SEVILLE, certainly is one of the most beloved places by visitors to Spain. Although today Moorish influence is architectonically most evident – Andalusia was occupied by Moors for about 800 years – it has been a cultural center long before. T
It has hosted two international exhibitions (1929 and 1992) and is the administrative capital of Andalucía. The quarter of Triana on the other side of the river, La Macarena, Santa Cruz and San Bartolomé, the street of Las Sierpes, plus La Maestranza bullring, María Luisa park and the riverside walks are all representative images of Sevilla.
For all its important monuments and fascinating history, Sevilla is universally famous for being a joyous town. While the Sevillians are known for their wit and sparkle, the city itself is striking for its vitality. It is the largest town in Southern Spain, the city of Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro.
The Sevillians are great actors and put on an extraordinary performance at their annual Fería de Abril, a week-long party of drink, food and dance which takes place day and night in more than a thousand especially mounted tents. But above all it allows the men to parade on their fine horses and the women to dance in brilliantly coloured gypsy dresses.
Immediately before that is Holy Week, Semana Santa, a religious festival where hooded penitents march In long processions followed by huge baroque floats on which sit Images of the Virgin or Christ, surrounded by cheerful crowds. Both Spring events are well worth experiencing.
In Sevilla, you will want to visit the old city, with the Cathedral and the Giralda tower at its heart. (You can climb the steps inside the tower for a magnificent view of the City). Very close by are the royal Mudéjar palace known as the Alcazar with marvellous gardens and the Santa Cruzquarter, with cramped streets, flowered balconies, richly decorated facades, hidden patios… Other sights not to be missed are, in the old city, theCasa de Pilatos, a large sixteenth-century mansion where Mudejar, Gothic and Renaissance styles blend harmoniously amidst exuberant patios and gardens and, crossing the Triana bridge over the large Guadalquívir River, the lively popular quarter of Triana with charming narrow streets around the church of Santa Ana and traditional ceramic factories.
When you visit this city, you are in the very heart of Andalusian culture, the center of bullfighting and Flamenco music. Take yourself time and take life easy, as Andalusians use to do, and interrupt sightseeing from time to time to have a few “tapas”, those typical “small spanish dishes”, and a glass of Sherry wine in one of the probably thousands of bars in this city, and consider a few of the hints on the following lines to make your stay a memorable one