Seville city is Andalusia’s capital, the city is buzzing with festivals, color and a thriving nightlife scene. Seville is the artistic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. Seville contains such innumerous artistic, cultural, leisure, social and tourist attractions, that is has also become one of the most universal, best-known and most-visited cities in the world, birthplace and inspiration of writers, painters and artists in general. Its old town contains a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising three buildings: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies.
Seville is an international city located on the Bajo Guadalquivir, at the furthest navigable point of the river. Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Christians have settled on its lands over the centuries, and the richness of its heritage is therefore equalled only by its great size. Seville represents the purest essence of Andalusia. Its culture and its monuments make it one of the most beautiful and unique cities to behold, where visitors will be transported back to the glory of past times with every corner they turn. Seville’s gastronomy is a further reflection of its history, whose highlights include specialities such as giblets, Seville-style veal, spinach with chickpeas, or desserts like tortas de aceite (crisp olive-oil biscuits).
Seville was founded as the Roman city of Hispalis. Owing to its role as gateway of the Spanish Empire’s trans-atlantic trade, Seville became one of the largest cities in Western Europe in the 16th century. Coinciding with the Baroque period, the 17th century in Seville represented the most brilliant flowering of the city’s culture; then began a gradual economic and demographic decline as silting in the Guadalquivir forced the trade monopoly to relocate to the nearby port of Cádiz. In the 19th century Seville gained a reputation for its architecture and culture and was a stop along the Romantic “Grand Tour” of Europe.
In recent years, this ancient city has embarked on a process of modernization, re-emerging as the jewel of diversity in southern Spain. Seville is a tradition and modernity full of colour, drama, light, music, and joy, mix up with all its monument, its taverns, its cuisine, its festivals, and the humour and hospitality of its people. Seville has built on its tourism industry, playing host to the International Exposition in 1992, which spurred the construction of a new airport, a new train station, a bullet train link to Madrid, new bridges and improvements to the main boulevards. Tourist facilities are top-notch and the city is buzzing with festivals, color and a thriving nightlife scene.
It’s a city full of gorgeous architecture, vibrant history, and wonderful food. Seville has been a busy port from Roman times, under Muslim rule, and exploding during the Age of Discovery. Home to fabulous food, extraordinary architecture and exotic flamenco, history oozes through Seville’s pores, with ancient Moorish walls, Roman ruins and Baroque churches as well as the resplendent Plaza de España. Seville offer a journey through the ages, from ancient palaces and squares to more modern architectural gems.
The charm of this city is also hidden in the narrow streets of characteristic neighborhoods with different scenery. Seville’s Jewish Quarter is filled with small winding streets and is generally regarded as the most charming part of the city. Wandering the streets of Barrio Santa Cruz is an amazing experience; amidst the azulejo tiles and omnipresent mini-plazas. A beautiful city home to vibrant orange trees, delicious tapas, and the sounds of flamenco dancers. Walking around the maze of cobbled narrow streets. Inside the colorful doorways and discover beautiful Arabic courtyards with fountains, palm trees, and mosaic tiles. Fell the scent of jasmine in its squares or the Spanish guitar music of its streets.
Learn more about the history and culture behind Seville’s cuisine, sampling the best eats Seville has to offer while learning what makes the cuisine unique. Enjoy the authentic atmosphere of Seville, try going for tapas in the old town, in popular areas such as Alameda, Macarena, Nervión, Los Remedios or Triana. Marinated ‘pescaíto’ (fish), small filled rolls, typical snails, fino (white wine), manzanilla (sweet wine) or a cold beer are a must on any tapas outing.
The tradition of Seville is also reflected in its more international festivals, and April in Seville is a festive month. Holy Week is a passionate festival full of emotional moments. To understand it, the best option is to witness one of the much-visited religious processions or hear a live ‘saeta’ (emotional flamenco song dedicated to the religious figures). Feria de Abril is all about joy and passion for popular Andalusian art, an unbeatable chance to enjoy the sound of the Spanish guitar, flamenco fashion and festive Seville. Seville hosts what is perhaps the most important international festival of this art: The Biennial.
Known for its scorching summers, Seville is a passionate and bijou city whose fabulous food, extraordinary Mudejar, Gothic and Renaissance architecture, and exotic flamenco rhythms never fail to charm. Seville is a big tourist centre in Spain. There are many landmarks, museums, parks, gardens and other kinds of tourist spots around the city so there is something for everyone. A destination where museums and the most emblematic buildings coexist with the beauty of every corner. The most monumental Seville has never been so close. Churches, gardens and unique art collections.
Capital of Andalusia, all kinds of rich elements fill the city of Seville, Roman, Arabic, Renaissance, Baroque, Latin American, Marian, flamenco, bull-fighting, modern, festive, bright, perfumed, sea-faring, traditional, hospitable, gracious, cosmopolitan, religious… In the architecture of Seville, the civilizations that have inhabited the city have left a record, with a very important monumental wealth, both in religious and civil buildings, with influences from Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, European movements, rationalism, modernism and Andalusian historicist regionalism.
Various styles such as Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, etc. can be observed in the city’s historical-artistic heritage. The Alcázar, the Cathedral, and the General Archive of the Indies are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Many of the city’s most important sights and monuments are located in the historic centre (Casco Antiguo). To the north of the centre is the Macarena neighbourhood, which contains some important monuments and religious buildings, such as the Museum and Catholic Church of La Macarena or the Hospital de las Cinco Llagas. Across the river, on the west bank of the Guadalquivir, the neighbourhood of Triana had an important role in the history of the city.
Seville is a monumental city full of huge historic building and grandeur monuments. Impossible to find another urban centre which boasts such varied and unusual monuments and places of such beauty as the Giralda, the Cathedral, Reales Alcázares (Arabic Palace), the Torre del Oro, the Patio de los Naranjos, the Maestranza (bull-ring), the Casa de Pilatos, the Maestranza theatre, the Saint Telmo Palace, the Archivo de las Indias (Indian Archives), the Barrio de Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz district in the city centre), the Lonja, the Palacio Arzobispal (Archbishop’s Palace), the Fábrica de Tabacos (Tabacco Factory), Town Hall, the Dueñas Palace, the Don Fadrique tower, the City Walls… Feel the heaviness of the vast history, feel the greatness and insignificance in huge buildings.
It is a city of lively streets and large open spaces such as the huge Plaza de España, María Luisa Park, and the avant-garde Setas de Sevilla. The open views of Seville are fantastic with its courtyards of orange trees, typical in Andalusia, and a close-up of the largest Gothic temple in Europe, the Cathedral. The Plaza de España, the María Luisa Park, the Macarena Basilica, the Fine Art Museum, the Contemporary Art museum, the Alameda de Hércules, the Barrio de Triana (Triana district), the bridges over the Guadalquivir, the Cartuja and monastery and the site of Expo 92, the buildings from the Universal exhibition in 1929, the Casa de Luca de Tena, the patios of its traditional houses, the balconies and railings, as well as an endless number of churches, convents and other details which convert the ancient city centre into an open-air museum.
Thanks to its historical and monumental heritage, its various scenic and cultural spaces and its Spring Festivals (Easter Week and April Fair), the city is the recipient of great national and international tourism. The city also has a wide network of restaurants and private means to facilitate getting to know the city, such as horse-drawn carriages, panoramic buses, mini-cruises on the Guadalquivir river and tourist cycles.
Seville is one of the cities with the most cataloged monuments in Europe, which makes it stand out in a remarkable way in this regard. Among its monuments, the “Cathedral, the Giralda, the Alcázar and the Archivo de Indias” stand out, which were declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987, as well as the “Torre del Oro or the Plaza de España”, which are Candidates for this recognition since the end of 2013. It has one of the largest historic centers in Spain, with some 335 hectares. Equally remarkable is its old town, the largest in Spain and one of the three largest in all of Europe along with those of Venice and Genoa, with 3.94 km².
Seville Cathedral and its bell tower
The Seville Cathedral, officially the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, is considered the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and one of the largest cathedrals in the world. UNESCO declared it in 1987, along with the Real Alcázar and the Archivo de Indias, a World Heritage Site. Incorporating parts of the city’s former main mosque that was built under the Almohads in the 12th century, the current building is a massive Gothic structure begun after 1401 and finished in 1506, with additional reconstruction occurring between 1511 and 1519. A number of later additions, mostly in Plateresque or Renaissance style, were added around the outside of the Gothic structure after its initial construction.
One of the city’s most prominent landmarks is the cathedral’s bell tower, the Giralda, formerly the minaret of the Almohad mosque. The minaret’s main shaft is a little over 50 meters tall. The tower was further heightened in the 16th century by the addition of a large Renaissance-style belfry, which brings its total height to around 95 or 96 meters. The top of the tower is crowned by the Giraldillo, a cast bronze weather vane sculpture, from which the name “Giralda” is derived. The Giralda of Seville is a tower of unparalleled dimensions for a building of its time (from the twelfth to the sixteenth century). In fact, it was for a long time the tallest building in the world (101 meters including the Giraldillo, the beautiful weathervane that crowns it and one of the symbols of the city). When you go up to its viewpoint you can see the whole city, and at its feet the Patio de los Naranjos and the largest Gothic cathedral in existence.
The Giralda is a perfect symbiosis of different architectural styles, of different civilizations, a tower that begins as a minaret and ends as a bell tower. La Girada summarizes to the thousand marvels many centuries of history on its own physiognomy. The confluence of the different architectural styles that characterize it is a reflection of the cultures that inhabited Seville. The result, eclectic and unique, fascinates any traveler. The first section of the Giralda is of Almohad style. The architects Ibn Basso and Alí de Gomara were the architects of this minaret built for the great mosque of the city. An earthquake in 1356 caused the fall of the four bronze spheres that crowned the tower. The belfry is of Renaissance style, and was designed by Hernán Ruiz in the 16th century. At its peak, 104 meters high, you can guess a very special weather vane: the Giraldillo, another symbol of Seville.
