Entries Tagged as 'W EUR- SP, Seville'

Seville- Seville Alcazar and Gardens

The Seville Alcazar on Plaza del Triunfo is a palace that was built by the Moors, then taken over and remodeled by the Spanish.  It was here that Queen Isabella met Christopher Columbus, and is still an official royal residence.

The palace itself was beautiful.  Its interior walls were decorated with finely-crafted geometric shaped and Arabic calligraphy.  There were also exquisite courtyards and tranquil pools of water.  Just the kind of place I'd like to live!

The Alcazar Gardens were even better!  Its trees, flowers, fountains, and finely sculpted hedges combined to create a magical space.  It was the perfect place to cool down on a hot day in Seville!

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Seville- The Barrio Santa Cruz

The Barrio Santa Cruz is the old medieval Jewish Quarter in Seville.  Its narrow lanes open into delightfully small plazas lined with mansions.  In these plazas are orange trees, benches made with beautifully painted tilework, and tranquil fountains.  Looking closer at the mansions, I notice that many of them have patios with flowering plants.

This is the neighborhood through which the penitents with their tall, dark hoods carry the Virgen de la Macarena during Semana Santa.  As their procession winds through the streets, men sing saetas(sad songs) as they have done here for hundreds of years.  Overall, there is a solemn spendor to this ceremony.

This is also the Spain of your dreams.  Carmen would come here to embrace her lovers.  Don Juan would stroll from tavern to tavern in search of wine, women, and song.  And for you?  Who knows what awaits?

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Seville- Seville Bullring

Seville's Bullring on Paseo de Cristobal Colon is the most beautiful in Spain.  It is a graceful white structure with yellow trim and dark red doors and shutters.

This city is home to the most enthusiastic bullfighting fans in Spain.  Its boys dream of becoming bullfighters, and its girls dream of falling in love with them.

The ghosts of the bullfighting greats haunt this hallowed ground.  Here once El Gallo sized up, wore down, and laid low his powerful adversaries before the crowds, as did local favorite Juan Belmonte.  The arena beckons.

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Seville- Flamenco at Los Gallos and Maria Louise Park

There is nothing that beats seeing a live Flamenco performance, especially at Los Gallos Plaza de la Santa Cruz.  The energy that the performers exhude is incredible!  The peformance starts out slowly with with a sad song.  Then, all of the sudden, a beautiful dancer erupts into a feverish display of footwork that holds everyone in a trance.  Then, as the performance comes to a crashing halt, the crowd applauds!

Also impressive is a stroll through Maria Luisa Park on Avenue del Cid.  It lush, green environs, delightful pools of water, and bouganvilla captivate me.  What I most remember, though, are the graceful statues of three young sisters seated on a bench, dreaming of their true loves.  Enchanting!

                             

Seville- Seville Cathedral

When the Christian Spaniards reconquered Seville from the Islamic Moors in the 15th century, they determined to build a cathedral so large, that anyone visiting it would think them insane.  Mission accomplished.  To this day, it is the largest gothic cathedral(on Plaza de la Virgen de los Reyes) in the world.

Herein lies the incredible tomb of Christopher Columbus, which is held aloft by four noble Spanish pallbearers.  This ambitious Genoan mariner lies here for one reason: he discovered the New World.

Further on, the altarpiece of the cathedral is stunning, and is decorated with several thousand pounds of gold brought back from the New World by Hernan Cortes.  This altarpiece is a physical manifestation of Spain's Golden Age, and the city that embodied that age more than any other was Seville itself, being the port into which the New World gold flooded.

Along with this gold came the age's greatest writers and painters, such as Miguel Cervantes and Diego Velazquez.  And if I had been alive then, I would have gone there too!