Sevilla

Sevilla, the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia, is an amazing city situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir. What makes this city special is the fact that buildings from the three different religions (catholic, jewish, and muslim) lived and changed owners throughout history. In addition, its Old Town, the third largest in Europe, contains three Unesco World Heritage sites: the Alcàzar, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies.IMG_2673.jpg

The first thing I visited was the Jardines de Murillo, located in the historic center near the walls of the Alcàzar. There are several tiled benches, flowers, and trees. In the center there is a large circular fountain surrounded by busts of Catholic monarch and a monument to Christopher Columbus, consisting of two tall columns with a lion on top.

Even though this place was relaxing and hypnotic, I had to rish to theAlcazar because I booked the entrance to skip the line. The Alcazar is the oldest active royal palace in Europe, built in the early 9th-century by the Caliph of Andalusia. The rooms of the castle are full of arabic decorations, and there are a lot of gold decorations as well. There is a big garden as well, not as beautiful as the Murillo one, but it is possible to find different types of plants.IMG_2754.jpg

After the Alcazar I proceeded to the Cathedral, to which I booked the ticket as well. What makes this cathedral special is not the fact that is one of the last Gothic cathedrals built in Spain, but the fact that was built over the site of a mosque. Actually, the Giralda, the bell tower, is the former Minaret of the mosque. Now this church is known as the largest church in the world by volume. It contains works of art by Zurbaran, Murillo, Goya, and others.

After the cathedral, I ate lunch at 100 Montaditos and then I went for a walk. I passed through the Ayuntamiento, Plaza Nueva, till I reached the Iglesia del Salvador. The visit of this church is included in the ticket for the Cathedral. This is the second largest church of Sevilla and in its inside it is possible to observe several gold decorations and statues.

I kept walking till I reached the Metrosol Parasol, a wooden structure located at La Encarnacion square. The structure consists of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms. Inside, there is the Central Market.

I took a break and then I visited from its outside the Archivo de Indias. It houses the archival documents that illustrate the history of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and Philippines.

I kept walking and I rested in the Maria Louisa Park. It was a hot day and I stayed there until the weather was cooler. This is a large green space, close to the river. In the park it is possible to find hundreds of exotic trees. The park was the site of the Expo 29.

IMG_2855.jpgAfter I cooled down, I walked to Plaza de España. The Plaza de España complex is a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over the moat by numerous bridges representing the four ancient kingdoms of Spain. This square was used as a location in the Star Wars movie series Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.

I moved to the river side and I found on my way several things: the Costurero de la Reina, Cortas historicas del rio Guadalquivir, a sort of map painted on the river side. I then found the Torre de Oro and the Plaza de Toro de la Real Maestanza.

Only when my legs were asking for mercy and were tired, I rested in a lovely square in the barrio de Santa Cruz. I stayed there for a few hours, sitting on a bench, and looking at the fountain. The best part of the day.

Best and suggested guide:
Lonely Planet Andalucia (Travel Guide)

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