Seville, Southern Spain Here I Come

May 2015

Seville, a very beautiful town. Originally founded as a Roman city. Serves as the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region. Seville is well known for its Flamenco Dance, and is the site of Christopher Columbus’s tomb.

I was booked in an Airbnb outside the city centre, but it was right next to the metro, so all was good. I found myself a little tired, so my first evening was purely about logistics – where to go, routes, and transportation access.

One of my first stops is always to an Information Office to pick up a tourism map with sites numbered on it. This becomes my city map.

Walking down Av. de la Constitucion, I came upon the Seville Cathedral, the third largest church in the world, which opened in 1528. It was on my list to stop, but there was a long line, so I chose to catch it later.

Se Cathedral - Seville
Se Cathedral – Seville
Se Cathedral - Seville
Se Cathedral – Seville

As in all of the cities I had visited, there were many beautiful buildings throughout my walk.

Seville
Seville
Seville
Seville

I walked past the Plaza Nueva on my way to the Iglesia del Salvador or Church of the Savior.

Plaza Nueva
Plaza Nueva – Monument to King San Fernando

The Iglesia del Salvador was another gorgeous church! It is currently the second largest church in Seville.

Iglesia del Salvador
Iglesia del Salvador-Church Treasure-Processional Monstrance
Iglesia del Salvador
Iglesia del Salvador

I am finding that many of these churches are along plazas, or along thin corridors. In this instance, the covering for the restaurants made it hard to get a good picture. As you see, this is not in the Gothic style that so many of the churches I am visiting are.

Iglesia del Salvador
Iglesia del Salvador

The Metropol Parasol was a change of pace. This unique piece of art is all wood (except for the bases).

Met Parasol
Metropol Parasol

The building is approximately 85 feet tall, 490 feet in length, and 230 wide. Due to the cost and delays associated to building it, the locals call it Las Setas de la Encarnacion (Incarnación’s mushrooms).

Metropol Parasol
Metropol Parasol

Personally, I liked it.  You can go up to the top, for a charge, and see the sculpture. From there you have a great view of the city.

Metropol ParasolView from Metropol Parasol
Metropol ParasolView from Metropol Parasol-Click for Panoramic View

 

Metropol Parasol
View from the Metropol Parasol

There was an archeological center in one of the base towers, but it was closed.

Archeological Museum under the Metropol Parasol
Archeological Museum under the Metropol Parasol

I headed towards the Alamillo Bridge (Puente de Alamillo) and what appeared to be arches (Pabellon del Futuro-Pavillion of the Future) that I could see from the top of the Metropol Parasol.

Arches
Pabellon del Futuro from Expo’ 92

Along the way I stopped at the Basilica de La Macarena (Our Lady of Hope Macarena).

Basilica de La Macarena (Our Lady of Hope Macarena
Basilica de La Macarena (Our Lady of Hope Macarena) – Look Mere, our Montero.
Basilica de La Macarena (Our Lady of Hope Macarena)
Basilica de La Macarena (Our Lady of Hope Macarena)

Once again, my timing was off, but I just waited at a café across the street.

Seville
Seville

On my way to the Alamillo Bridge, I came across the Torre de los Perdigones (Tower of Pellets). The tower was once part of the old factory of “San Francisco de Paula”, “pellets Factory”.

Torre de los Perdigones (Tower of Pellets)
Torre de los Perdigones (Tower of Pellets)

I walked up as a man was coming out of the tower, switching the sign to Closed. I decided to stick around a little bit to see if he was just taking a break. I took a small siesta in the park by the tower.

Park
Park by the Torre de los Perdigones

For those of you in Austin that are familiar with the green parrots, well guess what, they are also here, and love the top of the local palm tree.

DSC01157

Next thing I knew, a large group of students, probably 30 or so, were entering the Torre de los Perdigones, so I waited for the crowd to leave. I headed over as they were leaving, but the man Closed the tower again. Oh well! Onward!

I made my way to a park near the arches where I had a clear view of the Alamillo Bridge.

Alamillo Bridge (Puente de Alamillo)
Alamillo Bridge (Puente de Alamillo)

Here I also found the La Barqueta Bridge which spans the Alfonso XII channel of the Guadalquivir River.

La Barqueta Bridge
La Barqueta Bridge

I always stumble upon little plazas that have these great trees. Every time I see one, I think of my girls. They would have loved to of climbed these trees.

DSC01169

There was a great river walk that I followed back towards the Puerta de Jerez (old door Jerez), once a gateway to the city of Seville, hence the name.

Riverwalk along the G
Riverwalk along the Guadalquivir River
Triana
Triana Bridge (Puente de Isabel II)

Before I got to the metro area, I stopped at the Bullring. I had completely forgotten about it.

Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Seville
Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Seville

I had seen many of the old Bullrings throughout my travels of Spain, but had not taken a tour of one yet, so I did this time. It was quite interesting. There were 5 gates if I recall correctly.

