A week around Seville
Joshua and I were lucky enough to spend a full week in Seville, Spain. We arrived at night and quickly realized that sun up or sun down, Seville is always alive.
While wandering the nighttime streets we stumbled across an intense Flamenco performance at La Carboneria. If you make your way to Spain, I highly suggest stopping by for the enchanting dance and deliciously cheap tapas!
Plaza de España
We couldn't resist hitting up a handful of the tourist spots. First location on the list was Plaza de España. The famous monument was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929, which was held in the Andalusian capital. Located in María Luisa Park, it was the centerpiece of the exhibition and featured many pavilions, which aspired to show off to the world Spain's accomplishments in industry and architecture.
Built in the style of Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival architecture, the whole building is surrounded by a moat, in which visitors can hire boats to gently row you around.
Elegantly curving over the moat are four bridges, each relating to the ancient Spanish kingdoms of Castile, Navarre, Aragón and León. The supports also boast brightly colored, painted ceramic tiles, which add an extra exquisiteness to the architecture.
While wandering along the 48 pavilions (each dedicated to a province of Spain) we once again stumbled upon captivating moments.
Reales Alcázares de Sevilla is a royal palace which was built by the Moorish rulers who occupied the peninsula from the 8th century onwards. It is by and large considered to be one of the most outstanding examples of mudéjar art to exist today. The origins of the palace can be traced back to the time of the first occupations by Moorish conquest of Seville in 712. In the 12th century, the construction became considerably more established as a palace, when the Almohad Caliphate controlled the region. Throughout this period elements were added to the palace and the original structure refurbished in keeping with the Islamic art of the time, including features such as arabesques, calligraphy and geometric patterns
In the 13th century, the Spanish Reconquista was in full swing and the area was soon reclaimed by the Catholic Kings of Spain who claimed the palace as their own. This marks the beginning of a new era for the palace, one under which elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque design were combined to the original Islamic structure leading to the unique blend of styles known as Mudéjar. Of the original Islamic style structure only the Patio de Yeso, the Sala de Justicia, the Patio del Crucero and the Patio de la Casa de Contratación remain. The rest of the buildings were either completely rebuilt or added anew to the original structure during the Middle Ages.
Catedral de Sevilla
Dominating the centre of Seville is the city's giant Gothic cathedral - the largest of its kind on the planet. This tribute to Catholic dominion was built on the site of the city’s former mosque; it was intended not only as a display of the prestige and wealth Seville had accrued by the time of its completion in 1507, but also of the triumph of Christianity over the vanquished Moorish kings.
Inside, the scale is just as over-the-top and extravagant as you’d expect. The central nave is the longest in Spain and reaches a height of 42 meters. In total, this sprawling Gothic complex houses 80 chapels. Seville’s cathedral also contains the tomb of Christopher Columbus – the Spanish explorer whose discovery of the New World in 1492 was so crucial to Seville’s economic success in the 16th and 17th centuries.
We finished our tourist time with a quick walk to the Metropol Parasol trip monument in the heart of the city center. The enormous wooden sculpture was built between 2005 and 2011 and is locally referred to as Las Setas, or “the mushrooms” due to the distinctive shape of its vast canopies. It is perched delicately above Roman ruins that are viewable in the ground-floor’s archaeological museum, while a rooftop walkway offers panoramic views of the city.