Santa Cruz District, Sevilla
It's really relaxing to walk at this park among its centenary trees and have a break sat down on these tile benches. It's placed just next to the Royal Fortress walls, where is place a nice fountain with fresco paintings.
Es muy relajante pasear por este parque entre sus árboles centenarios, así como tomar un descanso sentado en uno de estos bancos de azulejos. Está situado junto a las murallas de los Reales Alcázares, donde hay una bonita fuente con pinturas al fresco.
Santa Cruz neighborhood is part of the ancient Jew's quarter. This street is called Water's street, due to the water canalization along the way. It runs next to the Royal Fortress walls.
El barrio de Santa Cruz es parte de la antigua judería. Esta es la calle del agua, debido a la canalización de agua que hay a lo largo de la calle. Vá bordeando las murallas de los Reales Alcázares.
A very lovely area of Sevilla is the SANTA CRUZ DISTRICT. It is a very old part of the city and is the location of the ancient Jewish Quarter. It is also very picturesque as you can see some beautiful patios. Most of the doors are open so you can see through the decorative iron gates, the nice views inside. The patio pictured ( in the more photos) was taken during our walk along the walls of the Alcazar.
Actually, this pretty little plaza was located across the street from where I parked our rental car in a public garage and it stood between me and our hostel a few minutes walk away. I had never heard of it before, but was impressed by it's mini-botanical gardens decorating the long rectangular centre of Plaza Cristo de Burgos.
This part of Seville has been settled for hundreds of years but the modern history of the plaza began when a large cleared space was made in 1818 and later modified to its present shape in 1940 before the addition of the botanical trees and shrubs in 1983. The largest trees include those of the Fig, Palm, Banana and Orange species with decorative shrubs linking them. The small statue is a bronze bust of Nino Ricardo (1909-1972), who lived nearby and became Spain's most respected flamenco guitarist. The plaza also contains a few children's amusement contraptions and various benches where citizens and visitors to Sevilla can just sit down to relax for a while. We did some relaxing in the plaza too because, at the far end of the plaza closest to our hostel, we found Taberna Coloniales - one of Sevilla's most famous tapas bars (see my 'Restaurant' tips for details)!!
The first thing we did on Monday, our only full day in Sevilla, was to walk to the old downtown location of La Giralda bell-tower, Cathedral and the Real Alcázar. It was another beautiful day as we reached the area, with Sevilla's trademark La Giralda tower standing proud in the sunshine.
With construction first completed in 1196 after twelve years of hard work, only three Moorish minarets of that era remain in the world today - with the other two both located in Morocco at Marrakesh and Rabat. Originally, the two functions of this minaret were to call the believers to prayer at the mosque that stood at its feet and to serve as a watch-tower for the city. One of the amazing things about La Giralda is that access to it's highest reaches is not by stairs but instead by means of a series of 35 ramps inclined gently enough to allow two guards on horseback to pass each other (I guess walking up would be tough while loaded down with weaponry)! As far as the exterior goes, each of the four sides of the tower has a different pattern of intricate brick work to marvel at.
Much to the dismay of the Moors, the tower along with all of Sevilla fell to Christian forces in 1248, only 52 years after this work of art had been completed. The four original copper spheres that marked the top of the tower were later destroyed by an earthquake in 1356, so these were replaced by a Christian cross in 1400 when work started on construction of today's Cathedral to replace the original Moorish mosque.
The present highly decorated Renaissance-style upper floors of the tower as well as the smaller 'steeple' were added between 1560-1568 as it became the bell-tower for the Cathedral. The Giralda now takes its name from the weather vane (or 'giraldillo') that was also added to the top of the tower at that time.
We had a lot to see, so decided not to make the climb up the tower, despite the fact that it is reported to provide great views of both the Cathedral and the rest of Sevilla as you make your way to the top.
A nice house at Santa Cruz District, near Murillo's Gardens. They're painted in white with some details in other colours, as yellow, red or green. The entrance is usually a courtyard with a small fountain and with a lot of flower-pots. They have two or three floors and a small tower-balcony.
