Seville is the center of one of the most interesting and authentic Spanish provinces - Andalusia. Spectacular bullfighting and incendiary flamenco were born here. The very spirit of the Spanish south lives here and the ancient traditions of the ancestors are carefully preserved.
Seville was founded by the Phoenicians in the III millennium BC, then for a long time the city was a Roman colony. In the Middle Ages, it was under the protectorate of the Caliphate of Cordoba. Many unique architectural monuments have been preserved since those times. Tourists can admire the Catholic churches built on the site of Moorish mosques, walk through the historical quarters and inspect the Arab towers on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. In the 17th century, Seville was the main port of the Spanish Empire. From here sailed expeditions to the New World. In many ways, the modern architectural appearance of the city was formed at that time.
What to see and where to go in Seville?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
Plaza of Spain
The architectural ensemble of the square is located in the central part of the Maria Luisa Landscape Park, in the south of Seville. It was created in the 20s. XX century to the opening of the Ibero-American Exhibition. The semicircular government building, as well as the numerous mansions surrounding the square, are built in the Art Deco and Neo-Mudéjar styles. In the middle is a fountain surrounded by a small artificial channel.
For several centuries, the Moors owned most of the Iberian Peninsula. Scattered throughout Spain are architectural monuments created during the period of their rule or immediately after their exile. The Alcazar of Seville is a magnificent Mudéjar fortress, the palace of the Seville rulers, created in the 14th century on the ruins of a defeated Arab fortress. And in our time, the royal family of Spain uses some of the premises of the palace as a personal residence.
Santa Cruz quarter
The historic quarter, which begins immediately at the walls of the Alcazar of Seville. Initially, Jews lived here, but in the 14th century, all local synagogues were converted into Catholic churches. Santa Cruz is an interweaving of narrow stone streets, bright colors of houses, lush Mediterranean vegetation and the incessant spirit of the past. Here are the most significant city attractions.
Former gypsy quarter across the Guadalquivir River, where flamenco dancers mostly settled. The place is distinguished by some randomness of buildings, a noisy and cheerful atmosphere. There are many traditional tablao bars here, where talented guitarists, singers and dancers perform in front of the audience. One of the central historical buildings of the quarter is the Carthusian Monastery.
Museum of Fine Arts of Seville
An art gallery considered one of the most important in Spain. Here you can admire the paintings of E. Murillo, J. Roelas, F. Zurbaran, G. Martinez. The museum was founded in 1835 in the building of the former monastery monastery, which was confiscated by the state. The basis of the museum collection was made up of works of art that came here from churches and other religious institutions, so the exposition is dominated by divine themes.
The museum is located in the Maria Luisa Park. The building was erected according to the project of the architect A. Gonzalez in the Renaissance style, its construction was started in connection with the Ibero-American Exhibition in the 20s. XX century. The museum collection contains several thousand exhibits found on the territory of Seville and its environs during archaeological excavations.
A grandiose picturesque temple, which is considered one of the most beautiful Catholic cathedrals in the world. It was erected in the 15th century on the ruins of a Moorish mosque. The project for the "construction of the century" was created by the architect A. Martinez. The work was completed at the beginning of the 16th century, but some elements of the interior of the cathedral were completed only in the 20th century. Inside the temple is the tomb of Christopher Columbus and the Castilian kings of the XIII-XIV centuries.
Moorish tower of the end of the XII century, erected under Caliph Abu Yugub Yusuf. Initially, the building served as a minaret for the city mosque. Later, the tower was adapted for the bell tower of the Catholic Cathedral. In the 16th century it was rebuilt in the manner of the Spanish Renaissance according to the project of E. Ruiz. The tower reaches a height of 87.5 meters, a gentle path leads to the top, designed for the passage of horses.
Basilica de la Macarena
A new temple of the middle of the 20th century, erected on the site of a burned-out church. Despite its small age, the building has already been recognized as a historical landmark. The architecture of the basilica is stylized as the traditional "Seville" Baroque, where a mixture of white and bright ocher prevails. There is a museum attached to the church, where the traditional clothes of the bullfighters are exhibited, as well as many things related to the Spanish bullfight.
Church of El Salvador
Temple of the second half of the 17th century, built on the site of an Arab mosque. In the 18th century, the church was restored in the Churrigueresque (local Rococo) style, designed by L. Figueroa. The building attracts attention with its ornate bizarre facade, painted in white and pink colors. The interior is distinguished by luxury, rich finishes and wall paintings. The church has a magnificent altar.
Hospital de los Venerables
The hospital was founded in the 18th century on the initiative of the religious Brotherhood of Silence. The building was erected in the Baroque style by the architects L. Figueroa and J. Dominguez, masters who made a great contribution to the appearance of Seville. The hospital was intended for old and already incompetent church ministers. Due to lack of funding in the 19th century, it fell into disrepair. In 1987, the building was renovated with funds from the Cultural Foundation of Seville.
