Where: Seville, Spain
When: February 2015
Weather conditions: high 50s and close to 70 by the end of our stay in the city–beautiful walking weather–you only feel too warm when exerting yourself in full sun
How long?: 6 days 5 nights (second leg of southern Spain tour) travelled by train from Granada to Seville
Main attractions: Seville Cathedral, Real Alcazar, & tapas!
Fieldtrips: Cordoba & Ronda
Favorite attraction: Real Alcazar (still functions as a royal palace where the royal family stays when in Seville) The architecture pays homage to the Nassery style of the Moors seen in the Alhambra. The intricate plasterwork alongside the brightly colored porcelain tiles. The gardens are amazing. The popular show Game of Thrones used this palace for filming.
Frivolous but Fun attraction: Metropol Parasol aka Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnación’s mushrooms)–a modern wooden structure in the shape of mushroom thus the nickname. There is a walkway along the top of the mushrooms to see differents parts of the city. The elevator to the viewing decks is a treat straight out of a sci-fi movie or in Willy Wonka’s factory–a rectangle shape with curved corners and white polka-dot lights flush against the stainless steel walls.
Favorite museum: Museo del Bella Artes €1.50 admission–only museum we visited but well worth it!
- The Museum of Fine Arts of Seville or Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla is a museum in Seville, Spain, a collection of mainly Spanish visual arts from the medieval period to the early 20th century, including a choice selection of works by artists from the so-called Golden Age of Sevillian painting during the 17th century, such as Murillo, Zurbarán, Francisco de Herrera the younger, and Valdés Leal.
- The building itself was built in 1594, but the museum was founded in 1839, after the desamortizacion or shuttering of religious monasteries and convents, collecting works from across the city and region. The building it is housed in was originally home to the convent of the Order of the Merced Calzada de la Asunción, founded by St. Peter Nolasco during the reign of King Ferdinand III of Castile.
Hidden Gem: Casa de la Guitarra for a flamenco show–it was located in the guitar museum and held maybe 50 people squashed together–we were sitting in the front row. It was a great show and my pictures don’t really do it justice.
Favorite historical site: Seville Cathedral–largest cathedral in the world (Christopher Columbus is buried here)
Green Spaces: Maria Luiza Parque, Real Alcazar
Favorite food/drink/snack: “an Italian restaurant on Calle Mateos Gago, Osteria L’Oca Giuliva, it was quite simply the best Italian food I’ve ever eaten. We tried the Crostini with fresh mozzarella and Parma ham. The cheese was melty and the ham was sliced paper-thin and it just melted in the mouth. Probably one the best meals we’d had eaten all week. Our entrees were just as yummy–a good size without being too much: too much food or too much sauce. I’ve never had gnocchi (topped with 4 cheese cream sauce) and J tried one–she said it was the best gnocchi she’s ever had” (for more of the food we enjoyed in Spain see https://roamanyone.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/quiero-tapas-por-favor/)
Funny moment? After the ascent of the La Giralda bell tower (35 ramps and 17 stairs) after many, many stops to catch my breath (several senior citizens with canes no less made it up before I did)–at the top of the last stair my sister caught me in a video. She laughed with evil glee as she filmed the complete relief cross my face on seeing the end of the climb. She claims to be filming the bells ringing and she just happened to be in the perfect spot to catch me……her repeated viewings of that video throughout the rest of our trip and giggling throughout refutes that claim. It even made it into her movie she made of the trip.
Other sites well worth a visit: Plaza d’Espana next to Maria Luiza Park–site of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929
Tips: Stay in the Santa Cruz neighborhood–it truly is the best home base in Seville. The restaurants in the area are all wonderful. Our hotel was located next to a small church and on our last night–we witnessed a processional of the crucifix and Jesus from the stations of the cross from the church through the city. It was a touching moment to be a part of.
On a return trip, I would see……….The “new” royal apartments in the Real Alcazar–it’s a separate admission from the original building and gardens (I was too tired), Torro del Oro (where the gold taken from the Americas was housed), Seville bullring, and some of the smaller museums and attractions