Located in the region of Andalusia in the south of Spain, the city of Seville is known for its history. There is a grand cathedral, a Moorish fortress, remnants of a Jewish neighbourhood and a traditionally gypsy district located on the banks of the Guadalquivir river.
The Cathedral, the Giralda and the gardens
The ancient Cathedral was built on top of the ruins of a mosque. Part of the mosque, mainly the minaret, was not destroyed, and later the minaret was rebuilt and transformed into a bell tower. Visitors will be able to climb up to the top of the bell tower, which has become the city’s symbol, known for its golden glow. The bell tower has views towards the cathedral’s gardens, located below, the river with its many bridges and the rest of the city. From the top visitors can observe the rooftops of the Barrio de Santa Cruz, which have hotels with rooftop pools, terraces with rooftop gardens and restaurants located on the top floors of the ancient buildings.
The Barrio de Santa Cruz
The area where the cathedral and the Alcazar are located is the Barrio de Santa Cruz. This neighbourhood used to be part of the city’s Jewish district and still has most of its original structures. There are small shops selling olive oil and hams under ancient arches, and most of the small squares have terrace bars under fragrant orange trees. The Plaza de Doña Elvira is one of the main squares, with small balconies facing the square’s benches, central fountains and parterres. A short walk away is the Plaza de los Venerables, where one of the city’s first hospitals used to be located. The hospital has, since then, been transformed into a museum.
Jardines de Murillo
These gardens are located next to the Barrio de Santa Cruz. The gardens used to be part of the Reales Alcázares before they were yielded to the public. There are many plants from several regions.
The Alcazar of Seville is one of its most famous landmarks. The Alcazar was a fortress built by the Moors. Later on it was remodelled and became a Royal Palace. Built mainly in a mudejar style, the palace has several Gothic chambers and gardens that follow a traditional ancient Arab design. Each one of the palace’s halls tells a piece of local history.
The neighbourhood of Triana is a very popular area of Seville. The neighbourhood is located on the other side of the Guadalquivir River, across the historical city center. The main bridge that connects the two banks of the river is the Isabel II Bridge. There are many landmarks in this area, including the remnants of the Triana Castle. This area is considered to be one of the most traditional districts in the city. Here there are many churches, including the Santa Ana and San Jacinto churches. There is even an Inquisition street, a reminder of the city’s dark past.
Some of the country’s best flamenco dancers come from this neighbourhood, which is known for its flamenco bars and traditional tapas bars. Tapas are appetizers that are served with each drink ordered. The most traditional tapas are chipirones a la plancha (fried squid), serranillo (bread with meat, pepper and a slice of jamón serrano ham) and revuelto (scrambled eggs, ham and shrimp).