Murilla Botanical Gardens
As much as we tried, we could not break through into Real Alcazar but, after walking along its garden walls on Calejon del Agua we emerged onto a wide pedestrian walkway called Paseo de Catalina Ribera. This was where we finally had our chance to enjoy some foliage, in the public Murilla Botanical Gardens!
It was originally part of the Alcazar as well, but in 1911 it was ceded to the city of Sevilla by King Alfonso XIII for the use of the city's citizens. The public walkway took us down along one edge of the Gardens with the wall of the Alcazar (on the left here) marking the demarcation line between the two gardens. We enjoyed the sights of the beautiful tall Palm trees growing beside some of the attractive Spanish-style buildings in this part of Sevilla, but my favourite was the huge tree (I think maybe a Fig tree?) in the 3rd and 4th photos!
Shortly after we finished our walk through the Gardens, we had completed our entire circle of the Alcazar, so gave up on that and decided that we would head across the Guadalquivir River to see what Sevilla looked like from there.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
Sunday before Christmas
It was late afternoon (with the light just beginning to fade) on Sunday, December 21 when we finished with the check-in arrangements at our hostel, and decided to make our first exploratory walk into the surrounding area of Sevilla. We had a small street map, but had no idea of where we were actually going - just following the stream of people who were out enjoying the evening, as we worked our way out of the narrow Moorish alleys into 'broader' streets and squares.
Sevilla was alive with families and pedestrians of all kinds and Christmas decorations were starting to light up the scene. However, the crowds eventually became so thick that we decided to head back to our hostel but, before doing that, I just had to take this shot of a beautiful palm tree sticking up out of Plaza Nuevo! On our way back, we stumbled across another of Sevilla's many plazas - this time it was Plaza del Salvador, the site of the city's second largest church (2nd photo).
With construction completed in 1712, Iglesia del Salvador is superceded in size only by the Cathedral and was built on the site of a Moorish mosque that had deteriorated over the many decades since the conquest. The Gothic architecture of this building was meant to make it look much more impressive than the previous tenant using this lot!
I am not sure exactly what was going on, but many Sevilla families were lining up in the plaza in front of Iglesia del Salvador as they sought entrance to what looked like another twin-spired church on the other side of the plaza. It turned out to be the 'Hospital de Nuestra Señora de la Paz' which was formerly a large 16th century church now flanked by two 18th century bell-towers. I still don't know what the line-up was about!Related to:
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
City walls - Murallas de la ciudad
Seville was in past times a closed city, perhaps the best walled city in Europe. These walls were constructed in Roman times, along with their towers, under the empire of Julio Caesar. The walls were extended and perfected in the Augusto period due to the growth of the city. But without a doubt, the Moors were those who most contributed to the defence of the city. By the time of the 19th century, they were still almost intact, although a large part was demolished by the revolutionaries during the 1868 revolution. Between gates and arches, the city had a total of nineteen entrances, among these the Macarena gate remains, in front of the Basilica of the Macarena. Through this door the Emperor Carlos I made his entrance.
Sevilla fue una ciudad encerrada en el pasado, posiblemente la mejor amurallada de Europa. Estos muros fueron construidos en época romana, junto con sus torres, bajo el Imperio de Julio Cesar, pero se extendieron y perfeccionaron en tiempos de Augusto debido al crecimiento de la ciudad. Pero sin duda fueron los musulmanes los que más contribuyeron a la defensa de la ciudad. Hasta el siglo XIX la mayor parte de las murallas continuaban intactas, pero una gran parte fue destruida por los rebeldes durante la revolución de 1868. Entre puertas y arcos la ciudad tenía un total de 19 entradas, de entre las cuales la Puerta de la Macarena permanece. Por ella el Emperador Carlos I hizo su entrada.
VDT BUS TOUR TO SEVILLA PART I
As Hans and I wanted to take a tour to Sevilla, I checked out my favourite neighbourhood travel agency, Viajes Vivamar. Their Sevilla Tour was 32,00 Euros and with lunch it was 40,75 Euros.
We decided on Wednesday, January 25, 2006.
The bus picked us up at 7:00 a.m. right in front of our hotel. Our route was Malaga to Antequera on Road 331, then Antequera to Sevilla on the A-92. We passed acres and acres of olive trees. Did you know that 5 kg of olives equals one bottle of olive oil? No wonder olive oil is so expensive. We also saw the beautiful Andalucia countryside with mountains in the distance. I sat next to a fellow Canadian. Her name was Goldie. We hit it off almost immediately. She said " You know you're stuck with me now". I laughed and said Hansi usually goes off filming anyway, so we would be good company for each other.
When we arrived in Sevilla, we had a "City Tour". We passed by the Hotel Alfonso XIII, a five-star hotel where movie stars and torreros stay. We also saw all the different embassies of many countries, all along an orange-tree lined avenue. Did you know that there are 40,000 orange trees in Sevilla, from which they make "Sevilla Marmalade"??
Our first stop was Plaza de Espana.
