The international image of Spain connects us to Andaluzia.
Sevilla is the heart of Andalucia.
Flamenco, salero, history, tradition, toros, y olé!
Not to be missed, the narrow streets, the interior “pateos”, flowers everywhere, cast iron windows, I mean… Spain at its best.
It deserves two different visits: in the afternoon, protected from the sun, to feel colors and shapes, and by night, to “live” the city, and watch “flamenco” in one of the many “tablaos”.
Well… this was my vision in summer.
I’ve been there again in winter, and… less flowers, closed “pateos”, but always pretty, and always… spanish.
Santa Cruz quarter
Casa de Pilatos
This one of the most visited places in Seville, and I visited it in 1963.
Of course, I don’t remember much of it, and tried to visit it again this time. No way, time was not enough to enter!
Address: Plaza de Pilatos
St Cruz square
Contrasting with the narrow streets of the quarter, this small square is one of its the larger spaces.
In the centre of the square, the cross of Cerrajeria, a remarkable metalwork from the 17th century, marks the place of the former church of Santa Cruz.
After the Christian conquest of Seville this city became one of the greatest Jewish communities in Spain. Santa Cruz was one of their quarters, and, though their four synagogues were transformed in churches, their signs are still present.
Alfaro is just another beautiful square of Santa Cruz quarter, close to Juderia, with a nice palace, but the main attraction is Murillo gardens.
The landmark of Santa Cruz is the beauty of the inner “pateos”, decorated with flower pots. In winter it looses something, because the “pateos” are closed and with less flowers.
Time to enhance the iron works in doors and windows.
Discreetly located in one of the narrow streets of Santa Cruz, this two floors building is one of the most important of Baroque in Seville.
It has a peculiar courtyard with high level arcades.
Built in the 17th century and originally a residence to priests, it houses today Velasquez centre.
San Salvador church
The second church of Seville, in size, St. Salvador church, was built in the end of the 17th century in Renaissance style, with several Baroque altars.
At the northeastern entrance of the typical quarter a small square is covered by the usual esplanades, facing Altamira palace and the church of “Santa Maria la Blanca”.
St Ildefonso church
Giving name to the square, this neoclassical church was built in the 18th century. It is a little bit out of the main touristy places, and it was closed when we passed there.
The square at the end of Constitution avenue is bordered by beautiful buildings, with evidence to Town Hall, a Renaissance building with a Plateresque facade.
I don’t know if it is possible to visit it.
The avenue facing the cathedral is remarkable – wide, bordered by some of the most beautiful buildings in town, I think that it concentrates, all the time, about half of Seville’s total visitors.
Large and rich
This perfect example of Gothic architecture, enriched with the Muslim tower of Giralda and “pateos”, it’s a cool place in the furnace of Seville, with lots of treasures to justify a long and relaxing visit, with special evidence to Colon’s tomb. Built in the beginning of the 15th century, it is the third largest church in the world, and so beautiful, that I must not waste your time describing some of the beauties that you need to discover locally by yourself, with the help of a good guide.
However, if it means nothing to you, there’s another reason to approach it – It is also the central place from where horse ridden carts depart, covering the touristy area in the easiest way to do it.
Beauty and size
The minaret of the old mosque was kept when, in the 16th century, the mosque was demolished to build the cathedral.
Later on, an earthquake destroyed its top, replaced by a belfry and topped with a four meters high statue that turns according to the wind.
Giralda is a Spanish name to weather vane.
Pateo de los Naranjos
The only things that remain from the mosque built in the 12th century and replaced by the cathedral are the tower – Giralda – and the adjacent cloister, called Pateo de los Naranjos because it is all planted with orange trees.
The Muslim origins can be clearly seen in one of its doors, called Puerta del Perdon.
Inside the walls, the only visitable area of the closed Alcazar in January 1st, was this square, whose name comes from the tradition to display there the flags of the royal visitors to the palace.
For more than 40 years I don’t enter the Alcazar, with memories fading.
It was supposed to be this time, but it was closed in January 1st.
Bad luck, but it there will be more times in Seville.
Surrounded by the cathedral, the Alcazar and the Royal Archives of India, this wide square is the main hub of all touristy movements in Seville.
It has an image of the Virgin in the centre, but its name comes from another small monument close to the archives.
A small fountain well positioned, marks the beginning of Constitution avenue, the main touristy street in Seville.
It is surrounded by several palaces, such as the Hotel Alfonso XIII, the Tobacco factory, or the “Casa da Moeda”.
Torre del Oro
Sentinel by the river
Once covered by golden tiles (hence the name – Torre del Oro), this almost round tower was used to protect the harbor, with a chain that closed its entrance.
Today, it houses the Naval Museum.