From the viewpoint of the body of bells, on its eastern side, you can see the archiepiscopal palace, with its baroque façade. And the neighborhood of Santa Cruz. From the south side, the view is splendid, with part of the cathedral, the Real Alcázar, with its walls, palaces and gardens, as well as other monumental buildings such as the General Archive of the Indies, the old Royal Tobacco Factory of Seville, or the San Telmo Palace. In the distance you can see the port of Seville and the V Centenario bridge. From the west side, the transept of the cathedral and the Patio de los Naranjos stand out. And from the North face, the Town Hall can be distinguished. On the other hand, every fifteen minutes, one of the 24 bells from the viewpoint rings, surprising visitors with its sound.
Real Alcázar of Seville
The Real Alcázar of Seville is a walled palace complex built in different historical stages. The original palace was built in the Early Middle Ages. Some vestiges of Islamic art are preserved and, from the period after the Castilian conquest, a Mudejar palatial space and another in the Gothic style. In later reforms, Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque elements were added. It is the residence of members of the Spanish royal family when they visit Seville. This makes it the oldest royal palace in use in Europe. Unesco declared it a World Heritage Site, along with Seville Cathedral and the Indies Archive of Seville in the year 1987.
The most outstanding rooms in the enclosure are the Patio de las Doncellas, the main patio of Andalusian Mudejar art; the room of the Kings; the Carlos V room, with large tapestries, the Emperor’s room, with 15th-century tiles and Flemish tapestries; the Ambassadors’ Hall, a room covered by a hemispherical dome adorned with complicated golden arabesques that constitutes the most important room in the Alcázar; and the gardens of the Alcázar, which combine Arab, Renaissance and modern characteristics and which have several terraces of lush vegetation, with fountains, pavilions and a multitude of orange and palm trees. The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 affected the architectural complex, especially the Gothic palace, which had to undergo extensive Baroque reforms, especially visible in the Transept courtyard.
General Archive of the Indies
The General Archive of the Indies (Archivo General de Indias), located between the Cathedral and the Alcázar, is the repository of valuable archival documents relating to the Spanish Empire in the Americas and the Philippines up to 1760. The Archive is one of the general archives (together with the General Archive of the Crown of Aragon and the General Archive of Simancas) belonging to the Spanish State. In 1987 it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
The General Archive of the Indies was created in 1785 under the reign of Carlos III with the aim of centralizing in a single place the documentation referring to the Spanish colonies, until then dispersed in various archives: Simancas, Cádiz and Seville. The Casa Lonja de Mercaderes de, built in the time of Felipe II between 1584 and 1598 by Juan de Mijares on plans by Juan de Herrera, is the headquarters of the archive. The building itself was designed in a Spanish Renaissance style.
The documents kept by the archive occupy more than nine linear kilometers of shelves. There are 43,175 files, about 89 million pages and 8,000 maps and drawings, which come mainly from the metropolitan organizations in charge of the administration of the colonies. It is the largest existing archive on the activity of Spain in America and the Philippines, containing information on political history and social history, economic history and that of mentalities, the history of the Church and the history of art or the geography of those territories. It keeps a large number of pieces of great historical value: autograph texts of Christopher Columbus, Fernando de Magallanes, Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro. All this documentation is at the service of the researchers who go through the archive every year.
A city marked by Jewish, Islamic and Christian influences, Seville shows evidence of each religion’s presence in its church facades, minarets and former ghettos. The Seville Cathedral is considered the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and one of the largest cathedrals in the world. One of the city’s most prominent landmarks is the cathedral’s bell tower, the Giralda, formerly the minaret of the Almohad mosque. The Church of San Salvador, located at Plaza de San Salvador, is the second largest church in the city after the cathedral. Originally converted from the city’s oldest mosque, it was rebuilt in Baroque form in the 17th century and was the city’s only collegiate church. The Church of Saint Louis of France, built between 1699 and 1731 and designed by Leonardo de Figueroa, represents another example of Baroque architecture.
San Roman Church
The church of San Román (also known as San Román and Santa Catalina) is one of the oldest churches in the city, dating back to 1356. It is one of the twenty-four parishes in which Seville was divided after being reconquered in 1248 by King Ferdinand III. Because of its construction characteristics and typology, it belongs to the interesting group of Gothic-Mudejar churches in this city. Restored in 1948, from 1991 it was subjected once again to new restorations being reopened to worship in 2004 after a comprehensive rehabilitation.
Interiorly the church is organized according to the usual three longitudinal naves, the central one being wider and higher than the lateral ones, separated by pillars of rectangular section. This organization of the interior naves is clearly reflected on the exterior with the characteristic stepped silhouette of its main front, at the foot of the church, perfectly symmetrical and with its walls finished in slopes on both sides. These slopes are a consequence of its roof system, resolved in the central nave with the classic gabled wooden framework, with horizontal suspenders adorned with geometric lacework at its base created to brace the two interior longitudinal walls. At a lower height, the side naves are also covered with wooden beams, in these cases inclined to a single water. The notable difference in height between the central nave and the two side aisles is used to open a series of pointed windows on both sides, making this church one of the most luminous of its style.
San Vicente Church
The church of San Vicente is located inside the historic city, on the corner of San Vicente street and Cardenal Cisneros street. It is one of the many Gothic-Mudejar churches that were built inside the city walls during the 14th century. Among the various extensions to which this temple was subjected, the construction of its interesting Sacramental Chapel stands out, an exceptional work carried out according to the project of the architect Pedro de Silva in 1761 after the destruction of the previously existing one due to the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755.
Church of great popularity and tradition, in it are established two of the traditional brotherhoods of the Sevillian Holy Week: Las Penas and Las Siete Palabras, distributed in three chapels. It is presided over by an altarpiece made with remains from the convent of Carmen, renovated in 1785, where the image of the Virgen de los Dolores, a carving attributed to Blas Molner, is venerated. On a side altar is the image of Jesús de las Penas. The Brotherhood of the Seven Words is presented in its chapels of the nave of the Gospel. Restored in 1873 and between 1936-1939, it belongs to this Brotherhood since 1881. They contain three neoclassical altarpieces, with the image of the Christ of the Seven Words of the sixteenth century, in the central one along with Mary Most Holy of Remedies and St. John the Evangelist.
Santa Marina Church
The Church of Santa Marina belongs to the group of the Gothic-Mudejar churches of Seville being one of the oldest in the city, as its construction may date from around 1265 approximately. Today it is a Catholic parish church and headquarters of the Brotherhood of the Holy Cross and Holy Resurrection of Seville. The temple was built in Islamic times, and the first construction of two of its side chapels can be dated around 1265. At the beginning of the 14th century the tower would be built and at the beginning or middle of that same century the main body would be erected. This church will be transformed in the eighteenth century, when several chapels are rehabilitated, which would house at least four brotherhoods: the Sacramental and Souls, the Mortaja, the Divine Shepherdess and Our Lady of the Banishment.
It consists of 3 covers: The main one is of stone, a pointed arch of eight archivolts, consisting in the last one a decoration with diamond points, zigzag and varied sculptures. The doorway of the Gospel wall is a pointed arch with little decoration. The one of the Epistle is built with brick forming a body with three pointed arches. This church has an octagonal apse, with buttresses and geminate pointed windows, combining an architecture of elegant beauty. The tower is attached to the church at the foot of the Gospel nave. It is outlined as a Mudejar tower with a square floor plan and built with brick. It presents characteristic poly-lobed arches on the hollows and double upper lacing, typical of the Almohad decoration, and a top of staggered battlements of coronation made after the restoration carried out by José Gestoso in the year 1885.
The interior of the temple is divided into three naves separated by arcades of pointed arches in brick, which are supported by cruciform pillars. The central nave is the widest both in height and width, and ends in a polygonal apse, also presenting lateral chapels. The roof of the temple has three different parts. The central nave is covered with a modern coffered ceiling of good workmanship. The lateral naves are covered with a canopy. Finally, the chapels are covered with vaults on trumpets. The vault decorated with brick lacerías and trumpets with plasterwork in the Chapel of the Virgin of Love, and the vault with decoration of gores in plaster that covers the Chapel used as Tabernacle stand out. Bien de Interés Cultural, the Church of Santa Marina in Seville.
Parish of the O
It has its origins in a chapel consecrated to Saints Justa, Rufina and Brigida, where the Brotherhood of the Virgin of the O was established in 1566. In the last years of the XVII century, and due to the reduced dimensions of the chapel and its poor state of conservation, it was decided to build a new temple, beginning the works in 1697 under the direction of the master builders Pedro and Felix Romero. The church was finished in 1702. It acquired the condition of parish seat, being the only one in Seville erected as such in a privately owned temple, since it belongs to the Brotherhood and not to the Diocese.
San Jacinto Parish
The Church, located in the neighborhood of Triana at the intersection of the streets Pagés del Corro and San Jacinto, is due to Matias de Figueroa who directed the works until 1740. In 1742 one of the vaults collapsed and in 1774 the Community declared to the ecclesiastical Chapter that the work was finished. The building fully responds to its eighteenth-century design. It has a very elongated rectangular floor plan, with three naves and a transept. The lateral naves are covered with groin vaults, replacing the high tribunes with plaster frames and paintings. The central nave is covered with a barrel vault with arches and lunettes. In the transept there is a large dome with a drum on pendentives, which is executed with ribs of double radii framed by wavy lines resting on paired Solomonic columns fluted in their lower third.
The Capilla del Carmen or Capillita de la Virgen del Carmen is a small picturesque chapel in Seville located at the end of the Isabel II Bridge, also called Puente de Triana. The building of brick and ceramic trianera is composed of two bodies, the chapel itself and a bell tower octagonal, reminiscent of the shape of a «lighter» of tinder so it is given that name popularly. In the tiles of the dome of the chapel the coat of arms of Carmen is represented. The chapel is topped with a small temple in which are Santa Justa and Rufina and the Giralda. The door of the chapel is of glazed grille, which allows the worship permanently.
