the bell tower, you have the best views of Seville.
With a good zoom, La Maestranza (Plaza de Toro’s) seems right next door. A place I recommend, especially if you like photography.
For me, the Torre del Oro (Golden Tower) is one of the most beautiful monuments in the city, both by itself and in its strategic location, always safeguarding the river Guadalquivir...
It has always been "undervalued" when compared with La Giralda, but townspeople have wanted and respected it in through its most difficult times, so much so that after the conquest of the city by Ferdinand III in 1248, the abandonment ensued with the Tower. Thus, it arrived in the sixteenth century in a ruinous state, which meant it needed to undergo important works of consolidation.
Thanks to this consolidation work it reached the eighteenth century, in which the terrible Lisbon earthquake of 1755 shook the city and severely affected the tower. These were critical moments in its continued existence, because although in 1760 they mended the damages and added the upper section, just before the chief officer of Justice Marqués de Monte Real proposed its demolition, to widen the promenade for horse carriages and leave the passage of San Telmo to the Triana Bridge straighter.
The strong opposition from the people of Seville (Even reaching the King) prevented the perpetration of such destruction. A subsequent death threat came from the hands of the Revolution of 1868, whose revolutionaries, who had hurried the demolition of the canvas walls, went up for sale so they could exploit their demolition materials.
Again, the popular opposition were those that made sure the tower survived. It is therefore that I think the Torre de Oro is a symbol of struggle and survival in itself, for all the times it’s had to face destruction and yet always emerged triumphant.
Seville, 1845. By order of Queen Isabel II, did the construction of this marvellous piece of engineering begin. Seven years later, it would be completed.
It is now known as the "Triana Bridge" because that's the name of the neighbourhood in which it is located. Although christened Isabel II Bridge, nobody knows it as such.
This newly opened building leaves no one indifferent. Beyond absurd political disputes, it’s a place unlike anything elsewhere.
To me, a fan of photography, it is a place full of artistic possibilities. I get the idea that Parisians though of something similar when Eiffel sculpted his most famous work in old Paris.
Little by little, this enclave will acquire fame and everyone will want to see it when visiting my hometown of Seville.
The park has this romantic halo that different events throughout history, have contributed towards.
Fundamental the Latin American Exposition of 1929 which endowed a masterful architecture to the enclosure. Anibal Gonzalez, with his culminating work, the Plaza de España, knew how to conceive a space that for photography lovers presents a real gold mine.
In these times of stress and crisis, Maria Luisa Park, in Seville, takes on added value. One only need only stroll through it to realize that we are in a place with charm and a special magic.
The sound of the fountains and the fresh scent of the morning complete a revitalizing experience. At various points you can unite different experiences, such as feeding the pigeons (Plaza de America), ride a bike (including family cycles) or entertain one’s self taking photographs of the incomparable Plaza de España.
A place to lose or, better said, win a morning.
Walking in the spring through this wonderful district of Seville is a real pleasure for the senses. The eye is caught by the colours ranging from white of the whitewash to the green of the flowerpots, gardens...
At each step, we are wrapped by the intense and characteristic aroma of azahar (orange blossom). From every corner, guitar notes emerge accompanied by clapping hands...
You can be on either side of the Guadalquivir river as it passes through Seville in order to appreciate its beauty. It allows enough distance to see the beauty of a city that owes its historic past greatly to this entry via river. We can go to Triana's Betis street to enjoy its nightlife, its many restaurants or just stop and watch the silhouette of the classic Sevilla Giralda and Torre del Oro Elizabeth II Bridge, better known as Puente de Triana which is worthy of admiration from different points of view. If you look just parallel to the river by the side of Seville (Triana counter) runs a ride that breathes sport. Cyclists, runners and rowers captured the attention of passersby. Tons of ducks hang out along the river. A contemporary work of sculptor Eduardo Chillida makes us reflect on Tolerance and in that Sevilla was a place of mixed cultures, and continues to be. Many bronze statues of musical artists can be seen, as well as flamenco and bullfighting. A fisherman reminds us that the "Rio Grande" always has been, remains to be and will always be a resource for the city.
The House of Pilate (whose name has several theories) is located in the historic centre of Seville, in the Jewish quarter.
It is the prototype of a typical Andalusian palace, built in the sixteenth century that now belongs to the Dukes of Medinaceli Foundation. It was connected with the Church of San Esteban through walkways, so that the Dukes could hear mass. Unfortunately, we were late (by fifteen minutes!) And could not visit inside, but from what I've heard, is one of the must-sees in the city. We settled for seeing the facade as well as the courtyard that we glimpsed through the railings of the front side (Renaissance, with Mudejar decor).
The facade was made in Genoa by Antonio Maria Aprile and is crowned by a Gothic basketry. The most significant aspect of the courtyard is the central fountain and the 24 busts of Roman emperors that surround it.
The entrance fee was 5 € and allows one to freely visit the ground floor and the courtyard; to visit the top floor, the halls and the painting exhibition, one must pay 8 € (guided tour).
The biggest party in Seville is the April Fair. It is celebrated every year on the dates after Easter, in general, two weeks after Holy Week and starting in the month of April.
For its celebration, they arrange an urbanized fairground of over 1,000,000 square meters, next to the neighbourhood of Los Remedios, near the marina and the Guadalquivir River. They install marquee tents, amusement parks, parking and other services.
Currently, visitors, apart from the usual means of transport used in other years to reach the exhibition, now have two new metro stops nearby.
The fair starts Monday night with the traditional dinner of ‘pescaíto' (fried fish) and the turning on the 'alumbrao' (lighting), and ends on Sunday.
