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Sevilla Travel Guide

Sevilla

Sevilla:According to legend, Sevilla was founded by Hercules and its origins are linked with the Tartessian civilisation. It was called Hispalis under the Romans and Isbiliya with the Moors. Its high point in its history was following the discovery of America.

Kindly note that you can combine these trips with Greece and Spain

Sevilla lies on the banks of the Guadalquivir and is one of the largest historical centres in Europe, it has the minaret of La Giralda, the cathedral (one of the largest in Christendom), and the Alcázar Palace. Part of its treasure include Casa de Pilatos, the Town Hall, Archive of the Indies (where the historical records of the American continent are kept), the Fine Arts Museum (the second largest picture gallery in Spain) , plus convents, parish churches and palaces.

It has hosted two international exhibitions (1929 and 1992) and is the administrative capital of Andalucía. The quarter of Triana on the other side of the river, La Macarena, Santa Cruz and San Bartolomé, the street of Las Sierpes, plus La Maestranza bullring, María Luisa park and the riverside walks are all representative images of Sevilla.

For all its important monuments and fascinating history, Sevilla is universally famous for being a joyous town. While the Sevillians are known for their wit and sparkle, the city itself is striking for its vitality. It is the largest town in Southern Spain, the city of Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro.
Holy Week, Semana Santa, a religious festival where hooded penitents march In long processions followed by huge baroque floats on which sit Images of the Virgin or Christ, surrounded by cheerful crowds. Both Spring events are well worth experiencing.

Highlights

La Giralda and the Cathedral

Since its construction, The Cathedral of Seville holds the title of Magna Hispalensis, not only for being one of the greatest Gothic building to ever exist, but also for being one of the most colossal of Christendom. It went declared a national monument in 1928 and granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1987. Important files and documents are kept in the Colombian library in the Patio de Los Naranjos. Its appearance is product of the successive happened enlargements and transformations since the original mosque was razed by the Almohads. Today the only remains of the mosque can be seen in the Patio de los Naranjos and the minaret (Giralda), from where can enjoy a beautiful view of the city. In the cathedral we can see beautiful works of art. In the High Altar is the greater altarpiece, considered one of the largest in the world (27 m2 high 18 m2wide). In the chapel of San Antonio we can see one of the treasures of the cathedral, A painting by Murillo “The Vision of San Antonio”. The chapel of the Virgin de la Antigua is one of the largest and wealthiest of the 14th century and is heritage of the discovery of America.. The monument to Columbus holds the remains of this discovery. We can also contemplate one of best works of the Sevillian baroque sculpture, the Christ of Mercy, by Martínez Montañés . In the sacristy of the chalices can see paintings of great value, such Goya’s “Santa Just and Santa Rufina”. The main sacristy is of great beauty in itself due to its plateresque style, and works of art such as the Custody de Arfe, used in the Corpus Cristi processions. In the capitular hall, the dome is decorated with paintings of Murillo, and can see ” La Inmaculada”, considered to be the most beautiful of its kind. In the Royal Chapel we can see to the Virgin of the Kings, a 13th century image and patroness of the city, and in an urn of silverware


Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza

The bullring, La Real Maestranza of Seville, is one of the most beautiful, oldest, as well as one of the most significant in the history of bullfighting. It took more that a century to build. The construction began in 1761, on the remains of its predecessor; a square plaza made of wood raised from the floor of the Baratillo hill and near the Arenal.Various architecs intervened with its building, until it was finished in 1881, by Juan Talavera de la Vega. The architect Aníbal González gave this own personal touch to the stalls in 1914 and in 1928 he completed the annexe house to the bullring , which is now the central office of the society of the Maestranza.

Plaza España (Spain Square):

Built by Anibal Gonzal Built as part of an ample construction programme carried out to commemorate of the Hispano-American Exposition of 1929. It measures 200m in diameter and has an are of 14,000m2. Made in regional style (a mixture of mudejar, gothic and renaissance styles). The materials used were brick and ceramics. Around the square are 48 benches dedicated to the Spanish provinces (situated in alphabetical order), decorated with ceramic tiles, coat of arms and map of the province. There is a small stream around the square crossed by 4 bridges representing the 4 kingdoms which constitute the Spanish crown: Castille, Leon, Navarre and Aragon. These building are currently occupied by various public institutions, the civil service and the military.Built by Anibal Gonzal Built as part of an ample construction programme carried out to commemorate of the Hispano-American Exposition of 1929. It measures 200m in diameter and has an are of 14,000m2. Made in regional style (a mixture of mudejar, gothic and renaissance styles). The materials used were brick and ceramics. Around the square are 48 benches dedicated to the Spanish provinces (situated in alphabetical order), decorated with ceramic tiles, coat of arms and map of the province. There is a small stream around the square crossed by 4 bridges representing the 4 kingdoms which constitute the Spanish crown: Castille, Leon, Navarre and Aragon. These building are currently occupied by various public institutions, the civil service and the military.
  Reales Alcazares:Part time Residence of the Royal Family, is the oldest Royal Palace used in Europe. Noteworthy as it is it not mererly a singular palace but a series of palaces, the product of successive reforms that took place since the Arab occupation. Since then various Monarchs have made additions of a wide array of styles, materials used and influences that are commonly found in Seville. Thus these grounds bring together a perfect symbiosis, a succession of architectural styles, from Islamic to neoclassical, incorporating mudéjar elements, gothic, renaissance, plateresque, purist, baroque and rococo; all contributing to the magnificence of this landmark. Noted for its beautiful gardens, patios, rooms and tapestries, it preseves certain relics from the Arab Alcázar.
  Santa Cruz:Santa Cruz is the name of the area which today hosts part of the ancient Jewish quarters. References to this Almohade period resonate this zone which goes from the Puerta de Jerez to the Puerta de la Carne as well as the Barrio del Alcazar de la Bendición neighborhood.Although there is no proof that the Jews actually lived there during the Muslim period, the tradition still holds that when the city was conquered by Castile in 1248, both the Almohades and the Jews handed over their keys of the city to King Fernando III.What is indeed true is that when the city was conquered, all mosques were handed over to the Church with the exception of three which were given to the Jews.

Triana

Triana, named after the emperor Trajano is on the other side of the river. The western shore of the Guadalquivir unites the old and new part of Seville. Since Roman times ceramics have been an important part of Triana’s industry.It has traditionally been a working class area, famous for its bull fighters and flamenco. Its paved streets and ceramic shops create a refreshing but authentic atmosphere. Visitors to Triana can buy traditional ceramics, walk through the town during the day and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the bars and the panoramic views from the other side of the Guadalquivir at night.

Macarena

Escape the tourist track and discover a typical Sevillian district by walking through La Macarena.The Calle Feria is full of activity throughout the morning and has a market selling fresh fish and vegetables.In the afternoon mass is held in a number of quaint little churches. Normally at this time the people of the area can be seen enjoying a drink and eating tapas in the local bars.

Parque Maria Luisa

Infanta (Princess) Maria Luisa who always professed a great love for Seville, donated to the city in 1893 a great extension of the gardens of her palace, that extended from the University to the Plaza de America. This treed and landscaped area of more than 400,000 square meters was left untouched until the City council decided to house there important constructions of the Latin American Exhibition of 1929. The French engineer Nicholas Forestier was the one in charge of the urbanization of the park. He was granted total freedom to shape his ideas with the single condition that he respect the original layout of the primitive gardens granted by Infanta Maria Luisa. Forestier tried to reflect a merge of new European designs with Moorish ideas, a combination that gave excellent results.