Convent of Santa Inés
Tthe complex convent complex, which was organized around two courtyards, four courtyards, an orchard and a cemetery; and where the church and the main cloister known as the Herbolario (Herbalist) stand out. Access is through two independent entrances that each open to a compass on either side of the church. On the left are among others the lathe, the parlors, the sacristan’s and porter’s lodgings and the regular door; while the other allows entering the church through another door, opposite to the previous one, and the sacristies outside. The church is a unique element, as it has three naves of equal height covered with ribbed vaults, which is unusual in the female convents of the city. Its factory is reformed around 1630 with plasterwork and mural paintings by Francisco Herrera el Viejo and is decorated with Baroque altarpieces during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
After the destruction during the French invasion of the Gothic-Mudejar church of Santa María Magdalena, located on the site of the square that now bears its name, the parish was moved, in the 1840s, to the temple of the Dominican convent of San Pablo el Real, with a centennial history. The oldest architectural vestiges, from medieval times, are concentrated in the apse and in the chapel of the Dulce Nombre de Jesús, which preserves three formidable vaults of lacerías on trumpets. The rest of the building is the result of the reconstruction undertaken by Leonardo de Figueroa between 1691 and 1709, in the most exultant Baroque style.
The artistic heritage that is treasured in its interior impresses for its richness and aesthetic qualification. Its spectacular cycle of mural paintings, which is an exaltation of the Order of Preachers and the apostolic college as pillars of the Church, is due to the brushes of Lucas Valdés and Clemente de Torres. The main altarpiece, assembled during the first third of the XVIII century and in whose sculptural tasks Pedro Duque Cornejo probably intervened, must be considered the second in proportions of our city, only surpassed by the one of the Cathedral of Seville. In other collateral altarpieces are housed sculptures and paintings, highlighting two masterpieces by Zurbarán (Santo Domingo en Soriano and the miraculous healing of Blessed Reginaldo de Orleans) that are exposed in the sacramental chapel, as well as several canvases of Valdés Leal, in the Dulce Nombre de Jesús.
San Clemente Monastery
Monastery of the Cistercian Order, It was founded in 1248 by Ferdinand III the Saint, who having entered his troops in the city of Seville on November 23, feast of St. Clement, agreed to erect a monastery dedicated to the Pontiff. This convent of sufficient importance and relevance, always linked to the Crown and the archbishopric, the monastery ended up being chosen as a royal pantheon by various members of royalty. In the late sixteenth century an expansion was made in the monastery, as it was necessary to make a new church more consistent and sufficient in size for the number of nuns, so that it could meet their needs. Architecturally it is a heterogeneous set of buildings, built in different periods and styles, from the sixteenth to the seventeenth century. In the monastery are described two distinguishable facts, the exhibition halls and the church.
Church of San Luis de los Franceses
Ancient church of the Jesuit Novitiate started in 1699, is the masterpiece of Leonardo de Figueroa prolonging its construction until 1731, inside highlights the set of altarpieces, all the work of sculptor Pedro Duque Cornejo, as well as the fresco paintings of the dome by Lucas Valdes.
The city walls of Seville were first built in ancient times on the orders of Julius Caesar. After the Viking attack on the city in 844, the walls were rebuilt on the orders of Abd ar-Rahman II. They were expanded under the Almoravids in 1126 and in 1221 the Almohads added a moat and a second outer line of walls. Most of the walls were demolished after 1861 to reduce restrictions on urban development, but a significant portion of the northern walls can still be seen today.
The Torre del Oro is an Almohad defensive tower dating to 1220–1221. The tower was integrated into the city’s defensive system and protected the city’s harbour, along with another tower across the river. Between the bases of the two towers a chain could be raised to block ships and prevent entry into the port.
The Torre de la Plata is a 13th century octagonal tower, located on Santander Street, which was joined by a section of the city wall, part of which was demolished in 1821 to the Torre del Oro. In the time of Alfonso X, it was also known as the tower of the Azacanes. In the 18th century, it was partially hidden by the construction of a series of houses according to the project of the Italian architect Vermondo Resta. At the end of the 20th century, it was used as a shelter for homeless people. It was partially restored in 1992. It is in a terrible state being the vegetation that floods large parts of the space. At the present time, a wall has been built to protect the building.
It is a tower that was part of the old factory of “San Francisco de Paula”, the factory was one of the many foundries that existed in the city and was fully dedicated to the manufacture of pellets, bullets and zinc plate, from which later came the zinc bathtubs (famous at the time), was owned by Manuel Mata and was created back in 1885. The manufacture of pellets was carried out in the following way: once the main material, lead, was melted in a furnace, with large ladles it was poured into sieves of different calibers (of pellets), the windows let the air in and the current did the rest, by the effect of gravity the pellets fell like rain. In dates close to the Expo’92 it was restored thanks to some famous warehouses that subsidized the work and in August 2005 it was restored again thanks to the City Council. It was inaugurated as «Camera Obscura» on March 28, 2007, being a new tourist attraction allowing to see the city from a height of 45 meters, almost half of the Giralda.
Palaces and mansions
To the south of the cathedral, the Alcázar is a sprawling palace and garden complex which served as the city’s center of power. The site was occupied since ancient times but was located outside the Roman city walls. The current palace complex was founded in the 10th century as a governor’s palace, then expanded in the 11th century when it became the palace of the Abbadid rulers. Some limited parts of the palace still date from its 12th-century expansion under Almohad rule, but most of the site was redeveloped after the Christian conquest of the city in the 13th century.
A major construction campaign took place in the 1360s under Pedro I, who constructed a new palace in Mudéjar style, aided in part by craftsmen from Granada. Richly-decorated chambers and courtyards date from this period, such as the Patio de las Doncellas and the Salón de Embajadores. Further additions took place under the Catholic Monarchs in Renaissance style, which continued under the Habsburgs. The extensive gardens were also redesigned in this style and then further developed in the 17th century. The palace has been used as a filming location for various productions, including Game of Thrones.
The Archbishop’s Palace stands over the site of the former Roman baths of the city. The property was originally donated by Ferdinand III to Bishop Don Remondo in 1251, but the current building was built in the second half of the 16th century, followed by later additions. Its Baroque doorway was completed in 1704 by Lorenzo Fernándes de Iglesias.
A number of other houses and wealthy mansions have been preserved across the city since the 16th century. Among the most famous is the Casa de Pilatos (‘House of Pilate’), an aristocratic mansion blending multiple architectural styles. The house, bought by the Enriquez de Ribera family in 1483, has a typical courtyard plan but mixes older Isabelline and Mudéjar decoration with later Renaissance elements. After Don Fadrique Enriquez de Ribera returned from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1520, he commissioned a stone portal at the entrance of the family mansion. The portal became the starting point for the Via Crucis to the Cruz del Campo, and later writers claimed it was modeled on the doorway of the house of Pontius Pilate in the Holy Land, thus earning the house its current name.
Other historic mansions include the Palace of the Countess of Lebrija, the Palacio de las Dueñas, and the Casa de los Pinelos. The Casa del Rey Moro is considered the oldest in Seville, with its origins dated to the 15th century.
Palacio de las Dueñas
The Palacio de las Dueñas has been owned by the Casa de Alba since 1612. It was built between the 15th and 16th centuries, from Gothic-Mudejar to Renaissance styles and is one of the main buildings in the city, due to its historical, architectural, and cultural value. artistic and the importance of its movable property. It was founded by the Pineda family, who had to sell it in 1484 to Catalina de Ribera due to pressing financial needs: they had to pay a ransom for Don Juan de Pineda, taken prisoner by the Moors. The poet Antonio Machado was born in it in 1875.
It has been a meeting place for members of European dynasties and various personalities from the world of culture, politics and international art. Since 2016, it is open to tourist visits. More than five centuries of history are behind this magnificent building that you can visit on a wonderful tour through its gardens, halls and courtyards full of art and history. The architectural interest of this building, an example of Sevillian noble architecture, lies in the mixture of Gothic and Mudejar styles. The main attraction of Las Dueñas is the combination between the majesty of the building itself, with its courtyards and gardens, and the attractiveness of its collection formed by a selection of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture and antique objects of high historical and artistic interest.
Palacio de San Telmo
The Palacio de San Telmo was originally a naval college established in 1671. Between 1722 and 1735 the building was completed by Leonardo de Figueroa and his son Matías, who designed its present-day façade. It is one of the emblematic buildings of Sevillian Baroque architecture, it has a rectangular floor plan with several interior patios, one of them central, towers at the four corners, a chapel and gardens. On its main façade, the Churrigueresque-style doorway stands out. The building now serves as the seat for the Andalusian Autonomous Government.
The Casa de Pilatos is a palace that combines the Italian Renaissance and Spanish Mudejar styles. The construction of the palace began in 1483, at the initiative and desire of Pedro Enríquez de Quiñones (IV Mayor Adelantado of Andalusia) and his second wife Catalina de Ribera, founders of the House of Alcalá.
Fadrique Enriquez (first Marquis of Tarifa) was a nobleman between the late Middle Ages and modernity, represented by the Renaissance. Between 1518 and 1520 he made a pilgrimage trip to the holy city of Jerusalem, in which he crossed all of Italy, and in which he was deeply impressed by the Renaissance art that prevailed in Italian cities. On his return he transferred those Renaissance manners he had observed to the Casa de Pilatos, combining the Italian Renaissance style with the Sevillian Mudejar, in the extensions he made to the palace, occupying several plots of land annexed to it. Per Afán de Ribera, nephew and heir of Don Fadrique, was a great collector of art that he collected during his stay as viceroy of Naples, made reforms between 1568 and 1571 that hosted his vast collection.
