After two nights in Madrid and a short, pleasant afternoon in Córdoba, we continued our tour in southern Spain with our next visit to Seville (or “Sevilla” in Spanish), which is the capital of the Andalusia region that we were visiting for the next four to five days. It’s the fourth largest city in Spain, and it’s home to a wide, rich, and diverse culture within its city walls, all of which make it a worthwhile city to visit- and I’m glad that we did!
Any case, we left Córdoba in the late afternoon, making the one to two-hour drive to Seville; by the time we arrived, it was already evening. That said, we checked into our hotel and afterwards went downstairs to the hotel’s restaurant where our tour provided us dinner, which was nice of them. We rested up afterwards in our rooms for the remainder of the night.
The next morning, we began our visit in the city; a local tour guide took us to the Plaza de España (“Spain Square”), which is known for its stunning architecture all around with Renaissance and Moorish styles blended into one. It was sunny that day, which gave the square a deep, golden glow which, in contrast with the multi-colored mosaic tiles along the pavilion buildings, made it just so lovely. Seriously, it was gorgeous and probably one of my favorite places that we visited in Spain.
Afterwards, we headed to visit the old Jewish quarter which, like our visit in Córdoba, was medina-like in its structure: lots of narrow, winding streets with small plazas in between all of them. Very picturesque, and what really struck me was towards the end of the run when I came across a small shop selling tea leaves “de Sevilla.” For me being a huge tea drinker, I couldn’t help but snap a photo of it!
We ended our tour in front of the Seville Cathedral, and from there we had the rest of the day to explore the city on our own. My family and I headed over to the cathedral and paid to visit the inside along with climbing the tower to the top to get the city view (and you know how I’m such a sucker for views). The cathedral inside was huge, not to forget absolutely decked out with high ceilings made from gold- gold! I would soon discover that many of Spain’s cathedrals would be filled with very impressive, golden architecture, just because the country back in the day had plenty of gold from their conquests, so they spent it all on their cathedrals, as they were also a very religious society. Seville Cathedral also has Christopher Columbus’ tomb, of which is elevated by four statues, making it a monument in itself.
After wandering around the massive halls of the cathedral, we went over to the tower where we began our climb up to the top. Instead of stairs, it was a series of ramps (35 in total, I believe) which back in the day were used by horses to carry the king and the Royal Court up to the summit. It was not a bad climb, and we arrived to gorgeous views of Seville. Again, it was nice and sunny that day, with clear blue skies and warm weather to boot. You wouldn’t believe just how many photos I took there, just because none of them could do justice to the beauty!
We descended afterwards, then exiting the cathedral to get some lunch. Now, we were informed by our tour guide that Seville is known for having excellent tapas, so we went in search of a tapas bar. We wandered into a quieter neighborhood not too far from the cathedral, where we found a couple of tapas options for us. Settled on one of them and ended up ordering some tortillas españolas (Spanish omelet with potatoes, which is one of my favorite dishes ever), along with some fried anchovies, grilled vegetables, and pork cheek (yes, pork cheek! A bit cold, but tasty nonetheless!). Although I still personally liked the tapas bar in Barcelona, this one wasn’t too bad- plus, the beer was cheap!
After lunch, we headed over to the Real Alcázar, the royal palace of Seville which was first developed by the Moorish kings back in the day and today serves as the royal family’s residence. Definitely a very popular attraction, and it’s considered one of the most beautiful ones in Spain; after visiting that afternoon, I can agree with that!
Any case, we paid the admission fee and spent some time wandering around the different rooms, taking in the floral, intricate designs along the walls, columns, and floors. The place certainly has an Islamic influence to it, since of course it’d been established by the Moors. The Patio de las Doncellas (“Courtyard of the Maidens”), along with the Galeria de Grutescos (“Grotto Gallery”) were stand-outs in terms of architecture and just overall beauty. In addition, Los Baños de Doña María de Padilla (“Baths of Doña María de Padilla”) were eerily impressive, too.
We exited the Real Alcázar, making our way west of the city to one of its smaller churches, the Iglesia del Salvador, since our ticket from the Seville Cathedral also doubled as a ticket to enter this church, which wasn’t too bad! Our final stop was at the Metropol Parasol, an interesting piece of architecture that’d been designed by a German architect and houses a market, along with an Antiquarium. We didn’t go inside of it, but rather just took photos from the outside. Very bizarre appearance; no wonder the locals call it a “giant mushroom!”
Finally, we were pretty much done visiting what we wanted to see in Seville. We decided to head back to our hotel to rest up, after a long day of being out and about in the city. It was about a 30 to 40-minute walk back, and once we arrived, we rested until heading down to the hotel restaurant again for the included dinner that night. My dad and I actually decided to order a rebujito, which is a distinctively Andalusian cocktail made from sherry and soft drinks. It wasn’t too bad, as it had a taste similar to mojitos (which I actually enjoy). After dinner, we called it a night, having spent a long, but fulfilling day in Seville.
Overall, Seville was definitely a highlight of our time in Spain: there were plenty of worthwhile things to see, along with warm people and food to boot! What surprised me was that it was such a huge city, on par with Madrid and Barcelona! Definitely a pretty city worth visiting, and I’m glad to have done so.
More on Spain soon! Coming up: Ronda and Marbella, Spain!
— The Finicky Cynic
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