Torre del Oro
A tower built by the Arabs at the beginning of the 12th century on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. Initially, there were two towers that stood opposite each other, but the second building has not been preserved. Torre del Oro was part of the fortress wall that surrounded Seville during the Moorish rule. The building has been perfectly preserved to this day. The tower was used as a treasury, a prison, an outbuilding. Now there is a museum on its territory.
House of Pilate
Palace of the XVI century, erected for the family of the Dukes of Alcala. The building bears some resemblance to the famous villa of Pontius Pilate. The main architectural style of the building is Mudéjar with a mixture of Baroque. In the decoration, as well as in the appearance of the interior, Arabic motifs are clearly traced. In the center of the building is a picturesque courtyard with a fountain and dense greenery.
City Hall building
The building of the city council, located in the central part of Seville. It is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. The facade of the building is richly decorated with figurative molding, which depicts various mythological scenes. The City Hall was erected in the 16th century according to the project of D. Rianho. The building houses the city archive, which contains historical documents from the time of the Reconquista.
Palace of San Telmo
The grandiose palace of the 17th century, built at the expense of the Inquisition. The building was used as a school, a royal residence and the seat of an archbishop. Since 1992, the palace has belonged to the autonomous government of Andalusia. San Telmo is a prominent representative of the architecture of the late "Seville" Baroque. The monumental main entrance was added to the building later - in 1754.
The Archive of the Indies is a unique repository of information about all the countless colonies that once belonged to the mighty Spanish Empire. It should be noted that her power extended from America to the Philippine Islands. The building was erected at the end of the 16th century according to the project of J. Herrera. More than 43 thousand volumes of historical documents are stored inside. In 1987, the archive of the Indies was included in the historical heritage of mankind.
Royal Tobacco Factory
The complex was built in the 18th century according to the design of the Dutchman S. Van der Borcht. As conceived by the master, the building turned out to be very impressive and, in terms of monumentality, was second only to the famous Escorial. At one time, the factory employed several thousand women who produced tobacco products for the whole of Europe. It is here that the action of the key scenes of the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet unfolds.
Bullring, the construction of which lasted for 120 years (1761-1881). The entrance is decorated with statues of famous bullfighters. The bullfighting museum operates in the arena building, where various attributes of this spectacle are exhibited, as well as old posters depicting the great matadors of the past. Among the exhibits there is a bullfighter's cape, painted by P. Picasso himself. The stadium can accommodate about 14 thousand spectators.
Futuristic building made of wood, located on Encarnacion Square. The construction of the attraction was completed in 2011. Inside there is a terrace, a museum, restaurants, shops and a farmer's market. Metropol Parasol is a whole cultural complex that is loved by locals and tourists. The structure reaches a height of 28 meters, the total area is several thousand m², which allows it to claim the title of the largest wooden structure in the world.
Suspension bridge across the Guadalquivir River, built in 1992. The author was the famous architect S. Calatrava, who also worked on the projects of the opera house on the island of Tenerife and on the Valencian City of Arts and Sciences. Alamillo is an engineering structure consisting of one powerful support, which is balanced by 13 steel cables. The bridge is intended for motorists and pedestrians.
Marie Louise Park
City park located in the southern part of Seville along the Guadalquivir river. It was laid out on the site of the palace gardens of San Telmo, which were transferred to the public use by Infanta Maria Luisa Fernanda. The new park was named after the benefactor princess. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Ibero-American Exhibition was held here. By its opening, the park has grown significantly and acquired a modern shape.
Former royal gardens adjacent to the Alcazar of Seville, which in modern times have become a public park. The place is named after the famous artist - a native of Seville E. Murillo. The best craftsmen worked on landscape design at the beginning of the 20th century. The alleys are decorated with sculptures, decorative fountains and pavilions. The gardens are located near the historical quarter of Santa Cruz.
Magic Island Theme Park
Children's theme park, which opened its doors in 1997. The opening took place in the presence of the Spanish King Juan Carlos. The park was originally conceived as the largest in Europe, its total area is more than 300 thousand m². On the territory there are extensive green areas, gardens, alleys, themed squares where various shows take place. The theme of the park is the period of the Great Geographical Discoveries.
An annual spectacular festival that has traditionally been held in Andalusia after Easter since the middle of the 19th century. The fair is attended by all residents of the surroundings of Seville, as well as thousands of tourists from all over the world. This is a unique time when the Spaniards flaunt in traditional costumes, the stalls are bursting with an abundance of local delicacies, and spectacular national shows are held daily. At the Seville Fair, you can feel the real spirit of Andalusia.
A unique art that combines dance, singing and playing, originated in the south of Spain and has become its national treasure. The origins of flamenco go back to ancient Moorish musical culture. They also absorbed the bright gypsy style (it is the gypsies that many researchers consider the founders of flamenco). In the 18th century, the dance emerged from the darkness of semi-underground bars and firmly won the official stages and hearts of the Spaniards, and later the rest of the world.