Una boníta casa en el barrio de Santa Cruz, cerca de los Jardines de Murillo. Están pintada de color blanco, con algunos detalles en otros colores, como el amarillo, el rojo o el verde. La entrada es por lo general un patio con una pequeña fuente y muchísimas macetas. Tienen dos o tres plantas y una pequeña torre-mirador.
Barrio = area or neighbourhood and this area of Santa Cruz, the old Jewish quarter, was for me the most picturesque part of Sevilla and somewhere I shall look forward to returning to and exploring more of its colourful patio and squares and enjoying some al fresco tapas. Just enjoy exploring the narrow cobbled alleyways and the whitewashed houses with their colourful balconies and flowers.
Things to note especially are:
Callejon del Agua (Water Alley) which follows the Alcázar garden walls
Plaza Alfaro, surely inspiration for the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet
Plaza Santa Cruz with its intricate 17th-century wrought iron cross in the centre
Plaza Doña Elvira - lovely square with tiled benches and cafes around it
Plaza de los Venerables - with hospital of same name
Plaza de las Tres Cruces - triangular square with three crosses on columns
more pics in the travelogue
It was designed after the cession made in 1911 by King Alfonso XIII from the Alcazar's gardens. It is devoted to the Sevillian painter Murillo due to the proximity in which he lived and is now buried. There is a monument to Columbus in this park (the one we see in the picture).
Creados tras la cesión del Rey Alfonso XIII de parte de los Jardines del Alcazar en 1911 están dedicados al pintor sevillano Murillo en cuyos alrededores vivía y está enterrado actualmente. En estos jardines se encuentra un monumento dedicada a Colón (el que vemos en la foto).
Real neighborhood or "Andalusia" thematic park? Santa Cruz district left me that question, and I honestly can't quite answer it completely. While certain areas of the district looks like if they were built to fit into the preconceived idea of the visitor about what Spain should look like, other areas, like the ones surrounding San Bartolome church, are still full of the charm that characterized the old Jewish neighborhood of Sevilla. But don't get me wrong: I totally recommend you to fully explore the area, and to visit the treasures it holds, such as Santa Maria la Blanca (an ancient synagogue, and one of Sevilla's finest churches). Just don't believe that the rest of Sevilla is like that
This is probably the most picturesque part of Sevilla. It was built on the ancient Jewish quarter. The name Santa Cruz comes from the iron cross on the Plaza Santa Cruz. The best way of exploring this district is to get lost in its narrow streets and enjoy the peace of the beautiful squares. Do I need to say that this is one of the most touristic places of Sevilla? I was there in March, fortunately it wasn't too crowded back then.
You can find some more pictures of the Barrio Santa Cruz in my travelogues.
If you want to see some of the patios that you know from postcards, then Santa Cruz is the place to be.
Most of the doors are halfopen, which allows to have a nice view inside.
This picture was taken in the Callejon de Agua, next to the walls of the Alcazar.
One of the most interesting districts of Seville is Barrio de Santa Cruz. The Jewish dealers started to build this district in the middle ages. They have been sent from Toledo at king Ferdinand. This district have become one of the most expensive and prestigious now. Winding narrow streets, white in a frame yellow walls of houses, black refined lattices and green court yard make indelible impression at every visitor.
You can watch my 5 min 37 sec Video Sevilla Downtown out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
Not to be missed, the narrow streets, the interior "pateos", flowers everywhere, cast iron windows, I mean... Spain at its best.
It deserves two different visits: in the afternoon, protected from the sun, to feel colours and shapes, and by night, to "live" the city, and watch "flamenco" in one of the many "tablaos".
Well... this was my vision in summer.
I've been there again in winter, and... less flowers, closed "pateos", but always pretty, and always... spanish..
Also in Barrio Santa Cruz Is Plaza Refinadores, a small lively square between Plaza Santa Cruz and Calle Santa María La Blanca - a good place to sit and have a coffee as you admire the balconies on the buildings around the sqaure. There is also a statue here of Don Juan Tenorio, one of Seville's most famous literary characters
Santa Cruz district is insignificant, however it is very difficult to be guided on a map. The district represents an improbable interlacing of narrow streets, small squares, deadlocks. Therefore it is possible simply to dare to take a walk, not paying attention on a direction of movement, admiring architecture and garlands of flowers which are hanging down from balconies.