Seville, Andalucía: Port to the New World

Visited June 22-23, 2011. Seville is located in the Andalucía region of Spain.

Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Attraction Checklist:

  • Flamenco Show at El Palacio Andaluz (June 22)
  • La Catedral de Sevilla (also called Catedral y Giralda) (June 23)
  • Corpus Christi Procession (held on a Thursday after Trinity Sunday) (June 23)
  • Plaza Nueva (June 23)
  • Palacio Arzobispal (June 23)
  • Alcázar de Seville (June 23)
  • Plaza de España (June 23)
  • Murallas (June 23)
  • Basílica Macarena (June 23)

June 22, 2011

Monument to Christopher Columbus, Seville, Spain

Monument to Christopher Columbus, Seville, Spain

After a long day’s drive, we arrived in Seville—the capital and largest city of Andalucía and province of Seville— along the Guadalquivir River. Our bus took us through the city past the bull ring and ornately decorated buildings and into the heart of the city. Seville was founded by the Romans who called it “Hispalis” and later taken over by the Moors who called it “Isbilya.” As a result, the city contains evidence of several cultures as noted by the architecture. In the past, Seville was an important port of departure and commercial when the New World was discovered in 1492 and through the 16th century. At this high point of Spanish history, many people from Flanders, France, Italy, and other European countries would pass through this port and further influence the culture, especially during the Renaissance period. During the 17th century, renowned painters, such as Diego Velazquez, Bartolome Esteban, and Juan de Valdes Leal, were born in Seville and whose masterpieces would be inspirational to the rest of the world.

In more recent history, the Ibero-American Exposition took place in 1929, representing Spain, United States, and Ibero-American nations. Today, one can still see the colorful pavilions representing the Ibero-American nations of Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Argentina, and more. Another exhibition was held to celebrate 100 years since the discovery of the New World in 1992.

Flamenco dancers at El Palacio Analuz, Seville, Spain

Modern flamenco dance at El Palacio Analuz, Seville, Spain

The star of the flamenco dancing show at El Palacio Anadaluz, Seville, Spain

The star of the flamenco dancing show at El Palacio Anadaluz, Seville, Spain

We were given time to refresh ourselves at the hotel before heading to the Flamenco Show at El Palacio Andaluz. The show was a blend of modern and traditional flamenco that is comparable to the Moulin Rouge show seen in Paris, France. The costumes were quite elaborate and eye-catching.

I particularly enjoyed the female star, who did a few solo dances.

Traditional flamenco dance at El Palacio Andaluz, Sevilla, Spain

Traditional flamenco dance at El Palacio Andaluz, Sevilla, Spain

We had dinner afterwards and then enjoyed a nice walk around the area to enjoy the nightlife before turning in for the night.

June 23, 2011

La Catedral de Sevilla, Seville, Spain

La Catedral de Sevilla, Seville, Spain

The following day, June 23rd, we visited La Catedral de Sevilla, an enormous Gothic-style structure with a bell tower (Giralda) housing 24 bells.

Tomb of Christopher Columbus inside the Catedral de Sevilla, Seville, Spain

Tomb of Christopher Columbus inside the Catedral de Sevilla, Seville, Spain

Inside the cathedral, we saw the burial monument of Christopher Columbus’ tomb held up by four gilded statutes and the elaborate halls and arches. The locals were present, listening to mass, as we wandered around the halls marveling at the sights.

Corpus Christi procession, Seville, Spain

Corpus Christi procession, Seville, Spain

Square outside the Catedral de Sevilla, Seville, Spain

Square outside the Catedral de Sevilla, Seville, Spain

Outside of the cathedral, the square was decorated with red banners depicting the saints and the people crowded around the boundary to see the religious procession of the Corpus Christi. The procession solemnly entered the cathedral amidst the harmonious ringing of the 24 bells, hymn music, and murmured whispers of awe from the onlookers. It was truly an experience to see the devotion of the Spanish people and how religion plays a central role in their lives.

 

 

 

If interested, you can view the procession below. Credited to YouTube user, cruzalzada.

Next, we followed our local guide into the Plaza Nueva, a downtown area filled with government buildings. Then, we headed east into the cobble-stoned streets past the Palacio Arzobispal (Palace of the Archbishop) and to the Alcázar de Seville—a summer palace of the king that was designed by both Moors and Christians.

Alcázar of Seville, Seville, Spain

Alcázar of Seville, Seville, Spain

Inside, one can see the elaborate patterns and latticework of the Moors that rivals La Alhambra in Granada; and the chapel and gardens.

Garden of Alcázar of Seville, Seville, Spain

Garden of Alcázar of Seville, Seville, Spain

After a relaxing walk through the garden of the Alcázar, the tour bus took us to the Plaza de España located in the Parque de María Luisa.

Plaza de España, Seville, Spain

Plaza de España, Seville, Spain

The Plaza was built in Renaissance and Neo-Moorish style for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 by Aníbal González. The main building is a half-circle with other buildings along the edges and joined by several bridges across a moat.

Alcove dedicated to Burgos in Plaza de España, Seville, Spain

Alcove dedicated to Burgos in Plaza de España, Seville, Spain

The walls of the main building have many tiled alcoves, each representing a province of Spain. Other ceramics are also present. At the center is a fountain on the tiled ground. Today, the Plaza houses the government buildings, including the Seville Town Hall, and archaeological museums. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best sights to see in Seville.

Afterwards, we were given free time. Feeling a little tired of Spanish cuisine, we went to a Chinese restaurant and had fried rice, noodles, and dumplings for lunch. Then, we took a walk nearby the Murallas (old city walls).

Andalusian Farmhouse in Seville, Spain

Andalusian Farmhouse in Seville, Spain

For dinner, we went to a quaint, white-washed farmhouse with a horse stable. We had a hearty meal of gazpacho, pork chop and potatoes; ice cream, and tea.

When we returned to town, we walked around the residential neighborhood of the Basílica Macarena—dedicated to La Macarena, the Lady of Hope. We turned in early for the night in anticipation of our journey inland.

Additional Comments

Two days in Seville is not enough for a visit. Given more time, we probably could explore several other places, including the Cruceros Torre del Oro and the bullring (Plaza del Toros de la Maestranza). This city will be on my list for a revisit.

Acknowledgments

Resources

Andalucia Com S.L. (2012). Sevilla—Plaza de España. Retrieved from http://www.andalucia.com/cities/seville/plazadeespana.htm

El Palacio Andaluz. (2012). El Palacio Andaluz: Tablao Flamenco Sevilla. Retrieved from http://www.elpalacioandaluz.com/?lang=en

Tourism of Seville. (2012). Seville Tourism. Retrieved from http://www.visitasevilla.es/

Wikipedia. (2012, November 11). Alcázar of Seville. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Alc%C3%A1zar_of_Seville&oldid=522515270

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