It is considered the prototype of an Andalusian palace and several films have been filmed there, among which four Hollywood blockbusters stand out: Lawrence of Arabia; 1492: The Conquest of Paradise and The Kingdom of Heaven, both by Ridley Scott and Knight and Day with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise.
Palace of the Marqueses de la Algaba
The Palace of the Marquises of La Algaba, a grand Renaissance palatial residence of great architectural value (15th century), is considered one of the finest examples of civil Mudejar art in the city of Seville. The palace with an imposing Mudejar Gothic façade that is still preserved today, remains one of the great unknown monumental heritage of the city of Seville. After a slow and progressive process of degradation, spoliation and ruin was very close to disappear the former residence of one of the Sevillian families of greatest pedigree, the Guzmanes de La Algaba, to, after a rigorous rehabilitation process, re-emerge in full force in the early twenty-first century. The Palace of the Marquises of La Algaba, located behind the market in Feria Street, is the current headquarters of the area of Education, Citizen Participation and Municipal Buildings, and since 2013, houses the Center for Mudejar Art of Seville.
With heritage from the Arabs and from the Age of Discovery, Seville is a diverse destination. Today, the city’s beautiful architecture that blends Islamic and European styles. Other outstanding historical buildings of the architecture of Seville are the following:
Seville City Hall is one of the most notable samples of Plateresque architecture. The City Hall (Ayuntamiento) was begun by architect Diego de Riaño, who worked on it between 1527 and 1534 and designed the eastern façade on Plaza de San Francisco, a highlight of the Plateresque style. The Seville City Hall building is one of the most remarkable examples of Plateresque architecture in Andalusia. The initial building occupies the southern sector of the current City Hall, with the «arquillo» that communicated with the compass of the Franciscan monastery.
Master Diego de Riaño executed the southern sector of the Town Hall, the communication arch with the Franciscan monastery and two floors covered with plateresque reliefs with representations of historical and mythical characters, heraldic and emblems alluding to the founders of the city, such as Hercules and Julius Caesar. He was succeeded by other architects, including Hernan Ruiz II after 1560, who added a double-arched loggia on the western façade. Some elements of great artistic and historical interest are kept in the building, such as the city’s banner. Bien de Interés Cultural, the City Hall of Seville is listed as a Monument since its publication in 1931.
The Royal Prison originally stood nearby, where Cervantes was imprisoned and where it is believed he was inspired to write Don Quixote. In 1840, the nearby Convent of San Francisco was demolished and replaced by the present-day Plaza Nueva in 1854. After this, the city hall’s was partly remodeled by Demetrio de los Ríos and Balbino Marrón. It was given a new western façade in Neoclassical style, completed in 1867. This headquarters was reformed in the s. XIX by Demetrio de los Ríos and Balbino Marrón, who drew a new main façade, facing the Plaza Nueva, neoclassical in style. In turn, they reorganized the interior around two patios and a grand staircase.
The Old Court
The Old Court, built between 1595 and 1597, and located in the Plaza de San Francisco. Throughout its history, this building has undergone numerous reforms, highlighting those carried out during the 16th and 19th centuries, as well as the work carried out in 1924 by the architect Aníbal González, who recomposed the façade and the interior.
Municipal Newspaper Library and Provincial Historical Archive
The Municipal Newspaper Library and Provincial Historical Archive of Seville, built between 1893 and 1913, occupies the building that originally served as the Palace of Justice. After its restoration, its façade shows a neoclassical portico, its interior contains two patios with galleries and a marble staircase. It has a total area of 4238 m².
Royal Tobacco Factory
The Royal Tobacco Factory (Real Fábrica de Tabacos), located near the Palacio de San Telmo, was built between 1728 and 1771. It was designed in a Baroque style by Sebastian van der Borcht. It was the largest eighteenth-century industrial building and the best architecture of its kind in Spain. It was located outside the walls, next to the Puerta de Jerez. Its construction began in 1728. Architecturally, its general scheme of Renaissance references stands out, with Herrerian airs in its floor plan, patios and finishing details on the facades. The influence of the Baroque style can already be appreciated on its main façade. The building is surrounded by a moat.
It replaced an earlier tobacco factory built in 1687, which in turn had replaced Seville’s first tobacco factory, San Pedro, which opened in a former women’s penitentiary in 1620. Upon completion, the new factory was the largest industrial building in the world and included its own chapel and its own prison, and operated under its own laws. It is currently the headquarters of the Rectorate of the University of Seville and some of its faculties.
Hospital de las Cinco Llagas
The Hospital de las Cinco Llagas currently houses (2008) the headquarters of the Andalusian Parliament. It was founded by Catalina de Ribera and its construction began in 1546 by order of Fadrique Enríquez de Ribera, 1st Marquis of Tarifa. It was designed by Martín de Gainza, who directed the works until his death in 1556. The most characteristic element of the building is its church. Inside is where the plenary sessions are currently held. The building functioned as a hospital until 1972. In 1986 the projects for its conversion into the seat of the Andalusian Parliament were drawn up, inaugurating on February 28 (Andalusia Day) 1992.
Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla
The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla is one of the oldest bullfighting arenas in Spain. The bullring, with a capacity for 12,500 seats, is owned by the noble corporation based in Seville from which it receives its name. The bullring began to be built in 1749 to replace the rectangular bullring located on the site and its construction took many years, as it was done in phases. In 1765 the interior façade of the square called Palco del Príncipe was built, consisting of two bodies: the access door to the square, through which the victorious bullfighters exit, and the box itself, for the exclusive use of the Royal Family. Its construction was completed in 1881. Between 1914 and 1915, under the direction of the Sevillian architect Aníbal González, the stone laying was reformed, replacing it with a brick one with a gentler slope.
In the surroundings of the square there are statues dedicated to Sevillian bullfighters who have triumphed in it, highlighting among them the one dedicated to the right-handed Curro Romero. The Bullfighting Museum of the Real Maestranza de Caballería, inaugurated in 1989, is housed under the stands of the bullring, where there is a pictorial collection, bullfighting posters, photos, bullfighting costumes, bronzes, tiles and sculptures. Among the latter, the works of Mariano Benlliure and busts of legendary bullfighters such as Curro Cúchares, Pepe-Hillo or El Espartero stand out.
Hotel Alfonso XIII
The Hotel Alfonso XIII is a historic building located between the Puerta de Jerez, the San Telmo Palace and the Tobacco Factory. Work of the architect José Espiau y Muñoz; It was built between 1916 and 1928, and officially inaugurated on April 28, 1929, with a banquet presided over by King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia. Architecturally it is in the neo-Mudéjar style, a regional historicist version of Arab architecture, and presents a rich ornamentation.
It is neo-Mudejar style, inspired by Arab architecture but with an Andalusian regionalist touch. It was designed in the first quarter of the twentieth century, so architecturally it is integrated into the overall aesthetics of the other buildings planned for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. Overall there is a wealth of decorative elements and details, achieved with materials that could well be considered simple, since they are mostly brick, plaster, wood and ceramics. The hotel is owned by the City of Seville and currently offers its services, under administrative concession through the hotel chain The Luxury Collection by Starwood.
The passion of a flamenco dancer, the dedication of a bullfighting matador, these cultural traditions are prominent aspects of life in Seville and throughout the country’s southernmost Andalusia region. Thanks to the city’s climate, activities related to recreation and leisure take place in open spaces. The city has numerous theaters and movie theaters. In the Maestranza theater, in the Rocío Jurado Auditorium and in the Olympic Stadium, various musical concerts are held and in the bullring there are very significant bullfighting shows, especially the bullfights of the April Fair.
Originally called the Ateneo y Sociedad de Excursiones, it was founded in 1887. In the 19th century and well into the 20th century, it was the greatest cultural exponent of the city, even serving as a model for the creation of other athenaeums such as the one on Isla Cristina in 1926. Among the most outstanding events of the activity of the Ateneo de Sevilla is the call for poets on the occasion of the tercentenary of the death of Góngora in 1927, this call resulted in the origin of the generation of ’27.
The Maestranza theater is located in the surroundings of the monumental area of the city, it occupies the land where the Real Maestranza de Artillería barracks used to be, of which only the façade has been preserved. Its construction was carried out on the occasion of the Universal Exposition of 1992 to provide the city with a large stage space. It was inaugurated by Queen Sofía on May 2, 1991. It is made in a cylindrical shape with a capacity for 1,800 spectators. It has a 47.20-meter dome and a stage whose surface was increased in 2007 to 1,900 square meters. The main hall has a cylindrical shape with a capacity for 1,800 spectators, with a dome of 47.20 meters and a stage opening of 18.9 by 9.5 meters. It is distributed in stalls, two terraces, a balcony and paradise.
Considered one of the best avant-garde theaters in Spain. Thanks to its variable acoustics, different shows can be performed, from operas to classical music concerts and recitals, flamenco, ballet and zarzuelas. In addition to the main hall, the complex contains experimental theater halls, exhibitions, conferences and a cultural research center. Of particular note is the Manuel García hall, where chamber and small-format operas are performed. Also, the Teatro de la Maestranza is home to the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville, which not only participates regularly in opera performances, but throughout the season develops here an intense season of concerts.
Rocío Jurado Municipal Auditorium
The Rocío Jurado Municipal Auditorium was built for the Universal Exposition of Seville in 1992 on the island of La Cartuja. Its design corresponded to the architect Eleuterio Población Knappe. The area occupied by its stage, 3,000 square meters, is one of the largest in the world among all open-air auditoriums. It also has an orchestra pit for 120 musicians. The existing natural hill in this same place becomes an informal grandstand, in which the 4,000 seats of different colors and the side view from the grass on the slope are superimposed. Its façade is covered with marble from Macael (Almería). In 2006 it became the property of the City Council, which named it after the popular singer Rocío Jurado. The current program offered by the Auditorium consists of a large number of concerts by great and popular artists and musical groups, mainly in summer.