Address: Paseo de Christobal Colon
Torre de Plata
Maybe getting its name by opposition to its neighbor, the tower “del’Oro”, this octagonal building comes from the 13th century and has recently been recovered (I didn’t see it in all my previous trips), though not yet suitable to visit.
Maria Luisa park
Beautiful new building
In 1929 a very beautiful building was made near Maria Luísa park, for the Spanish-American Exhibition.
Today, it is used by the government, and it is a great detail, contrasting with the green of the park, generally easy to visit because of its proximity to the historical centre.
PLaza de Espanha and its surroundings were suffering strong restrictions, caused by many current works.
The beautiful tiled panels in the Plaza were covered, but they reproduced the originals in the fences.
A nice idea, but suggesting that the works are there to last.
Well… not much, I hope!
Lope de Vega Theater
The pavilion of Seville to the Ibero American exhibition of 1929 became a theater and a casino. I didn’t enter, but couldn’t resist to the building’s nice look.
Café de Casino
The old Seville pavilion in 1929 Latin American Exposition has a selected restaurant “Café de Casino” where, sometimes, there is live entertainment.
For a long time I didn’t go there, because I had no time, but could see from distance that some of the buildings that I visited during EXPO 92 still stand in the island. I know that the area around the lake was transformed in an amusement park.
More than using the attractions installed in the park, I was curious to compare with the original that I still have in memory.
Well, visiting with the grandsons, who has time and attention to comparisons? They had big fun… I mean, we all had big fun.
Website: Isla Magica
For a quick light meal this was a great choice. We ate some “tapas”, tasty and cheap. The movement was high, and the service suffered a little bit from it, but it was the only negative point.
Address: Santa María La Blanca, 19
Absolutely great. We all choose tapas, which gave us the opportunity to taste several dishes. It was impossible to name the best. The restaurant has a mix of Spanish and international food, where we could find the best of Japan, Italy or Thailand, for instance.
The prices were moderated, allowing a very good ratio quality/price.
A place to remember…
Location: Alameda de Hercules
We were 9, and found a promotion in Murillo apartments allowing us to share 3 apartments, for the total price of 160€. We arrived fearing a bad surprise, with such a low price, but we had none. The apartments are good, with a regular bedroom and a small area sharing a kitchenette with eating and living spaces, were a sofa bed was used by the third person.
The only drawback (that we knew beforehand) was the impossibility to reach the hotel by car. We parked nearby (Cano y Cueto parking), and used a small bag to carry only the essential for that night.
The bar at the top of the hotel had a precious view of the cathedral.
Address: C/ Reinoso 6, Seville, Andalusia, 41004, Spain
Phone: +34 954 21 09 59
Alfonso XIII hotel
Distinct and perfectly placed
No, we didn’t stay there, but the classic beauty of the building and its perfect location make it, maybe, the best option in Seville. Well, for those who can afford it…
Address: Calle San Fernando 2, Seville, Andalusia, 41004, Spain
Phone: +34 954 91 70 00
Website: Alfonso XIII
Seville is now accessible by a modern line connecting to Madrid by AVE. Taking less than 3 hours, it is not cheap, costing more than 70€.
Vueling flies for almost the same price and gives you extra time to look around, for instance, the old and beautiful train station, now transformed in a shopping mall.
Several cities in the world have carriages to a brief circuit.
I think that Seville is one of the most suitable to justify its use.
Most monuments are seen just passing by, and the small area covered by the main attractions eases the way.
However, I love to walk, always the best way to travel, if with time.
One of my visits to Seville (I passed there a couple of times after that, but just passing by) was for this international exhibition. I went alone with Fernanda, and after the first day, we felt so guilty for not taking the kids that we came back early than planned to be back with them later. We did.
I was curious about what would happen to that splendid use of Cartuja island, and wrote that there many doubts and trouble, but that finally a solution was found, with Cartuja becoming a good area for entertainment. Well, I’ve been there and wrote about it..
Higher than it looks
Giralda is an attraction for itself, in the marvel of the cathedral. It’s easy to climb, because it has inclines instead of stairs, and they seem not too steep. That’s right. But they are… long.
Now imagine the sorrow I felt when, in my way down, we met a Japanese senior couple with him telling her, while resting a bit on his walking stick: “We are almost there”.
They were brave, indeed, already in stage 9, but I had no guts to tell them that they are… 36 inclines.
Next time I’ll check out if they are already in the top or still in their way!
Three square meters.
An average of 5 costumers at the same time, meaning, with the employees, 2.333 women per square meter. Almost half an hour waiting outside for the experts Fernanda and Isabel to dispute each square centimeter with the other three.
Shall I say more about the place?
Address: St. Tereza square in Santa Cruz quarter
Radical activities in Isla Magica
Each day in Summer, and also some in Spring, people don’t get bored in the thematic park just across the river.
I’ve been there with my family, and the hapinness of my grandsons was absolutely rewarding.
Information in Isla Magica