Fascinating Cultures and Histories of Seville
Seville is a city in Andalusia that has an abundance of history, tourists sights and hidden corners of interests. The importance of the city during centuries have distinct effects on its civilisation, leaving a legacy for an infinite amount of years. Although its history dates far back to Roman times, an invasion by the Moors in the eighth century left a cultural mark that characterises the city today, in addition to the Visigoths period, the Jews and Phoenicians.
We loved hanging around the plazas (squares) whilst soaking in the suns' rays and relished the amicable atmosphere of families and friends enjoying their social outings. On a morning excursion we decided to head into the city centre, where we came across the Salvador square and experienced its extensive area buzzing with life. The church with the same name is also very beautiful, which we learned is the second largest in the city, after the Grand Cathedral.
The views of the Guadalquivir river is lovely when we headed downtown. The monumental Torre del Oro (Golden Tower) is beautiful, we learned it was built by the Almohad dynasty in order to control access to the city via the river.
To get the best impression of a locals' life, do enter the popular neighbourhood of Triana (or Barrio de Triana). It is located across from the Guadalquivir river, past the Triana bridge (Puente de Triana). The Altozano square, the lane of the Inquisition, the main Market of Triana, the Church of Nuestra Señora de la O, Casa Anselma and Betis street are some of the sights that can't go unseen.
The Real Alcázar de Sevilla (The Alcazar of Seville) is divided into sections dating from a succession of eras: Moorish (11th-12th century), Gothic (13th century), Mudejar (14th century), and Renaissance (15th-16th century). The Alcazar of Seville was used as a location for scenes in Season Five (show in in 2015) and Six (to be shown in 2016) of the hugely successful HBO TV series Game of Thrones, standing in for the Water Gardens of Dorne. The palace will also used to shoot the new NBC TV series Emerald City, based on The Wizard of Oz, in late 2015, to be broadcast in 2016. To skip the queue at the Alcazar, you can book online for a service fee of 1 euro, in which you can buy your tickets in advance. This is really useful if you want to visit the Upper Royal Quarters of the Alcazar. This pic is taken from the Alcázar Gardens viewed from Galeria de Grutescos. At the Alcázar of Seville, you can find the Renaissance palace, with the House of Trade where Columbus signed his contract with Queen Isabella. Many Italianate features, marble arches and columns, were added in the 16th century. Also there is the Palace of King Don Pedro I, with a facade which harmoniously marries Moorish features - horseshoe arches, Arabic lettering ("No one is victorious but Allah") - with Christian words (the very noble... Don Pedro... ordered ordered these Alcazares built"). Inside you will find the mesmerising Patio de las Doncellas, with its sunken gardens, painstaking arches and long pool.
The famous Plaza de España (located in the Maria Luisa Park) was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929. It is a landmark example of the Regionalism Architecture, mixing elements of the and Moorish Revival (Neo-Mudéjar) styles of Spanish architecture. The Plaza de España has impressive architecture. Due to this phenomenon, many films were shot here, such is the case of the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars: Episode II - Attach of the Clones (2002) and The Dictator in 2012.
The Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija is open everyday, unless otherwise noted, and is located in Calle Cuna nº 8. It is over 2000 square metres large and you have the choice to visit two floors or only the ground floor. It was a mansion vinculated in the 15th century, with many years of maintenance and historical findings, such is the case of showcases with Greek and Roman discoveries.
You can visit the ground floor and gardens of the Palacio de las Dueñas. The upstairs entrance is off limits for visitors, as the palace is the private family residence of the Dukes of Alba. It was Cayetana's (18th Duchess of Alba) favourite residence, in which she loved to celebrate birthdays and family gatherings before she passed away at the age of 88 in this very palace. Her eldest son Carlos Fitz-James Stuart and Martinez de Irujo inherited the title Duke of Alba.
For the adrenaline lovers, the Isla de la Cartuja (Island of the Charterhouse) an almost-island in the Guadalquivir River (walking distance from the Barrio de Triana), offers the Isla Magica theme park. This piece of land can be accessible crossing the Alamillo bridge, the zone has respected the radical changes in response to the 1992 World Expo. The theme park has a 'Discovery of America' theme in a distinct complex joined in together to make for an excellent day for children and their hosts.
Seville was founded as the Roman city of Hispalis in the 8th century A.D. on the banks of the Guadalquivir river. It has been taken over and ruled by the Moors for more than 800 years, in which you can find evidence of all over the city. Christopher Columbus left to the Americas from a nearby port and Ferdinand Magellan began his own voyage to navigate across the world from Sevilla in 1519. This brought a period of new riches to the city. This happened during the Castilians time, after they took over the city from the Moors. Many buildings were then built as Mudéjar constructions, which is a blend of Moorish/Arabic and Gothic influences and styles.
Seville’s role in the discovery and exploration of the New World is impressive, with the Archivo de Indias housing important documentation pertaining to the New World discovery. The Moorish influences on the buildings, both residential and monumental, are testament to the city's varied history. If you want to get an insight into the historic nature of Seville, Genuine Andalusia can host you on a day tour to explore in-depth.
There is a grandiose passion for life in the city. There were lots of times we would hear a group of young men clapping and singing to Sevillano music. The people of Seville are proud sponsors of their own city! Below you can view a summarised list of places we like in Seville.