Inside the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Seville
Inside the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Seville – Click to see Panoramic View

You had a gate where the Picadors came out, another where the Matadors entered the ring, a gate for the Bulls,

Gate Where the Bulls Come Out
Gate Where the Bulls Come Out

a gate to the infirmary, and last but not least, the gate to haul off the dead bulls. This bullring, the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Seville dates back to 1761, and is still in use. Ferdinand VII, King of Spain twice, visited the bullfights frequently. The story goes that when he couldn’t make it, his painting was displayed in his box seat. (Hope I got my Kings right.)

Ferdinand VII, King of Spain
Ferdinand VII, King of Spain

There was a famous bullfighter, Jose Gomez Ortega, nickname, “Gallito”. Gallito was a professional at 14 years of age, and this was his suite at that age.

“Gallito”. Gallito was a professional at 14 years of age
Gallito Matador Suite at 14 years of age

With that said, he died at the age of 25, from a bull goring. Ouch!

Matadors Chapel
Matadors Chapel

The visit at the Bullring was educational. In all the years of bullfighting at this arena, some 254 years, only 2 bulls have had their lives spared or pardoned. That is a lot of bulls to die considering that there are roughly 6 bulls each fight.

The following day, I headed out to the Plaza de Espana. My walk took me past various sites. I pasted the Alfonso VIII Hotel walking to the Plaza de Espana.

statues plaza don juan de austria
Statues at the intersection of  Plaza Don Juan de Austria

I really enjoyed this unique plaza, Plaza de Espana. It was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.

Plaza de Espana de Seville
Plaza de Espana de Seville used for Government Officials

It has been used in many movies: Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and The Dictator.

Plaza de Espana de Seville
Plaza de Espana de Seville

I tried to get a panoramic shot but I couldn’t go from tower to tower without it completing the picture.

Plaza de Espana de Seville
Plaza de Espana de Seville – Click for Panoramic View

Next stop was the Parque de Maria Luisa, Seville’s primary green area. Once the gardens of the Palace of San Telmo, donated to the city in 1893.

Parque de Maria Luisa
Parque de Maria Luisa

As usual, I enjoyed my walk in the park.

Parque de Maria Luisa
Parque de Maria Luisa

I stumbled upon the Archeological Museum of Seville

Archeological Museum of Seville
Archeological Museum of Seville

as I got to one end of the Parque de Maria Luisa. Another joyous venture into the past.

Archeological Museum of Seville
Archeological Museum of Seville-Mosaic piece in the background, and a statue of Mercury to the right

Many interesting artifacts inside.

Archeological Museum of Seville
Archeological Museum of Seville-Venus of Italica, and at her feet is a lovely opus sectile flooring

I enjoy viewing all the old artifacts from Roman days. It amazes me what they could do in that day and time, create, build, and produce.

This is just a copy of a picture they had displayed from a dig, but when you see this, you ask yourself what happened? Here are dished just stacked upon each other.

Archeological Museum of Seville
Archeological Museum of Seville (Copy of Picture)

The Mudejar Pavilion, now the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville was across the street. I loved the beauty of the building, but I didn’t have time to visit it.

Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville
Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville

There was a pretty plaza in between the two museums, the Plaza America Square, with lots of roses.

Plaza America Square
Plaza America Square

I continued my walk through the Parque de Maria Luisa

Parque de Maria Luisa
Parque de Maria Luisa

on my way to the Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville.

Parque de Maria Luisa
Parque de Maria Luisa

As fate would have it, I walked all the way around this massive fortress to find the entrance.

monument to Christopher Columbus – Lions Courtyard
Monument to Christopher Columbus – Lions Courtyard

Once there, I found it quite interesting, and very beautiful. To see things this old, and yet in this condition.

Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville

The grounds were quite magnificent!

Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Grounds of Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville

I ran across the biggest Bougainvillea plant I had ever seen. Loved it!

Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Grounds of Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville

I kept hearing what I thought was a Peacock, and sure enough, I ran into them, on the backside of the grounds. One was standing around making calls.

Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Peacock at Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville

And the other was strutting it stuff, showing its feathers.

Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Peacock at Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville

The grounds’ walls were quite massive.

Walls of the Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Walls of the Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville

How about this for a bath area!

Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville

Coming out of the Alcazar I had a beautiful view of the Cathedral.

Se Cathedral of Seville
Se Cathedral of Seville
Alcazar of Seville, the Royal Palace of Seville
Se Cathedral of Seville

I went to go into the cathedral, but they were having communion. That was too bad, I am sure it was a gorgeous church inside. It is the largest Gothic church in Spain.

On my walk back I came across the Torre de Oro, and old military watch tower.

Torre de Oro
Torre de Oro

Once again, time flew by. I enjoyed my stay in Seville. My host in Seville was extremely nice, making my stay an exceptional one.

I had tried to catch a futbol game while here as the stadium was just down the street, but no luck. As I was walking to the train station, I had to get a picture of the Seville Futbol Stadium. Little did I know, but when I got to Malaga, Seville and Malaga would be playing for the league championship.

Seville Futbol Stadium
Seville Futbol Stadium

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