In southern Spain you will find the legendary and lovely city of Seville. It is the fourth largest city in the country and capital of Andalusia. According to mythology, Hercules founded Seville as he sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar to the Atlantic. During its 2000 year history, it has been home to the Romans, Vandals and Visigoths, and its 800 years of Moorish influence is very present in its unique multi-cultural architecture.
Seville (Sevilla in Spanish) located on the Guadalquivir River was awarded the royal monopoly as the European port city for all trade and goods coming from the New World. In fact, at the Archivo de Indias (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) you will find a priceless collection of archives pertaining to the discovery of the Americas.
Seville is a vibrant and friendly city eager to share many of its cultural traditions including the famous birthplace of tapas (Spanish appetizers), the famous festivals and processions of Semana Santa and Feria de Abril, the picturesque pedestrian streets of Barrio de Santa Cruz (formerly the Jewish Quarters), the nearby Roman city of Itálica (birthplace of three Roman Emperors), the world’s largest wooden sculpture, and much more. It is also the city of Carmen, Don Juan, and Figaro.
La Giralda and the Cathedral
The Cathedral of Seville, built in the 15th and 16th centuries, sits on the grounds of what was once major mosque. Within the cathedral walls you will find La Giralda, the minaret. Its steep climb is worth doing to capture a beautiful view of the city. It is the third largest Cathedral in the world, and houses the stunning tomb of Christopher Columbus.
Facing the Cathedral you will find the elegant Arab palace, the Alcázar. Although construction began in 1181, it took 500 years to build. Predominantly Mudejar-style architecture, the upper levels of the palace is used by the Spanish royal family as their official Seville residence.
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España is a frequently filmed plaza where all the provinces of Spain are depicted in ornate hand-painted tiles. The Parque Marisa Luisa is a fun place where you can feed friendly doves out of your hands.
Museo de Bellas Artes
The Museo de Bellas Artes, founded in 1839, is housed in the Convento de la Merced Calzada which was built in 1602. The collections include art from Francisco de Zurbaran, Valdes Leal, as well as Murillo, Francisco Pacheco, Velazquez, Cano, El Greco and Goya.
El Puente de Alamillo
Seville has modern art and architecture that is the envy of Europe. The Alamillo Bridge was constructed for the World Expo ’92 by architect Santiago Calatrava and is an engineering and design marvel.
The world’s largest wooden structure, Metropol Parasol, was designed by Berlin architect Jurgen Mayer in 2011. The locals call it Las Setas de la Encarnación (wild mushrooms of the Incarnation) because of its unique modern design. It houses a market and the terrace roof offers another great view of the city.
There are so many, many reasons to visit Seville. From the flamenco festivals, to the fresh and local cuisine, we could list them all here but where’s the fun in that? Come see for yourself. So pack your bags and head to Sevilla, but be warned…. you may not want to come home.
Come celebrate the world with Conexus International as we showcase the best the world has to share.