Lope de Vega Theater
The Lope de Vega theater is located on Avenida de María Luisa (next to the María Luisa park). It was built in 1929, and was the auditorium of the city pavilion at the Ibero-American Exposition. Said pavilion had a large hall that became the Casino of the Exhibition. The part of the great hall with the dome corresponds to what was the Casino of the Ibero-American Exposition of Seville and today is used as the entrance of honor of the theater. Its architect Vicente Traver constituted the main entertainment venue of the Ibero-American Exposition. The theater covered an area of 4,600 m² and could seat 1,100 spectators. Its architecture is Baroque, the building being faithful to that style both in the whole and in its ornamentation. Stage box, seats, stalls, boxes, amphitheater and paradise, give a spectacular beauty to the theater.
It has served as a place for the representation of all kinds of shows (theater, dance, opera, jazz, flamenco). In the 1980s it became a Municipal Theater and was adapted the lamp of the Teatro Coliseo España, six meters high by four meters in diameter. In 1986 it was restored by Victor Perez Escolano. It has served as a place of representation of all kinds of shows (theater, dance, opera, jazz, jazz, flamenco …) and today, for its programming passes the most outstanding of the national and international scene and thus being one of the most important theaters in Spain, which is gaining year after year quality and variety.
The Central Theater was inaugurated in 1992 on the grounds of what was the site of the Universal Exposition. The volume of the theater is a box inside a box. One of the rooms is called that of miracles and consists of a black box, 20.50 meters high, rotated and inscribed inside another. A clean volume, clad in natural stone, bare, without ornamentation, stands out among the vegetation on the water’s edge of the Guadalquivir River. The stage is circular and mobile, which allows the public to be brought closer to the performance. This versatility is complemented by its capacity, which varies between 700 and 1,300 spectators, depending on the characteristics of the assembly itself, which allows for different representations, whether they are Italian, Elizabethan, arena or concert.
There are numerous museums in Seville and each of them is specialized in a specific subject. The most important art collection of Seville is the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville. It was established in 1835 in the former Convent of La Merced. It holds many masterworks by Murillo, Pacheco, Zurbarán, Valdés Leal, and others masters of the Baroque Sevillian School, containing also Flemish paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Among the operating and visitable museums in the city, the following stand out: Museum of Fine Arts, Archaeological Museum, Museum of Arts and Popular Customs, Andalusian Center for Contemporary Art, General Archive of the Indies, Casa de Pilatos, Palace of the Marquises of La Algaba, Palace of the Countess of Lebrija, Cathedral Museum, Naval Museum, Military History Museum of Seville, Flamenco Dance Museum, Bullfighting Museum and Bullring of the Royal Maestranza de Caballería, Carriage Museum, Basilica de la Macarena Museum, House Museum de Murillo, Museum of Geology.
Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts in Seville, a building that was built in 1662 and established in September 1835. It was officially inaugurated in 1841, and is located in the museum square. It stands out for its collection of Spanish and Sevillian painting from the 17th century.
Fabiola House-Bellver Donation
The Mariano Bellver collection is the largest collection of Sevillian costumbrismo. The Fabiola House – Mariano Bellver Donation offers a magnificent journey through the history of Seville during the nineteenth century. An era in which the fine arts and the influence of the romantic travelers laid many of the foundations on which the Seville we know today is based.
Palace of the Countess of Lebrija
Built in the 16th century and remodeled in the 19th century, it is an authentic museum containing a wide variety of artistic pieces that the Countess of Lebrija collected during her lifetime. Outstanding among all the impressive Roman mosaics taken from Italica that make it the best paved palace in Europe. It also has several samples of Sevillian tiles from different periods and a magnificent furniture.
The Navigation Pavilion is a pavilion built for the Universal Exposition of Seville in 1992, designed by the architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, an internationally renowned Sevillian architect, who received a mention for building in the II Biennial of Spanish Architecture. It was one of the most visited pavilions at Expo 92. The Navigation Pavilion was dedicated to scientific expeditions, discoveries and advances in naval technology. Some of its rooms recreated the interior environment of a ship at the time of Columbus, such as the hold or the deck. It constituted one of the most visited pavilions of the entire Exposition.
A major feature of the exhibition was the use of the ship’s interior. One of the main features of this museum is its dynamism, since, unlike other art galleries or static exhibitions, the aim is that visitors live a sensory and educational experience where they can laugh, touch, investigate, take photographs and deploy all their creativity and imagination. The museum’s main objective is that visitors live a sensory and educational experience where they can laugh, touch, investigate, take photographs and deploy all their creativity and imagination.
Visits to the parks, gardens and palaces that showcase the city’s complex history and architectural splendor. Travelers who appreciate a good dose of history between leisurely strolls along narrow streets and relaxed, drawn-out meals will swoon over Seville’s centuries-old neighborhoods and cultural offerings. Indulging in tapas at a street corner cafe or listening to an impromptu guitarist’s tunes in an open-air plaza.
Santa Cruz neighborhood
The Santa Cruz neighborhood, the old medieval Jewish quarter located in the historic center of Seville, is one of the most emblematic and picturesque in the city. With narrow, winding streets, its Sevillian-style houses have stately patios and balconies with wrought-iron railings adorned with flowers. The neighborhood was founded when King Ferdinand III of Castile conquered the city and the second largest Jewish community in Spain was concentrated in Seville, after Toledo.
In the neighborhood is the convent of Las Teresas, founded by Saint Teresa of Jesus in 1575. In the upper part of the neighborhood is the Hospice of Venerables Sacerdotes, which was built to serve as an asylum for retired priests and contains a large number of of works of art. The neighborhood was remodeled at the beginning of the 20th century, directed by the municipal architect Juan Talavera y Heredia.
Las Setas de Sevilla are wooden structures with two concrete columns that house the access elevators to the viewpoint and are located in the central Plaza de la Encarnación. The Metropol Parasol, in La Encarnación square, is the world’s largest wooden structure. Also known as Metropol Parasol or Setas de la Encarnación, it has dimensions of 150 x 70 meters and an approximate height of 26 meters, and it was the winning project of the contest opened by the Seville City Council to carry out the rehabilitation of the square in which it is located. A monumental umbrella-like building designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer, finished in 2011. This modern architecture structure houses the central market and an underground archaeological complex. The terrace roof is a city viewpoint.
The structure consists of six large mushroom-shaped parasols, whose design is inspired by the vaults of the cathedral of Seville and the ficus trees of the nearby Plaza del Cristo de Burgos. Due to its structure, which is shaped like a mushroom, it is popularly known as the Mushrooms of the Incarnation. As a whole it has five levels. The upper level houses a lookout plaza and a panoramic path on platforms that runs through most of the set. Inside the central parasols, at a height of 22 meters, there is a tapas restaurant and a space for events. Under the parasols is an elevated, shady, open-air plaza (Plaza Mayor) designed to host events of different types. At ground level is the current Mercado de la Encarnación, along with retail and restaurant space. Finally, the basement houses the Antiquarium museum, which exhibits the archaeological remains found on the site.
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España is an architectural ensemble located in the María Luisa park. It was designed by the architect Aníbal González. It was erected between 1914 and 1929 as one of the main constructions of the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. The Plaza de España is a spectacle of light and majesty. Its proportions are lavish; it has a total area of 50,000 square meters, making it undoubtedly the most imposing square in Spain. It is bordered by a canal that runs for 515 m and is crossed by four bridges. The buildings that surround the square are structured in a central building, wings with intermediate buildings that compensate for an excessive length, and towers at the ends.
The construction is made of exposed brick and has extensive ceramic decoration. The roofs of the plaza gallery have wooden coffered ceilings that are supported by marble columns. The backs of the benches and some lampposts are made of wrought iron. The medallions with effigies of illustrious Spaniards, the marble columns and the coffered ceilings give the whole a Renaissance atmosphere. The central fountain, the work of Vicente Traver. On the walls of the square there is a series of 48 benches that represent, in alphabetical order, forty-six peninsular Spanish provinces (all except Seville) and the two archipelagos (Canary and Balearic Islands), with their coat of arms, a map and a cloth of Pisan tile with outstanding historical facts of that territory.
Along the entire perimeter of the square stretches a canal, which you can travel on board a boat. The four beautiful bridges that cross the canal represent the ancient kingdoms of Spain. Two tall towers stand at the ends of the square, giving a perfect balance to the whole. These towers can be seen from all over Seville. The arcaded gallery that separates the open space of the square with respect to the building invites to be walked. Admire the impressive coffered ceiling. The banks are divided into four sections, and at the beginning and end of each one, there is a tile panel related to the province of Seville. The banks also have two small towers on the sides with shelves that have been used on occasion to place books.
Plaza de America
The Plaza de America in Seville, is in the Maria Luisa Park, flanked by the Museum of Popular Arts and Customs (Mudejar style) on one side and the Archaeological Museum (Renaissance style) on the other, the Royal Pavilion. The three named buildings in the square were built by Aníbal González between 1913 and 1916 for the future Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, each one has a different architectural style. Also forming part of the square are the Glorieta de Miguel de Cervantes, adorned with ceramics recalling his most famous works, as well as that of Rodríguez Marín. Surrounding the set is a series of columns linked by chains with globes of light, and holding winged victories due to the gouges of Manuel Delgado Brackembury and Lorenzo Coullaut Valera.
It is located in the historic center of Seville, a true commercial and administrative center of the city, as the main building of the City Hall is located here. With a perimeter of about 500 meters, it occupies an area of approximately 14,000 m². Here is one of the ends of the streetcar line «Metro-centro». Belonging to the Casco Antiguo district it serves as a divider between two neighborhoods, the square is located within the Arenal neighborhood, being the blocks on its north and east sides (town hall) within the Alfalfa neighborhood. It was completed in 1853, although it was not inaugurated until 1857. The primitive appearance of the square was of a two-storey farmhouse, uniform on the three sides in front of City Hall, of which only the section between the Telefonica building and Barcelona Street remains standing as a witness.