Our walking tour began at the Monument to Christopher Columbus. On the way to the Alcazar we marvelled at the majestic ficus trees, some over 500 years old. We passed the Alcazar and went on to the Cathedral where we would have a tour. Highlights of the Cathedral were the Sepulchre of Christopher Columbus, many beautiful chapels and the unbelievable Treasure Room. After our tour, it was time for lunch which we had at San Marco Restaurante. Goldie joined us for lunch.
After lunch was over, we got back on the bus, which dropped us off in front of the Golden Tower. Some went on a Boat Tour (Regular price 15 Euros / Group 12 Euros ). Hans, Goldie & I and some others, opted to do other things. Goldie & I just had to check out the Hotel Alfonso XIII.
Continued Part IIRelated to:
- Bungy Jumping
- Family Travel
VDT BUS TOUR TO SEVILLA PART II
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Back on the bus at 4:00 for the trip back. The bus driver took a different route back this time ( A 384) through the beautiful green rolling hills of the Andalucian countryside -- farms, sheep and goats grazing, with the mountains in the distance. Came across a huge mountain reservoir " El Gastor" . We continued on the A 384 along the Rte de Carreterras until we came to Ronda, where we took a short rest stop. The road kept getting narrower and we were WAAAAY UP ( Reales 1450 metres ). Finally we saw the lights of the city as we came down from the mountains. The road came out at Marbella and then we were driven along the coastal road, dropping people off at their hotel as we went. Arrived at the Sol Principe at 8:30 P.m.
All in all it was a wonderful tour and is highly recommended.Related to:
- Family Travel
Andalusian Parliament-Parlamento Andalucía
Hospital of the Five Wounds
This large building has a rectangular floor and four courtyards defined by a cruciform layout of two large corridors used as infirmaries. In order to comprehend the importance of this hospital, we must go back to 1500, the year in which Catalina de Ribera began one of the best known and popular works of charity in 16th century in Seville. The foundation passed into the hands of the priories of Santa Maria de las Cuevas, in 1540 by means of her last will, and as such became open to public competition for the construction of a majestic building in the proximity of the Macarena gateway. Its church was designed by Hernán Ruiz en 1560. The hospital was functional until it was forced to close due to its deteriorating state in 1972. The building was restored in 1992 and is currently used as the seat of the Andalusian Parliament. They turned the church into the chamber and the infirmerie into the library.
Hospital de las Cinco Llagas
Este gran edificio tiene planta rectangular y cuatro patios que configuran un trazado cruciforme con dos largos corredores que se usaban como enfermerías. Para comprender la importancia de este hospital debemos ir al año 1500 en el que Catalina de Ribera comenzó una de las principales obras de caridad del siglo XVI en Sevilla. La fundación pasó a manos de los priores de Santa María de las Cuevas en 1540, tras su testamento. Desde entonces se abrió un concurso público para la construcción de un gran edificio en las proximidades de la Puerta de la Macarena. Su iglesia fue diseñada por Hernán Ruíz en 1560 El hospital estuvo funcionando hasta que se obligó su cierre por su mal estado en 1972. El edificio se restauró en 1992 y es desde entonces la sede del Parlamento de Andalucía. Transformaron la iglesia en el hemiciclo y la enfermería en la biblioteca.
Visiting hours / Horario de visita (Previous appointment)
Individual: Monday / Lunes 17:00-19:00
Groups / Grupos: Mondays to Fridays / Lunes a viernes 10:00-14:00
beautiful views from the Giralda
You can climb the Giralda for some beautiful view of the surroundings.
There are no steps, it's just a steep walkway, but it's not too difficult to get upstairs.
The entrance is inside the Cathedral.
In the picture you have a view of the Plaza Virgen de los Reyes.
The Saviour Church - Iglesia del Salvador
This is a 18th century Baroque church, the second largest in town, after the Cathedral. It was built over an ancient mosque from which it keeps the ablutions courtyard. Unfortunatly the building was in very bad condition and it's under restoration right now. The works have revealed that it was used as a cemetery with a lot of skeletons buried here. These works are very complex and they are going to take a long time, so there are neither masses and tourist visits to the church.
This is an important church for the people's religious feelings because it houses three Holy Week brotherhoods: La Borriquita (Jesus riding the little donkey at Palm Sunday), El Amor (Jesus in the Cross, of Juan de Mesa) and Pasion (Jesus carrying on the Cross, of Martinez Montañes) As their church is under restoration these images are venerated into other churches. There is a sculpture of Martinez Montañes, the great religious images maker, holding a little Virgin image.
Esta es una iglesia barroca del siglo XVIII, la segunda más grande de la ciudad, después de la Catedral. Fue construida sobre una antigua mezquita, de la que conserva aun su patio de las abluciones. Desgraciadamente el edificio estaba en muy malas condiciones y en estos momentos está en restauración. Las obras han revelado que este era utilizado como cementerio, por la gran cantidad de esqueletos enterrados aquí. Las obras son muy complejas y van a tomar mucho tiempo, así que no hay misas ni visitas turísticas mientras tanto.
