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Thursday, June 06, 2013 (read 543 times)

Spanish in Seville: The district El Arenal

by Lauren

Arenal is located on the banks of the Guadalquivir Riverin Seville. The name originates from the Spanish word "Arena" meaning sand. Places of interest in the neighborhood of Seville include the Royal Cavalry Armory, the Gold Tower and the Royal Shipyards.

The Torre del Oro

The penultimate is an 800-year-old building that was built as a watchtower in the 13th century. The purpose of the building was to prevent intruders from entering the city. It was used as a prison for a short while in the middle ages and nowadays, it is used as a naval museum. The Gold Tower is so called given that it casts a golden shadow upon the Guadalquivir River. The tower resembles a dodecagon (12-sided shape) and its sister tower (the Silver Tower) resembles an octagon. The Gold tower has been under threat a couple of times in history. Once, it was going to be torn down on account of a road widening project; on another occasion, it was going to be destroyed so that the materials could be sold as scrap. Despite a turbulent past, the tower has survived and may be seen in all its medieval glory today.

After you’ve seen the Torre Del Oro, you may go for a wander down by the Guadalquivir River. There are many cafes and restaurants located on the waterfront where you can stop on the way. Seville Cathedral is a short walk away from the tower, as is the Royal Shipyards. This space is used as a concert hall nowadays and occasionally as an exhibition room for artists to display their work. The arches used to be twice as high as they are today, but over the years they have sunk into the ground.

Once upon a time, there was talk of the shipyards being transformed into a museum, but sadly this never happened due to a shortage of funds. El Arenal Club in Seville is a tablao (a place where flamenco shows are performed) located near the Torre Del Oro. The New York Times has declared El Arenal Club as the best place in the world to experience the emotion and excitement of a flamenco show. The Royal Cavalry Armory is one of the oldest bullrings in the country besides "Las Ventas" in Madrid. It’s made up of a gate for the bullfighters, a box for the royal family, four decorated arches and statues of the royal family members. Carlos III banned bullfighting in Spain in 1986 and the building of the stadium came to an abrupt halt. When Carlos dies 2 years later, construction work recommenced and the bullring was finally finished in 1881.

Photo by Feranza

Keywords: el arenal,seville spain,bullfighting spain,flamenco spain,what to do seville,spanish in seville

Posted In: Travel, Spain, Tourism


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