In the center of the square there was a large bandstand for music, which disappeared to raise the current monument to San Fernando, which was inaugurated in 1924. The Town Hall building stands out, with its eighteenth-century façade on the eastern side of the square. Also noteworthy is the small Chapel of San Onofre embedded within the nineteenth-century buildings, the only remains of the disappeared Convent of San Francisco, and the magnificent building of the Telefonica, the work of Juan Talavera y Heredia.
Monument to San Fernando was finished and inaugurated on August 25, 1924. The most famous artists of the time collaborated in the final elaboration of the monument. Thus, the pedestal and the idea of the whole is by Juan Talavera Heredia. The sides of the pedestal are flanked by the figures of four characters that accompanied the Holy King in the conquest of Seville: the figure of Alfonso X is the work of Enrique Pérez Comendador; the knight Garci Pérez de Vargas is the work of Joaquín Sánchez Cid; Admiral Ramón Bonifaz is by José Lafitta y Diaz, and Alfonso López Rodríguez did that of Bishop Don Remondo. At the top, the equestrian statue of San Fernando is by Joaquín Bilbao Martínez.
Casa Longoria, work of neo-baroque style, its design is due to the architect of Levantine origin and settled in Seville Vicente Traver Tomás, who designed it in 1917 for its promoter, Don Miguel García de Longoria; finally being finished in 1920. It is a splendid work whose facade to the square is arranged with perfect symmetry, made all of it in light-colored brick, which includes fine details in blue tile. With three floors high, its composition focuses attention on the large wrought iron balcony located on the axis of the facade, in the center of the second floor.
The most outstanding and most striking element is its beautiful lookout tower located on the corner. This is a body of great uniqueness for which its author recovers Baroque elements such as scrolls or pinnacles, and wisely combines them with other more classicist elements such as curved pediments and oculi. The Banco de Bilbao building in Seville stands on one of its corners. It dates from 1950 and responds to the classicist rationalist trend of this period, which is especially carried out in the architecture associated with corporate buildings of large entities, both public and private. Philips Building, known by the name of this trademark, is located on the corner of Méndez Núñez street with Bilbao street, and overlooks the square; it is the work of Alfonso Toro Buiza from 1960.
With four floors high with a very studied composition of facades by levels, is the work of the architect Galnares Sagastizábal, who designed a monumental and severe facade chaired by six majestic Ionic columns with smooth shafts and giant order. In the 1975 Metro project, a station was planned for Plaza Nueva. The works began with the excavation of a deep access shaft to the future station, similar to those built at Puerta de Jerez and Alameda de Hércules. During the excavation, remains of a ship, probably Viking, were discovered.
Located in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz. It is a rectangular square, lined with houses and buildings identifying the city of Seville. Attached to the Murillo Gardens, from which it is separated by a simple iron fence, the square is provided with shaded areas provided by the large trees around it. In the center of the square there are circular and elevated tree wells as benches, from which slender palm trees grow, creating a pleasant overall image. Until the second half of the 19th century, the whole area facing the Murillo Gardens was occupied by the city wall, with Cano y Cueto Street as the exit to the Puerta de la Carne. In the center of the square is the monument to Don Juan Tenorio. It is represented in a standing figure with the classic attire of the seventeenth century, the work of sculptor Nicomedes Díaz Piquero. On the pedestal are the description of the character, according to the verses of Zorrilla, and the beginning of the famous scene of the sofa.
Santa Cruz Square
Its location is that formerly occupied by the primitive Church of Santa Cruz. In this square converge the streets Nicolás Antonio, Mezquita, Santa Teresa, and Alfaro Square. The current appearance of the square is due to the urbanization projected by Juan Talavera y Heredia in 1918. Presided over by a wrought iron cross made by Sebastian Conde in the year 1692, located in the center of the garden that decorates the square. On the facade of the building to the west of the square, you can read a tombstone placed by the Academy of Fine Arts in 1858 that recalls that in that place, in what was the primitive temple of Santa Cruz, were buried the remains of the famous Sevillian painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
Doña Elvira Square
The Plaza Doña Elvira is located in the famous Santa Cruz neighborhood. This square arose in the redevelopment of the neighborhood between 1911 and 1918, led by the municipal architect Juan Talavera y Heredia. In the seventeenth century there was a famous playhouse on this site. Of not very large dimensions and with a square floor plan, the square is included in the most common tourist routes of the city, so it is frequented during the day by numerous groups of visitors, both domestic and foreign. Contributing to its charm are its exclusively pedestrian character, its angled accesses, as if by surprise, and a well-designed central area of flowerbeds, benches, fountain and orange trees that develops in its central zone. In addition, the square is surrounded by buildings with a distinctly Sevillian flavor, and in them are located restaurants, terraces and souvenir stores and crafts.
Patio de Banderas
During the Muslims’ stay in the city and while they inhabited the fortress, Abderraman III, in the 10th century, had this space built as a palace and it began to be known as the Dar Al-Imara or Prince’s house or Governor’s house. In the time of Philip V, while he was in Seville in 1729, he had the space organized as an armory. In 1816 were installed benches and a fountain in the center, all surrounded by trees, in 1857 the benches were dismantled leaving only the trees and the fountain, after a few years the trees were replaced by orange trees, until today that has not been changed again. On the occasion of the Ibero-American Exposition of Seville in 1929, the central part was remodeled again, where there was a fountain that was completely destroyed, a new one was placed, adding a new paved area around it and also making possible the circulation of vehicles in its surroundings. It was also a horse riding arena as it was so close to the halt, nowadays the exit door of the Alcazar, it has an area of 1441 m².
The current neighborhoods of Santa Cruz, Santa María la Blanca and San Bartolomé make up what was the old Jewish quarter of Seville. Vestiges of past times can still be found in its narrow streets, small squares and passages. There is an adventurous point to venturing into the Santa Cruz neighborhood. Taking one direction or another will lead you to discover very different enclaves, all of them enveloped by a dreamy halo. Its maze of labyrinthine and narrow streets will transport you to another time. Decide as you go, go into alleys, surprise yourself with the brick pavement of Calle Verde or walk along the small barreduela that connects the Plaza Virgen de los Reyes with the Plazoleta de Santa Marta. One of the quietest and most mysterious corners where to stop to take the fresh air in the center of Seville.
Undoubtedly, the callejón del Agua is a must-see street in your tour of the labyrinthine neighborhood of Santa Cruz. Next to the city wall, and parallel to the Real Alcázar Gardens, this street was used to carry water from the Caños de Carmona to the Reales Alcázares. Hence its present name. Around this emblematic Sevillian alley are others with similar charm. The magical Callejón de la Judería will leave you speechless. Its unique layout and structure link Vida Street with the Patio de Banderas, through a historic shutter. A fountain and the tombstone dedicated to the Spanish writer Luis Cernuda crown this place, in addition to the arch and the tower that, in its time, were part of the gate that connected the Real Alcázar with the Jewish quarter.
Parks and gardens
Among the parks and gardens of Seville, the Alameda de Hércules stands out for its age, which is the oldest preserved public garden in Europe (1574). Other historic gardens are the private garden of the Alcázar, the María Luisa park (designed by Lecolant in 1860 as a private garden, donated to the city by the Infanta María Luisa de Borbón in 1893 and reformed by J. C. N. Forestier in 1914), the Delicias de Arjona gardens (1826-29, a public garden from its inception), the Cristina gardens (1830), the Murillo gardens (1915) and the Catalina de Ribera promenade (1920),169 both designed by Juan Talavera.
Among the recent parks, the Alamillo park and the Príncipes park stand out. Other important parks in Seville are the Miraflores park, the Amate park, the Buhaira gardens, the Delicias gardens, the Murillo gardens, the San Diego gardens, the Prado de San Sebastián gardens, the San Jerónimo, the Infanta Elena park and the José Celestino Mutis park, among others.
Maria Luisa Park
The María Luisa park is the most famous in Seville, and between 1914 and 1973 it was the city’s park par excellence. This park was originally part of the gardens of the San Telmo Palace, owned by the Dukes of Montpensier, and was donated to the city in 1893 by Duchess María Luisa Fernanda de Orleans. It was reformed by the French engineer Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier and by the architect Aníbal González, opening to the public on April 18, 1914. Later in the park the Plaza de España and Plaza de América were opened, which constitute one of its main attractions.
The park presents a varied grove of acacias, elms and thousands of hedges; myrtles, oleanders, laurels, rose gardens and flowers. All this together with the artificial lakes, fountains and roundabouts, decorated with Sevillian tiles. At one end of the park, the Plaza de América was built, which was one of the most relevant spaces of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. In this square are the buildings that house two of the most important museums in the city, the Museum of Arts and Popular Customs and the Archaeological. The arrangement of its gardens stands out in this square, in which there are 16 statues of Victories, columns, stairways, among others.
Other parks and gardens
In addition to the large Parque de María Luisa, the city contains other parks and gardens, including:
The Alcázar Gardens, within the grounds of the Alcázar palace, consist of several sectors developed in different historical styles.
The Gardens of Murillo and the Gardens of Catalina de Ribera, both along and outside the south wall of the Alcázar, lie next to the Santa Cruz quarter.
The Parque del Alamillo y San Jerónimo, the largest park in Andalusia, was originally built for Seville Expo ’92 to reproduce the Andalusian native flora. It lines both Guadalquivir shores around the San Jerónimo meander. The 32-metres-high bronze sculpture, The Birth of a New Man (popularly known as Columbus’s Egg, el Huevo de Colón), by the Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, is located in its northwestern sector.