Esta es una iglesia muy importante para los sentimientos religiosos de la ciudad porque acoje a tres hermandades de Semana Santa: La Borritita (Jesús montando un burro pequeño el Domingo de Ramos), El Amor (Jesús en la Cruz, de Juan de Mesa) y Pasión (Jesús llevando la Cruz, Martínez Montañés). Como la iglesia está en restauración estas imágenes se veneran en otras iglesias. En la plaza hay una escultura de Martínez Montañés, el gran escultor de imágenes religiosas, con una pequeña imagen de la Virgen.
Sevilla by night
If your feet still allow you, than you should definitely explore Sevilla in the late evening or by night, just after sunset.
Some monuments are beautifully illuminated and you'll see that Sevillan people seems to live mainly after dark ;-)
The bars and streets are filled with people and this is a way to see some of the Andalousian way of life.
You can find more pictures in my travelogue.
Lizarran - Tapasbar
Why a tapasbar in the must see activities? Simply because I want as many people to see this tip!
Lizarran is really great. For me, there is no moment when I feel more like being in Spain then in a Lizarran.
It is a tapasbar where all tapas (both hot and cold) are placed on the counter. You simply grab an empty plate and pick those tapas that are appetizing. The personnel also walks by with plates filled with tapas. Again, if you see something you like on them, just take it. All tapas have a wooden cocktail stick in them. When you have had enough tapas, simply give the person behind the counter all your empty sticks and he or she charges you for the number of sticks. This is really a very relaxed way of having dinner. If you are lucky, you will be the only tourist and you will be surrounded by locals.
Lizarran Tabernas Selectas is a chain of tapasbars that can be found all over Spain. In Sevilla we visited one in Calle Javier Lasso de la Vega 14 on the corner with calle Trajano. It is a sidestreet of the Plaza del Duque (de la Victoria) which is in the shopping district of Sevilla. On the Plaza del Duque you will also find El Corte Ingles - THE Spanish department store.
Casa de la Condessa Lebrija
This palace was built in the 16th century and remodelled in the early 1900's by the Countess of Lebrija. She bought the palace when she was a widow at age 50. Then she made it just like she wanted it. She bought many pieces in Italica, the ancient Roman city nearby. Not only statues and pottery, but also entire mosiac floors were transported from Italica to the house of the Countess.
When she died her nephew inherited the palace. He lived here until a few years ago. His four sons now run it as a museum and you can hire rooms here for parties. All because it is to expensive to maintain this great palace.
The visit to the second floor is with a guided tour only, but certainly worth doing. The rooms are still like people live there.
Lots of tapasbars in Calle Mateo Gago
The calle (=street) Mateo Gago starts at the Plaza de los Reyos, which lies at the foot of the Giralda. In this street you will find plenty of great tapasbars. It is a busy area, filled with both tourists and locals. Among others, you will find the Cerveceria Giralda at calle Mateo Gago 1. Great tapas, but always crowded, so take your time. There are lots of other great places as well in this street. All very different, but all very nice and serving good food.
Monument for Christopher Columbus
You will find a monument for Christopher Columbus in the Jardines de Murillo.
The monument is towering above the palm trees in the garden with its height of 23 meter. On top of the colums is a lion with a claw on a globe, symbolizing the Spanish empire. Below the lion is the text: A CRISTOBAL COLON.
In the middle of the concrete pillars is a bronze statue of the Santa Mariá, the ship he sailed to the new world in 1492. On the ship are the names of Isabel and Fernando. He left with his ship from a harbour not far from Seville (Palos de la Frontera).
On the pedestal are a portrait of Columbus in a medaillon and the coat of arms of the kings.
It is designed by the architect Juan Talavera, sculptures are by Lorenzo Coullaut Valera.
The monument is erected in 1921.
The views from the Giralda are wonderful - do make the effort to climb the 34 bends sloping up to the bell tower. Novel views of the cathedral roof and Alcazar Palace can be seen as well as over the city of Sevilla with its river views - please see the pics :-)
Entrance to the cathedral (7.5 euros) includes access to the tower.Related to:
I must confess that I like to "spy" the interior life of the houses when I travel... It is an unforgivable habit, but I like it (well, it happens with some other unforgivable habits!!!) Sevillan houses (actually, Andalusian houses) have a special charm... Those patios with tiles, iron bars, plants and fountains... were simply irresistible!
Debo confesar que me gusta "espiar" la vida interior de las casas cuando viajo... Es una costumbre imperdonable, lo sé, pero me gusta (bueno, esto sucede con algunas otras costumbres imperdonables!!!) Las casas sevillanas (en realidad, las casas andaluzas) tienen un encanto especial... Esos patios con azulejos, rejas de hierro, plantas y fuentes... ¡me resultaron simplemente irresistibles!
No, we didn't stay there, but the classic beauty of the building and its perfect location make it,...more
The location was stellar - maybe a 10-minute walk to Sevilla Cathedral. The hotel has a rooftop...more
We stayed for a week in April 2003. This elegant hotel is a former private residence built in 1847 -...more
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