Situated on the bank of the Guadalquivir river, Seville is heiress of a rich arab legacy and of its condition of prosperous commercial port with the Americas.
The andalusian capital exudes joy and bustle in each one of the streets ad places that form its historical center, lodging an interesting set of constructions declared Patrimony of Humanity, and deep popularflavor districts, like the one of Triana or the Macarena.
Outstanding center of businesses and services in the peninsular south, Seville has a large list of hotels that are distributed all over the cityand that will allow you to discover its treasures. Museums and art centers, parks, cinemas, theaters and night clubsare only some of the endless possibilities of leisure that a city like Seville has to offer. All this without forgetting the numerous terraces, “tascas” and bars in which you will be able to practice one of the most ingrained and flavorful traditions of the city: the “tapeo”.
Another good excuse to visit the hispalense capital is its celebrations. Declared of international touristic interest, the Easter and April Fair reflect the sevillian devotion and folklore, always open and warm with the visitor. But Seville is much more, since it is a good departure point to cross the whole province through the diverse cultural routes, like the Roman Baetica or the Washington Irving Route.
Also you will be able to discover the enormous natural wealth of a region that lies between two continents, with treasures like the Natural Park of Doñana, Humanity Patrimony and Biosphere Reserve by the Unesco, the Sierra del Norte Natural park. They will be the ideal places to practice all type of outdoors sports, including trekking, horse riding or bicycle. And if the sport you practice is golf, seville counts with four excellent fields in the environs of the city.
The city of seville has contemplated the passage of diverse civilizations. The tartesios founded Híspalis, and next to it , in 207 AD, the Romans raised the outstanding Itálica.
Founded by Escipión, it gave Rome two emperors: Trajano and Adriano. The long presence of Muslims, from 711 to 1248, would leave in this city ineffaceable tracks. The end of the Cordovan caliphate (XIth century) caused the apogee of theTaifa Kingdom of Seville, especially under the government of al-Mutamid, the poet king.
Seville lived its time of maximum splendor as a result of the Discovery of America. She is heiress of a rich Arab legacy and of its condition of prosperous commercial port with the Americas. During the XVIth and XVIIth centuries its port was one of the most important in Spain, since it exerted the monopoly on the commerce with Overseas. The intense commercial activity of Seville during this period gave place to a urban design filled with noble small palaces, houses, churches and convents.
The monumental set formed by the Cathedral, the Royal Alcázares and the Archive of Indias, all these declared Humanity Patrimony by UNESCO, is the city’s emblem. In the middle of the whitewashed quarter of Santa Cruz we find the gothic temple built over the almohade Mosque of Seville. From this arab inheritance it is still conserved the alminar, today the famous Giralda, and the Patio de los Naranjos.
Next to it, the Royal Alcázares are also based on an Arab fortress from the IXth century, but we owe the mudéjar decoration to Pedro “el Cruel” (XIVth century). In this palace we find numerous dependencies, sumptuous halls and romantic patios, ample gardens, with Arab and Renaissance elements.
On the other hand, the File of leads us to Indians leads us to the Spanish Renaissance Art. It is one of the most important documentary centers that exist related to the conquest of the New World. Another important Renaissance construction of the city is the House of Pilatos, palace that founds gothic and Mudejar elements with other Renaissance ones of Italian import.
We can also approach the barroque facade of the Royal Tobacco Factory, today University, the Palace of San Telmo, the Park of Maria Luisa and the Plaza of Spain. In this surroundings we find interesting constructions, memory of the Latin American Exhibition that took place in Seville in 1929.
On the banks of the Guadalquivir we find the Tower of Gold, construction of arab origin (XIIIth century) that was part of the old walls. Being closely related to the hispalense marine history, it has been chosen as headquarters of the Naval Museum. Its profile gives entrance to the Arenal, bullfighting district par excellence. Here we find one of the most emblematic bullrings of Spain, the bullring of the Royal Arsenal of Cavalry.
The center of seville leads us to the most popular streets, like Sierpes or Campana, and to numerous renaissance and Baroque churches, hospitals and palaces. On the other hand, in the district of laMacarena we will find the treelined Avenue of Hercules, the Hospital of the Five Wounds (seat of the Parliament of Andalucía), the Basílica of the Macarena and the church of San Lorenzo. In the last ones we find the two most venerated images by the sevillians: the Virgin of la Esperanza and the Jesus of the Great Power, statues that are worshiped during the processions of Easter.
Another one of the most genuine districts of the city is the one of Triana on the other side of the river. Its deep marine tradition is seen in Purity street, Betis or Alfarería and in the Square of Altozano. Santa Ana’s Parish church or the chapel of the Christ of the Cachorro (puppy), alternate with colourful houses and ninteenth century reminiscenses.
The island of the Cartuja is placed on this side of the river, where the architectonic legacy that left the 1992 World’s Exhibition adds to the monumental set of the Cartuja and to the Andalusian center of Contemporary Art.
Touring around Seville will take us to museums like the of Fine Arts, one of the most important of its kind in the whole of Spain. Settled in the XVIIIth century Convent of the Merced, we can admire there pieces by el Greco, Velázquez, Zurbarán and Valdés Leal, emphasizing its paintings collections by Murillo, located in the conventual church.
On the other hand, the Cathedral Museum exhibits valuable collections of jewellery, religious pictures, reliquaries, jewels and religious attire.
Another important museum is the Archaeological Provincial one that lodges the roman bottoms in the near by city of Itálica, the tartesic treasure of the Carambolo and other eastern pieces. In order to complete the vision on the roman world we can contemplate the not less interesting collection found in the house Museum of the Countess of Lebrija.
If there is enough time, we can visit “in situ” the archaeological set of Itálica which includes the amphiteater and district of Adriano, with admirable mosaics and sculptures from roman times.
We shouldn’t forget either the Museum of Popular Arts and Customs which shelters a peculiar collection of old costumes, winches and tahonas, as well as popular pieces of furniture from XVIIIth and XIXth centuries.
Other centers and art galleries, like the Bullfighting Museum, the Focus Foundation or the exhibition Hall of San Clemente’s Monastery, complete the attractive Sevillian cultural panorama.