The American Garden, also completed for Expo ’92, is in La Cartuja. It is a public botanical garden, with a representative collection of American plants donated by different countries on the occasion of the world exposition. Despite its extraordinary botanical value, it remains a mostly abandoned place.
The Buhaira Gardens, also historically known as the Huerta del Rey, are a public park and historic site, originally created as a garden estate during the Almohad period (12th century).
There are plenty of shops and workshops in Triana. And it’s easy to enjoy flamenco at one of the many ‘tablaos’ or neighbourhood ‘peña’ groups. From flamenco shows and Spanish guitar music to typical ceramics and crafts, which are always a good souvenir of the city.
The flamenca dress is the only regional dress that evolves according to fashion, a folk costume that does not renounce the glamor, and that every year is renewed with the contributions of excellent designers and designers of the flamenco fashion industry. In Seville you will discover an extensive network of establishments where dresses and accessories linked to the world of flamenco, made with the same care and dedication as centuries ago. The flamenco dress, with those doses of sophistication, showiness, and that special adaptation to the silhouette, favors as few dresses can do.
The ‘mantones’ are a garment widely used in Seville in special events. We can see them not only in the Feria or in the Maestranza, but also in many other social events. One of the most used traditional elements is the ‘abanico’. Many hand-painted designs that are small works of art. Marvel at all the complements that will highlight your flamenco look: earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, shawls, shoes, flowers or combs.
Every year in early February, Seville celebrates at the FIBES the Semana Internacional de la Moda Flamenca SIMOF, a meeting of the flamenco design industry that attracts the attention of the whole country. This unique fashion event, unique in the world, sets the trend of the costumes that will be worn on the popular and spontaneous catwalk that is the Feria de Abril in Seville. And another unmissable date with flamenco fashion is WeLoveFlamenco, a specialized catwalk that takes place every year at the Alfonso XIII Hotel.
The pottery art
Seville is characterized by its handicraft industry, which is mainly centered on ceramics and pottery. The production of artistic ceramics is located in the Triana neighborhood and began in the Islamic period. Hispano-Muslim ceramists contributed glazing and its application to architecture on facades, floors, baseboards and ceilings. Subsequently, Mudejar adopted oriental techniques that formed the basis of the local style. Thus, mosaics and tiles began to be made, with a predominance of hand-painted works with popular motifs. The richness of the Guadalquivir Valley in muds and clays also has its domestic and agricultural application. Especially thanks to the production by the potters of typical elements of oAndalusia, such as pitchers or botijos, at first more functional than decorative. Many of these ornaments are still the main protagonists in countless streets, buildings, patios and even bodeguitas or restaurants in our city.
In Seville the art of the guitar is very much alive, both in terms of master performers and master luthiers. The International Guitar Festival is held every year in Seville, an event that pays tribute to this instrument with the presence of leading figures of the Spanish guitar, whether classical or flamenco. And of course, the Biennial of Flamenco, which brings together every two years the best guitarists of the flamenco scene. Strolling through Seville in search of guitar stores can be a doubly special experience. In fact, many street artists wrap the streets of the old town with guitar sounds. In the neighborhood of Santa Cruz you can visit the Casa de la Guitarra. A multifunctional space with the guitar as the thematic axis, a kind of interpretation center that has become the first guitar museum in Spain.
Seville is known for its tapas. “Tapa”, while it is associated with certain dishes, is actually a size and many restaurants or bars will offer a tapa, media ración of the same dish. There are many great tapas places around the foot of the cathedral in the centre of town. Some typical tapas include potato omelet, Galician octopus, olives, spicy potatoes, and sheep’s milk cheese from the region of La Mancha in central Spain. Also be sure to try the ham.
As the quality of food is considered of a great importance in Seville, most local bars will have very good food at a low price. For a authentic and interesting meal, stop at one of the many bars. Some bars near the river offer a nice view, the cool staggered seating steps, fabulous décor and fruity sangria; provide a wonderful respite from the heat of the day.
Sevillian gastronomy is highly conditioned by the prevailing climate in the city, in such a way that there is a typical winter gastronomy and another very differentiated one adapted to the heat and high temperatures of summer. Sevillian gastronomy is characterized by its simplicity and frugality, it is not based on a complicated preparation but on the wise seasoning of products from the Mediterranean diet.
To quell the high summer temperatures, the Andalusian gazpacho, the Russian salad, various types of cold dishes called salpicón and assorted salads stand out. consume throughout the year. Likewise, it is very common to taste a wide range of cold cuts, mainly serrano ham, as well as different types of cheese; although no less common is to taste the already traditional serranito, an Andalusian sandwich with Sevillian origins.
In the winter months, the Andalusian stew made up of chickpeas and pringá (different sausages, meat and bacon), spinach with chickpeas, bull’s tail, characteristic at the time of bullfights, menudo or tripe, is typical of the autochthonous gastronomy., the flamenco eggs, the aliñás potatoes (boiled potatoes seasoned with different seasonings) and the picadillo soup.
Among the most typical drinks, tinto de verano (red wine with soda), beer, and at the fair, fine sherry and manzanilla from Sanlúcar stand out.
As in all Andalusia, the tapas stand out. The list of tapas is very extensive, since the imagination and creativity of each professional in the Sevillian hospitality industry are involved in its preparation. The tapas culture ranges from the sample of stews and hot dishes through fried foods, rice dishes and stews, to the lightest of cold tapas, seasonings and cured meats, as well as Sevillian olives in their pickled or seasoned varieties: gordales, manzanillas, crushed, among others.
Among the typical traditional Sevillian sweets that are part of Andalusian confectionery, the oil cake, the polvorón cakes, the pestiños, the alfajor, the yolks of San Leandro and the bacon from heaven stand out. During Lent and Easter, torrijas are very common, sweets made both at home and in pastries, bars and restaurants.
Festivals and Cultural Events
There are many entertainment options around the city of Seville and one of its biggest attractions is the numerous festivals that happen around the year. Some of the festivals concentrate on religion and culture, others focus on the folklore of the area, traditions, and entertainment. There are two emblematic festivals in Seville of international prestige that are celebrated during the spring: Holy Week and the April Fair. The pilgrimage of El Rocío, the day of Corpus Christi and the candle of Santa Ana in Triana are also popular among the Sevillian citizens.
The celebration of the different acts that take place during Holy Week become one of the most important cultural, religious and artistic events that take place in the city. Holy Week is considered a National and International Festival of Tourist Interest. The processional parades of Holy Week are organized by brotherhoods and brotherhoods, each of which is distinguished by a series of religious, artistic, social and historical factors. The penitence station or processional exit is the main external worship carried out by the brotherhoods. The week runs from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday, each day procession steps with images representing the Passion of Christ. The steps are carried by bearers, led by a foreman, and accompanied by a procession of Nazarenes. The singing of saetas to the steps from windows and balconies is typical of the Sevillian Holy Week.
The April Fair is a popular festival that takes place in Seville in spring, in the Los Remedios neighborhood and is considered a Festival of Tourist Interest at the National level, and since 1965, as International. The April Fair is a huge celebration that takes place in Seville about two weeks after the Holy Week. It was previously associated with celebrating livestock; however, nowadays its purpose is to create a fun cheerful environment tied to the appreciation of the Spanish folklore. During the Feria, families, businesses, and organisations set up casetas (marquees) in which they spend the week dancing, drinking, and socialising. Traditionally, women wear elaborate flamenco dresses and men dress in their best suits.
The marquees are set up on a permanent fairground in the district of Los Remedios, made up of 24 blocks, has an area of about 450,000 m². The road network of the Real is made up of fifteen streets named after bullfighters related to Seville. Attached to the Real de la Feria, are the facilities of an ephemeral amusement park, with some 400 different attractions, known as “Calle del Infierno”.In the Municipal Booth is where the protocol activities of the City Council and each of the Districts has a booth for public use. Access to most other booths is limited to booth members and their guests.
Velá de Santiago y Santa Ana
In the district of Triana, the Velá de Santiago y Santa Ana is held every July and includes sporting events, performances, and cultural activities as the city honors St. James and St. Ana. It has its origins at the end of the 13th century, due to the celebration of the festivities of Santiago and Santa Ana. The Velá de Santa Ana comes from an old pilgrimage that took place in the Parish of Santa Ana. they decorate the streets with lanterns, booths and a potters’ market are installed. There are live performances, trophies and various sporting events as well as the famous game of cucaña, in which young people try to catch a flag at the end of a stick smeared with grease lying horizontally over the river.
Flamenco was named Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 2010. The Flamenco Biennial is a festival that is held in Seville every two years and takes place in the various theaters in the city. The most representative artists of cante jondo participate in the festival and the opportunity is given to the new promises of the genre that are gradually joining the musical scene. The first Biennial was held in 1980, and the XV Biennial was held in September 2008. The Biennale consists of a series of shows that, from the outset, sought to link the Biennale with the world of Fine Arts, theater, cinema, music, and poetry.
SICAB, International Horse Show
SICAB is a fair dedicated exclusively to the Purebred Spanish horse. It is the maximum expression of monographic fairs around the world. There is no other fair dedicated to a single breed that summons a greater number of specimens. It is held every year around the third weekend of November at FIBES. But within this joint package a series of complementary activities are included that offer a representative sample of the characteristics for which our horse has been admired throughout history. These activities are the Spanish Morphological Championship, the ANCCE Dressage Cup, the ANCCE Dressage Cup and the night show.
Seville European Film Festival
The Seville European Film Festival was initially created in 2001 as the Seville Film and Sports Festival and is currently organized (2008) by the City Council of this Andalusian city. The basic objective is the dissemination of European cinematographic culture, with special attention to emerging achievements, giving way to the incorporation of new supports for cinematographic expression. At the same time, the meeting of the works of new creators and consecrated figures is fostered, allowing a broad perspective of the most recent and significant international productions to be shown. The Festival also offers an annual meeting place for the European film industry. In addition to the two competitive sections, one for feature films and the other for documentaries, specific cycles of specific authors, advertising films, seminars, concerts and other cultural activities are programmed.
