Back in Spain visiting SevilleMarch 13 in Spain
We're back on the road again, currently visiting Seville, on our way back to the UK.
The city really came into its own when Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492 and Seville was awarded an official monopoly on Spanish trade with the new-found continent. Columbus' impact was so great the his remains lie beautifully entombed in the cathedral.
With only an afternoon and a day to explore, we had to be selective, as this is a city that can easily fill much more time. Leaving the motorhome at a marina parking site close by, we jumped on a bus and arrived right in the city 20 minutes later. Taking care to keep a sharp lookout for trams, horse-drawn carriages and cyclists, we wandered around taking in the sites and deciding what to see the next day. The city is very tourist friendly with lots of signposts, information centres, hotels, bars and restaurants. It is also a place to spend time outdoors with parks, walking paths along the river and boat trips on it.
Next day, we started our exploring at the cathedral, one of the largest Christian churches in the world. It stands on the site of a 12th century mosque, with the minaret (the Giralda) still towering beside it. Gothic in style, it took almost 100 years to build and today houses some of Spain's most important paintings outside of the art museums in Madrid. An audio guide talked us through our 2 1/2 hour visit and even though it is probably Seville's most popular attraction, there was plenty of space for everyone to enjoy it. We climbed to the top of the minaret for great vistas of the city and then descended to end our visit in the orange tree gardens where the aroma of the oranges filled the air.
From there we headed over to the bullring, one of Spain's oldest and most original, and the centre of bull-fighting. Again we had an audio tour but this time we had a guide too, whose only job seemed to be to tell us which number to press on the guide and to keep us moving along. In the museum we learned that it was King Fernando's troops who started bullfighting, as it was used as a way of training. It then became popular with matadors replacing the troops. The area where the matadors and bulls waited before finally entering the ring included an ornate chapel where prayers and confessions could be made. The bullring itself could hold 12,000 spectators, all anticipating the dual between man and beast. We would have liked to have done the tour at our own pace but the guide had other ideas and we, like others on our tour, felt a little disappointed.
Our final stop of the day was the magnificent Plaza de Espana, located in the Maria Luisa park and built in 1928 for the Spanish-American world fair of 1929. Ornate bridges and alcoves decorated with brightly coloured ceramics depicting all the regions of Spain, together with a fountain and water-feature, and very grand buildings which today house government offices made for an impressive vista.
There is still so much more to see in Seville that another trip will have to be made and we are already looking forward to it.Read more