Seville Travel Summary

Seville is one of Spain’s most charming cities with magnificent art and history.  Cobble alley ways, labyrinths, exquisite cathedrals and a lively tapas bars line the river which winds its way through the Andalusian capital.

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The Seville Travel Summary is segmented into 2 key travel themes to immerse you into everything Seville:

  1. An introduction and brief history to Seville;
  2. What to See

Hope you enjoy it!  Carpe Diem!

 

1. An introduction and brief history to Seville:

A rich history has left the city with extraordinary Mudejar, Gothic and Renaissance architecture and sensational monuments e.g. the magnificent Cathedral the third largest in the world, the Giralda tower, the wonderful palace of the Reales Alcázares, the magical Barrio of Santa Cruz with its narrow streets, the Maestranza bullfighting ring and the passion for Flamenco an the perfume of orange blossoms on every corner.

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The tapas scene is one of the main cultural attractions of the city with locals doing tapas crawls, enjoying small dishes called tapas. Local specialities include fried and grilled seafood (including squid, cuttlefish, swordfish, marinated dogfish, and ortiguillas), grilled and stewed meat, spinach with chickpeas, Jamón ibérico, lamb kidneys in sherry sauce, snails, caldo de puchero, and gazpacho.

Seville is also the home of Flamenco.  Flamenco music was popularised in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries in western Andalucía. One of its hotbeds was Seville’s working class district of Triana, a bastion of Andalucía’s Roma people who sang evocatively about their lives and struggles in solemn but sensuous laments.  Along with the nearby cities of Jerez and Cádiz, Seville is a perfect place to see flamenco in the land of its genesis.

Semana Santa (Holy Week) has been celebrated in Seville in pretty much its current form since the 16th century. Over 50,000 cofradía members don traditional robes and solemnly traverse the city in over 116 pasos (passes) from Palm Sunday to Easter morning.   Holy Week in Seville is huge and has to be seen to be believed, we visited in April 2019 and I had no idea what to expect – it is a truly spectacular event and draws thousands of Spanish into the historical core near the Cathedral.

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2. What to See:

Seville Cathedral:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Seville’s cathedral, Santa Maria de la Sede, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage
  • The world’s largest Gothic cathedral, it was built between 1434 and 1517
  • For wonderful views over Seville climb the Giralda Bell Tower

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Real Alcázar:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • The Real Alcázar de Sevilla is the Royal Palace of Seville. The name ‘Alcazar‘ means castle in Spanish and is derived from the Arabic word al-qasr (fortress or palace).
  • The complex of palaces is in the Mudéjar style, which is an architectural style with many influences from Moorish and Christian culture.
  • Claiming to be the oldest palace still in use in Europe; when King Felipe V visits Seville, this UNESCO-listed palace is still his residence
  • Highlights of the palace include the Patio de las Doncellas courtyard, with its beautiful tiled plinths, and the Patio de las Muñecas courtyard, with its fascinating collection of capital

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Plaza de España:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Built for the Ibero-American Exposition, a world fair that took place in Seville in 1929, the Plaza de España is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks
  • The Plaza is spectacular and boasts Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival architecture, fountains, and Venetian-style bridge
  • There are two tall towers on the flanks of the square. Of note are the 52 benches and mosaics of tiles located at the foot of the building on the Spanish square. These 52 frescoes depict all 52 Spanish provinces

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Torre del Oro:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • The Torre del Oro (Golden Tower), which dominates the banks of the river Guadalquivir next to the Puente San Telmo, is a remnant of the Moorish fortified walls which originally enclosed the city
  • The tower dates from 1220 and was built in stone by the Almohades (a Moorish dynasty)
  • It was originally decorated with golden tiles, while the upper brick mini-tower was added in the 18th century
  • Today, it houses naval museum where you can view flags, maps, scale models of ships, diving equipment and other maritime objects

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Parque de María Luisa:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • The Park of María Luisa consists partly of the gardens of the Palacio de San Telmo, donated to the city of Seville in 1893 by Princess María Luisa (the Duchess of Montpensier) and added to Seville’s urban landscape in 1911
  • In 1910, the park was chosen as the main location for the future Hispano-American Exhibition
  • Adjacent to Plaza de España the park contains a beautiful fountains and an oasis of Mediterranean trees and colourful flowers

Metropol Parasol:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Standing in the Plaza de la Encarnación is Metropol Parasol, also known as the ‘mushrooms of Seville’ (‘Setas de Sevilla’)
  • The building, which opened in 2011, was designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer, who won a design competition to revitalise the square
  • It is the largest wooden construction in the world

 

Barrio Santa Cruz:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Barrio Santa Cruz is the most picturesque and delightful part of the city, with narrow winding cobbled streets and whitewashed houses
  • The Barrio is home to the lion’s share of Seville’s bumper sights e.g. Seville Cathedral and the Real Alcázar
  • Tapas bars on nearby Calle Mateos Gago serve octopus and Iberian ham, while the old Jewish quarter’s narrow streets and orange tree–lined squares are dotted with shops selling souvenirs, handicrafts and ceramics

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Casa de Pilatos:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • La Casa de Pilatos (Pilate’s House) is the finest example of a civil (as opposed to royal) palace in Seville
  • The building is a mixture of Italian Renaissance and Spanish Mudéjar adorned with precious tiles, and has well-kept garden
  • The palace houses naval museum where you can view flags, maps, scale models of ships, diving equipment and other maritime objects

 

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