Seville is among the top 100 world congress destinations, thanks in part to the modern and avant-garde extension of the Palace of Congresses and Exhibitions (FIBES), carried out by the Sevillian architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra.
Palace of Congresses and Exhibitions of Seville
The Palace of Congresses and Exhibitions of Seville, also known by the acronym FIBES, is an architectural space dedicated to promoting the commercial business of the city and its area of influence, where professional meetings and fairs of various kinds and content are held. FIBES has a central building with a very unique architecture, three completely open-plan exhibition pavilions with a surface area of 7,200 m² each. There are two outdoor areas of 13,000 m², the pavilions are linked to the main building through a gallery. The enclosure has two parking areas with a capacity for 600 vehicles.
The Palacio de Congresos building has several auditoriums and numerous meeting rooms of different capacities, three large exhibition pavilions as well as restaurants and cafeterias.208 Every year a calendar of various fairs is held, some of which have international status. The extension of the Palacio de Congresos, the work of the architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, was inaugurated in 2012 with the opening of its auditorium with a maximum capacity of 5,000 people.
Guadalquivir Boat Tour
Guadalquivir boat trips are a great highlights to Seville sightseeing, one of the most exciting sightseeing tour through several centuries of history of Seville. Get a complete perspective of both riversides, confronting the old part of town with the most modern one. See Seville from a unique position and enjoy privileged views of the city. Feel the history of Seville from the magical perspective of the water, go with the river current under the bridges and gaze at the beautiful skyline of an unique and incredible city.
The river became a strategic point of vital importance to Seville in terms of access to the New World. This was the place where the merchant ships berthed, at the Port of Seville, loaded with gold, silver, tobacco and other valuable goods in high demand. On the Guadalquivir banks, where great works are located, such as the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza, the old bridges, the mythical Barrio de Triana, the pavilions of international exhibitions celebrated in Seville, the towers of the Plaza de España and numerous buildings that, in the past, chose to settle on the banks of the big river. Seethe Monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas, located on a small island in the Guadalquivir known as Isla de la Cartuja, where Christopher Columbus planned his trip across the ocean looking for India.
Cruise along the city’s main river and enjoy the wonderful views of Seville’s most beautiful panoramas, including the historical center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for some years now. Observe the picturesque 19th century popular houses of Triana, and the enchanting bridges. You will also sail around the Parque de Maria Luisa to get a view of the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition.
While on board you get a wide perspective of both riverbeds. It’s amazing the number of famous Seville landmarks you can see from a boat on the Guadalquivir and how close together they truly are. From the awe-inspiring Giralda to the ancient Torre del Oro (with its mysterious past) and onto the Barrio de Triana, experience the best views the city has to offer while enjoying a relaxing cruise along the River Guadalquivir.
On one hand there is a large part of the sights starting with the Torre del Oro itself, the Maestranza bullring and some of the pavilions of the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. On the other hand, you’ll see a much modern Seville with a panoramic of the Remedios neighborhood and part of the Cartuja Island. The most beautiful stretch is the Calle Betis (Betis Street), one of the most picturesque landmarks of Seville. This street is part of Triana, a very popular neighborhood where you can truly sense the deep Andalusian culture.
Furthermore, the boat will go under nine bridges being the Quincentenary Bridge the closest to the sea and the Alamillo Bridge the furthest. Out of these bridges, I would like to point out two of them. Both were built for the Universal Exposition that was held in Seville in 1992 (Expo’92). This Exposition was organized to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.
The first one is the Barqueta Bridge, popularly known as “the basket”. It was built as part of the infrastructure improvements accomplished for the Expo’92. Actually, it is the main entrance gate or access to the Cartuja Island where the Universal Exposition site was. Today, most of the island has been transformed into offices but there are some place worthwhile a visit such as the Cartuja Monastery where the Contemporary Art Centre (CAAC) is, the Pabellon de la Navegacion and to Isla Mágica, an amusement park.
The other one is the Alamillo Bridge. Designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it provides access to the Cartuja Island, where the most of the Expo’92 pavilions were. It is probably the most beautiful bridge in Seville because of the contrast it gives between its modern design and the colonial architecture of the city.
For Seville, the Guadalquivir is part of the city’s identity. A good place to sail, stroll and play sports while enjoying spectacular views. Canoeing and rowing are great options to get to know the city from its main artery. With calm water, a wide riverbed and wonderful views of the city, the river is an iconic place for lovers of water sports. On many occasions, the river is bursting with colour: the shirts of the regional, national and international sportspeople who take part in the numerous events and competitions on the river, or the traditional Seville-Betis Regatta, among many others. The river has become a must for international rowing teams, as it is common to see canoeists and rowers of other nationalities in the Cartuja High Performance Rowing and Canoeing Specialised Centre which, in addition, is a place of permanent training for the Spanish teams of both sports.
Learn all about the history of Seville and the Guadalquivir river with us by kayak, a different way of discovering the city. Once you are in the water, the monitor will guide you along the river so you can enjoy the views and learn about the different buildings and bridges that you will see during the tour. The tour starts in the Barrio de Triana neighbourhood and includes the EXPO 92 facilities, the Barrio de El Arenal neighbourhood and the María Luisa Park area.
The province of Seville is a mosaic of cultures whose roots are buried in the remote past. The great river basin of the Guadalquivir, the Sierra Morena mountains and the marshes of the Doñana Nature Reserve offer visitors a scenic map of extensive wetlands, and a sanctuary for a variety of birdlife; you can explore mountain paths among lush Mediterranean vegetation, contemplate the fighting bulls grazing in pastures dotted with ancient holm oaks, or lose yourself in gently sloping lands with inviting villages and monumental cities which are living testimony to a historic past of unparalleled splendour.
The towns and cities on the shores of the river are living testimony to its historic and cultural past. In the vicinity of Seville are the following places of tourist interest: Itálica is an ancient Roman city located in the current municipality of Santiponce, 7 km from Seville. Cradle of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian, its well-preserved amphitheater stands out. Carmona is a city located 33 km from Seville that stands out for the quantity and quality of its historical and monumental heritage. It has been a historical-artistic complex since 1963, with 18 monuments registered in the catalog of Assets of Cultural Interest; and the Roman necropolis has been declared an archaeological zone.
The settlement of Julia Romula Hispalis, founded by Julius Caesar, was the hub of spectacular commercial activity. Major settlements were established throughout the territory, whose buildings and monuments can still be seen in the present day. The Arabs left an indelible mark on the culture and monuments of these lands. In the 16th century, Seville experienced its period of maximum splendour. The port of Seville received goods from all over Europe, as well as precious metals from the New World, which contributed to the development of western Europe. The Enlightenment saw a revival of trade, agriculture and industry. The Universal Exhibition of 1992 promoted and enhanced even more the reputation of Seville.
El Aljarafe – This fertile region in western Seville, with its abundant olive groves, herbaceous plants, fruit trees and vines, was named the “Highlands” by the Arabs. El Aljarafe is rich in traditions, culture, history and art. The megalithic tumuli of La Pastora, Matarubilla and Ontiveras date back to the Copper Age. Traces of its Arab past can be found in porticos and windows, farmsteads, shrines, Mudejar style churches, plinths and tiles. Hernán Cortés’ Palace in Castilleja de la Cuesta and the residence of the Count-Duke of Olivares in the town of Olivares, are among the architectural treasures of El Aljarafe. Other towns worth visiting in this region include Bollullos de la Mitación, San Juan de Aznalfarache, Santiponce, Tomares, Villanueva del Ariscal, Bormujos, Camas, Espartinas, La Puebla de Cazalla and many more.
La Marisma/Bajo Guadalquivir – With its rich agricultural, forestry and game-hunting resources, Doñana, designated a Biosphere Reserve, has a unique marsh ecosystem populated by an amazing variety of birdlife, and offers a wide range of options for ecological tourism: horse-riding routes, cycle touring, hot-air balloon flights, hiking… The southernmost area of this region, the Bajo Guadalquivir, with its fertile agricultural areas and spreading rice paddies, is internationally renowned for horse breeding and training. Aznalcázar, Coria del Río, El Cuervo, Gelves, Isla Mayor, Los Palacios y Villafranca, La Puebla del Río, Las Cabezas de San Juan and Lebrija are some of the towns in this region of the province of Seville.
La Vega del Guadalquivir – The river plain, with its fertile lands, its surprising urban landscape featuring beautiful ancestral houses, and its strong-willed, friendly and sociable locals, offers the chance to visit archaeological sites left from ancient cultures, as well as a whole range of outdoor activities to be enjoyed in the coolness of the waters in its streams and reservoirs. This region includes the towns of Alcalá y Alcolea del Río, Cantillana, La Puebla de los Infantes, Lora del Río, San José de la Rinconada, Tocina and Villaverde del Río.
Sierra Norte – This region is home to the unspoilt landscapes of the Sierra Norte Nature Reserve. In this rugged setting of cork oaks, pine trees and colourful Mediterranean vegetation, visitors can enjoy hiking or horse riding, climbing, cycling routes or watching the majestic flight of golden eagles, vultures and black storks in the mountain skies. Other options include a walk downstream along the banks of the River Huéznar, where the forest has formed a series of beautiful overhanging bowers, or exploring the narrow paths of the abandoned mines at Cerro del Hierro with their bizarre geological formations, or a visit to the impressive Cartuja de Cazalla monastery. The towns in this region include Alanís, Almadén de la Plata, San Nicolás del Puerto, Cazalla de la Sierra, Constantina, El Pedroso, El Real de la Jara, Las Navas de la Concepción and many more.