I had a lovely holiday in Seville in the first week of April; my second visit to this beautiful Spanish city. We stayed in the picturesque neigbourhood of Santa Cruz, the Old Jewish Quarter in medieval times; a few minutes walk from Seville Cathedral and the Real Alcázar.
The Cathdral of Saint Mary of the See is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world; its bell tower known as The Giralda, is the former minaret of the mosque that stood on the site under Muslim rule. The weather vane ‘El Giraldillo’ atop, is of a bronze woman dressed in Roman attire, both the vane and tower’s names are derived from the Spanish word ‘girar’ meaning ‘to turn’.
The Real Alcázar is the royal palace originally developed by the Moorish rulers; it is regarded as an outstanding example of ‘mudéjar’ architecture. The term ‘mudéjar’ refers to the Muslims who stayed in Spanish territories after the Christian reconquest and who continued to practise their customs; this term refers to the mix of style between Christianity and Islam at this time in these territories.
The public Park Maria Luisa in Seville is a huge and beautiful green space set beside the Guadalquivir river. The Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, was held partly within the park, and many of the massive pavillions which are now museums date from this period. A particular favourite is the Mudejar Pavilion, which is now the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Sevilla.
Suffice to say I highly recommend visiting Seville, go for its wealth of history, beautiful buildings, friendly people, reliable sun, gorgeous ceramics, delicious tapas, and wonderful wines and sherries. I recommend a refreshing ‘rebjuito’, a cocktail of sherry (Fino or Manzanilla), lemonade or lemon/lime soda and mint. No visit is complete without seeing a flamenco show at the Flamenco Museum. Lasting an hour we were entertained by singing, spanish guitar, both female and male dancers, performing solos and as a group. It was thrilling.
I will be posting a second blog on my Seville and Cordoba holiday soon.
(© Catherine Cronin)