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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 (read 574 times)

Spanish Cities. Sevilla

by Lauren

Seville, located along the Guadalquivir River, is the fourth largest city in Spain. It is the capital and the largest city in the autonomous community of Andalusia and the townspeople are known as Sevillanos. In the old part of town, there is a UNESCO World Heritage Site called the Alcazar Palace. This is a world-renowned complex originally built by the Almohads in the 12th century. Nowadays, the top levels of the building are an official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, although for most of the year, the palace is empty and open to the public.

Seville Cathedral

Seville Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Alcazar Palace. It is one of the largest churches in the world with a unique architectural style that combines baroque with gothic. The Giralda is the name given to the bell tower on top of Seville Cathedral. It used to be a minaret but it was converted in the 12th century. A minaret is a sort of turret attached to a mosque from which the crier summons the Muslims to prayer. During the Reconquista, the Christians seized Seville from the Muslims and converted their mosque into a church. In the 14th century, the church was badly damaged by an earthquake, so the following century, the old church was knocked down and Seville Cathedral was built in its place.

The minaret from the old mosque luckily survived the earthquake and was preserved to be incorporated into the structure of the new cathedral. Interestingly, Seville Cathedral is the burial site of Christopher Columbus. The cathedral was constructed to demonstrate the city’s new found wealth after the Reconquista. Around the time that construction commenced, the parish clergy allegedly donated half their wages to pay for building materials and the like. The breathtaking interior of the cathedral is lavishly decorated with a large amount of gold and the altarpiece took craftsman, Pierre Dancart, a lifetime to complete. As well as the minaret, the builders of Seville Cathedral also took various columns from the old mosque which they have incorporated into the structure of the new church.

Visiting Sevilla

Maria Luisa Parkin Seville is the centre of a development of parks and gardens in the southern portion of Seville. This area was constructed in 1929 when Seville hosted a World Fair. World fairs are large public events held in various parts of the world. The next one is due to take place in Milan, Italy. Incidentally, the first World Fair was held in Hyde Park, London and the items exhibited included a range of products manufactured in the UK; the idea was initiated by Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert. The Maria Luisa Park comprises ponds, fountains, benches, palm trees and orange groves.

The Plaza de España in Seville featured in shots of the City of Theed in Star Wars Episodes I + II. It also featured in Sasha Baron Cohen’s 2012 film, The Dictator. The Torre Del Oro is a watchtower in Seville. It was used by the Almohads in the 12th century to control the number of boats entering the city via the Guadalquivir River. During the Middle Ages, The Torre Del Oro was used as a prison. The Archivo General de Indias is the third and final UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Spanish city of Seville. It houses a collection of extremely valuable documents.

After all that sightseeing, you will undoubtedly have worked up an appetite. Fortunately, Seville is home to a wide selection of tapas bars that present some specialitypinchos. The South of Spain is renowned for the following 3 foods:

1.      Pescaito Frito (fried fish)

2.      Tortilla De Patatas (Spanish Omelette)

3.      Torrijas (a slice of bread that is soaked in milk or wine, honey and spices before being dipped in egg, fried in a pan with oil and served with sugar). This typical Spanish dessert is usually served at Easter time but some people make it in their houses all throughout the year.

If you were hoping for something a little more substantial than tapas (small portions of food served on saucers), then don’t worry – Seville presents a variety of Mediterraneandishes, many of which are unique to this particular province. From richfish dishes and flavorsome roasted veggies to exquisitely tender and sweet-tasting pork, Seville has something to tantalize every taste bud! 

Seville certainly has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing, the main thing being the Alcazar Palace. Moorish architecture is prevalent throughout Seville given that Andalusia was inhabited by the Muslims for 800 years. The autonomous community of Andalusia benefits from favorable climates all year round. In the summer months, temperatures can reach up to 47° so remember to pack your sunscreen and a hat if you plan on travelling between June and September!

Photo by Werkmerns

Keywords: seville,sevilla,andalusia,seville spain,cities in spain,spanish cities

Posted In: Spain, Tourism


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