- Vicki Scheck
Simply Stunning Seville, Spain
What a beautiful city Seville is! Karen and I felt it was best seen by the leisurely clopping along of a horse-drawn carriage.
One of the most popular sites in the city, with good reason, is the Plaza de España (seen in the first four photos here), located in the María Luisa Park. An architectural gem combining Renaissance Revival, Art Deco and Neo-Mudéjar styles, it was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It is extremely photogenic (my photos do not do it justice).
There is a lot of highly decorative ceramic tile at Plaza de España (typical of the city as a whole), ensuring that one is not only hit with awe at the 12-acre plaza and the imposing scale of its brick structures, but also with wonderment at the beauty of the smallest details.
The plaza’s four tiled bridges spanning the moat represent the four ancient kingdoms of Spain (Castile, Leon, Arago and Navarra).
Perhaps my favorite area of María Luisa Park—though it’s really difficult to say—was the Mudéjar Pavilion, built for the same exhibition.
I love Mudéjar-style architecture. Isn’t this amazing?
I also love the spirit of the city. Look at these ladies. (Wonder if this is Seville’s version of the Red Hat Society?)
Sevillanos also evidence a love of their city, and the residents were especially proud of their new pedestrian street. The avenue comes alive at night as locals and visitors alike go café hopping for tapas and sangria, or maybe replenish their supply of saffron from one of the local street vendors.
The food is good in Seville, as you might expect. In addition to tapas, Karen and I particularly enjoyed our al fresco lunch at Restaurante San Fernando, located in the colonnaded, Andalusian-style courtyard of Hotel Alfonso XIII. Best tuna salad and sangria ever! (Just watch the bill. We were overcharged for both, but that was rectified. And lunch there was still worth it!)
One of the stars of Seville is its Gothic cathedral. Originally built to evidence the city's wealth, it is now recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is the largest cathedral in the world (and the third-largest church). When completed in 1528, it overtook Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia as the largest cathedral, a distinction the latter had held for almost 1,000 years.
While touring the cathedral—and armed with determination of steel—we tackled the 34 steeply inclined ramps, followed by 17 even-steeper steps, to get a panoramic view of the city from the top of Giralda, the 343-foot-high bell tower. The shot below was taken well short of the pinnacle.
One of the surprises the cathedral held (at least, for me) was one of some significance for Americans: the appropriately impressive tomb of Christopher Columbus.
Tomb of Christopher Columbus, Catedral de Sevilla, by Eric Titcombe
And then, there is the cathedral by night.
Seville was one of several of my favorite places in Spain, and one that I would like to revisit. Thanks for coming along on this brief tour!
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