The origins of the April Fair date back to 1846. Today, the event has become the flagship holiday in the city of Seville, a festival that is enjoyed by many from Seville, friends, visitors and tourists.
Noted for its gaudiness and colouring is the monumental entrance to the fair each year, dedicated to a city monument or historical celebration, along with the street décor in the fairgrounds, the lighting and the marquee tents.
The fair is different during the day and night. During the day (from 12:00 to 20:00), in addition to eating, drinking and dancing, the most beautiful thing is a journey around the fairgrounds in a horse-drawn carriage, or by Jinete. While circulating the grounds you can see the huge number of carriages and Jinetes’ wandering between the booths. The carriages are limited to odd or even, according to their number plates. The Jinetes’ and horse-drawn carriages, in the afternoon, also travel towards the centre of the city and the bullring.
At night, the party is a highlight, the Sevillana dancing, the flamenco and having drinks with friends in the stands until dawn.
The gardens of Real Alcázar are a true bubble of peace and coolness, away from noise, activity and Seville heat.
Admission is free for students; therefore several times during our stay in Seville, we took a well-deserved rest there.
Of Moorish style, it is really relaxing with fresh cornflowers and multiple water fountains whose quiet noise contributes to the feeling of peace that this place exhibits.
There are better maintained areas, with roses, small shrubs carved with geometric shapes, and locations where there has been no attempt to tame nature, where palm, orange and other fruit trees coexist.
From the palace balconies, you can admire the forms and the division of the garden. There is a bartizan that gives shade to eat, although in several places in the park, the trees are so tall and close together that there is shade helping combat the heat of the day.
In the garden you can eat, and Sevillans take advantage of it, the place fills up with students and workers at lunchtime (for the people of Seville, admission is always free).
Holy Week in Seville is one of the most important events that occur each year in the city from a religious and cultural viewpoint, celebrated the week of the first full moon of spring, a few weeks before another major event that is April Fair in Seville.
Holy Week in the city is one of the most important in Spain and has an international impact around the Catholic world.
Declared of International Tourist Interest. Also, Seville boasts among its titles that of "Mariana" the only city in the world that does.
The week runs from Palm Sunday until the following Sunday which is Easter Sunday, with processions each day of images representing the Passion of Christ, totalling (for the week) over 60 Confraternities.
There are many people from Seville that accompany the images dressed the custom Nazarene way carrying candles, crosses and preceding the procession as acolyte thurifers.
Others perform the penance procession carrying ritual portable platforms on their shoulders as bearers. Holy Week is lived year round in the city and fraternities work daily in the three fundamental pillars that define them: education, worship and charity.
There is much care work that fraternities and brotherhoods perform in Seville and its province. The penitential processions are the main external worships of the guilds, but the fraternities also perform much internal worship to their incumbent throughout the year (novenas, quinary, triduum, Hand-kissing, proclamations, conferences, Via Crucis....)
There is a General Council of Fraternities and Brotherhoods, whose members are elected every four years by the elder brothers of the different fraternities, in charge of organizing the Holy Week and streamlining procedures and arrangements with official institutions for everything related to the official procession.
Some processions are accompanied by the music of bands, musical groups or choirs, although there are fraternities without musical accompaniment.
If there is a fellowship with tradition and many faithful in Seville, it is that of Esperanza Macarena and their Basilica, in the neighbourhood of the same name, it’s a must visit.
The basilica is a modern construction and its main interest is the carving of the Virgin Mary it houses in its interior.
It really is beautiful, and its neo baroque altar is a true marvel. Inside the church there is also a museum displaying the jewels of the Virgin Mary and their Holy Week procession.
One of the most visited and touristy plazas in Seville is, without doubt, the Plaza del Triunfo (Triumph Square), it is surrounded by the most significant buildings of the city: the Alcázar, the Cathedral, the Giralda, and the General Archive of the Indies.
Throughout its history it has had various names, such as Plaza de los Cantos (Pebble Square) or Plaza del Hospital del Rey (King's Hospital Square). It is a very large square, pedestrian, with a garden area and two monuments: el templete del Triunfo (Victory shrine), next to the Archive of the Indies, that commemorates the "triumph" of the city to not have anyone killed during the Lisbon earthquake, being that they were celebrating the feast of All Saints inside the cathedral, when the event occurred and it collapsed in part.
In addition, the Immaculate Conception monument, work of James Coullaut, is located in the gardens. In front of this monument every December 8 (Feast of the Immaculate), a floral offering accompanied by the performance of university tunas takes place. We were lucky enough to see the outdoor exhibition entitled "Urban Universe", by sculptor John Ripollés; it has now been moved to Madrid.
Also in this square there is a real "parking" of carriages, for those who want to enjoy a typical city tour by horse and carriage.
When we think of Seville, especially if we are not from there, a group of women with flamenco dresses mounted on a horse-drawn carriage riding around the city usually comes to mind. Well, these carriages are also a tourist service throughout the year. For the modest price (to call it something) of 60 € (top-bottom) for a journey of about 40 minutes.
A charioteer from the city informs you on the most relevant sites depending on where you get it from. If you get it from the cathedral, you will ride around the Paseo de Colon and de las Delicias at the most and back again. If instead, you get on at Plaza de España the journey will include Maria Luisa Park amongst others, but not the cathedral. That issue is to be spoken about with the coachman.
It is one of the things tourists most enjoy, hence the increasing price. I would recommend not paying more than 60 € as sometimes they see a face or hear an accent from abroad and they try to hustle you.
In truth, if you have a couple of days free I prefer to visit the city on foot. It gives you time to enjoy much more of everything.