Part of the charm of Seville is its laid-back atmosphere inviting you to just wander its narrow lanes and discover its old churches, the heavenly scent of frankincense wafts through the air guiding you to their brass knob-decked doors. Every home is adorned with a generous splash of mostly yellow and reds, popping against the nearly always blue skies. Andalusia boasts sunny days the majority of the year. Inner courtyards and cozy lobbies are decked out with azulejo tiles, delicately hand-painted or covered in shimmering copper.
Plaza de Espana
A sprawling plaza with little tilled nooks, each one depicting a different province of Spain. Built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929, means there’s a lot of Spanish pride in an over-the-top way It’s a tourist magnet, but still worth spending a little time admiring the fountains, flamenco dancers and four bridges crossing the canal.
Take a pleasant stroll across one of the brides crossing the Guadalquivir River and be gently jolted back to a time when an eclectic cast of characters lived in this once bustling neighbourhood. Gitanos (Gypsies) swirled to the strums of guitars. You may still hear their emotional songs of passion and pain echoing through the ancient lanes. Bullfighters-to-be dreamed of a life in the ring and churches beckoned the faithful. The piety of the residents is evident. Every corner offers a new and even more stirring depiction of a tearful Mary, the Esperanza de Triana. Homes are dressed up with azulejo tiles, handmade with river mud from this side of town. They proudly adorn homes and churches across Seville, a testament to the mark that Triana has left on the city’s identity.
Cathedral and Giralda
A massive cathedral, built over the spot that once housed a mosque. There are still remains of this Moorish place of worship, including a beautiful arched doorway, an orange tree filled courtyard, and the Giralda, a soaring tower. This was once the mosque’s minaret and today you can make your way up the 35 ramps to get a beautiful view of the red tiled rooftops and soaring church domes from above.
What Else to See
Museum of Fine Arts
A small and extremely affordable museum (only 1.50 euros and free for citizens of the European Union) to wander around when you want a moment of tranquility. The museum housed a special collection of homegrown artist Murillo’s baroque religious paintings.
Archivos de Indias
Seville was once home base for explorations to the Americas and it is in this 16th century building that you will find old maps and documents about the Spanish empire’s wealth. Ships brought cargoes of silver, gold, spices and silks from around the world from Cuba and Venezuela to as far away as the Philippines. The building houses millions of documents, including a letter from Christopher Columbus to Isabella and Ferdinand, the monarchs who approved his maiden voyage to the Americas.