Sevilla : More Churches!!!

We spent one more day in Sevilla exploring around town. While we were there, they were preparing for the Holy Week. Most churches around town staged a float for the holy week. Much preparation goes into this parade. It is an honor to carry the float and it can take twenty-four and fifty-four men to carry one float from their church to the Sevilla Cathedral.

These figurines look intimidating but the hoods have a different meaning in Spain. The capirote or pointed hats are used in religious practice and not meant for what we might think they are used for in the united states.

Sevilla Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede de Sevilla)

Sevilla cathedral is the largest Gothic church in existence.
The floats during used holy week will all arrive at this cathedral on good Friday. It is a magnificent church but also contains some great works by the artist Murillo.
An organ of 7,000 pipes. That’s some pipe power!

La Visión de San Antonio by Murillo

Some beautiful stained glass windows.

Tomb of Columbus

It is highly disputed where the remains of the famous explorer Christopher Columbus lie. Finally DNA tests prove that at least part of Columbus rest in this tomb (he may also be in Cuba where he traveled posthumously).

St. Justina and St. Rufina, 1817

There was a real interesting back story about these saints.

We got a chance to climb to the top of the accompanied tower. We got a nice view of the bells while we were up there.

Giralda Tower

Interesting drainage solutions outside the church in the orange courtyard.

After exploring the church we did some window shopping. I wish I had a need for a flamenco dress!

The day soon came to an end and we had to leave the next day. We probably could have spent another day or two here not even mentioning all the other cities in the region that we missed. Oh welll! I guess we can always come back! Adios!

Sevilla: Alcazar

The Courtyard of the Maidens

One of the treats of visiting Sevilla is getting to see Moorish architecture. The moors ruled this part of Southern Spain from about 712 – 1248 AD, when it was incorporated into Christian Spanish rule.
The Alcazar in Sevilla started as a Moorish fort and then as a royal place. It is a great representation of traditional spanish Muslim architecture or mudéjar. Mudéjar was a unique style that represented both Christian and Muslim style symbols.

The Virgin of the Navigators

The Virgin of the Navigators is a christian painting that shows Mary protecting the explorers. You can see Christopher Columbus represented in the painting.

Inside the palace, many symbols are represented in the designs.

The palace also has a nice garden to stroll around.

More inside photos

Nice wall tapestry hanging in Alcazar.

As one can see, the Alcazar is on the must see list of a visit to the beautiful city of Seville.

Spain: Beautiful Sevilla

One of the places I was most excited about in Spain was Sevilla. Sevilla to me embodied what Spain is: flamenco, paella, guitar music. I know Spain is so much more but Sevilla is essential Spain to me. After some web research, I found a great deal at the botique hotel El Rey Moro. Breakfast was included every morning and the staff was very friendly and helpful. They gave us great advice. I loved waking up each morning to the courtyard (see above) and enjoyed a glass of wine at the table in front of my room while reading a book.

We enjoyed strolling around the city and observing the architecture.

Memorials to Ferdinand and Isabella.They were directly responsible for Columbus “discovering” the new world.

Spanish snacks

Government building

Toro del Oro

Path along the river

Some tapas at Plaza Santa Ana across the river. When we first arrived it was a sleepy tavern with only a few customers. Within minutes the tavern and courtyard were flooded with churchgoers exiting the church.

The next morning we did some more sighting. We walked down to see the Basilica de la Macarena. This church, as well as many other Spanish churches, was very ornate. The basilica hosts the most revered image in Seville, the virgin Mary. This church is located in the neighborhood of the same name..that is also responsible for Los del Río’s hit song Macarena.

Nearby bell tower.

Drinking a beer in Macarena. I really wanted to do the dance but did not want to embarrass myself.

After our early day Macarena experience we wandered around more of Sevilla. We noted many orange trees (not for juicing and eating – mostly good for marmalade) and very cool Banyan trees.

Part of me is really against the sport of bull fighting but a visit to Sevilla would not be complete without a tour of the history of the toreadors. There is a long tradition there that seems to be slowing fading with time.

After hours of touring one must stop for afternoon tapas. This spinach and chickpea dish is one of my favorites.

Later on for dinner we had oxtail and fries

Below is the closest thing we got to authentic paella while we were there (unfortunately). Paella is traditionally served only at certain times and we couldn’t find reliable local advice on where to get the real stuff (most restaurant paella is pre-made and re-heated -> frozen crap). I was real disappointed about that.

And it was off to sleep to have the energy for another day of sightseeing…….

Flamenco in Sevilla

While in Sevilla we wanted to make sure we saw authentic flamenco while we were there. All recommendations told us to go to Casa de la Memoria. We booked our show in advance and attended one night. No food and drinks are served for the show; you were there for a performance only. I knew we would not be disappointed.
There were two dancers, one male and one female. The female was not outfitted in the traditional flamenco dress (see example below).

Instead she wore pants. The pants allowed us (the audience) to see her leg movements more clearly. I think I liked this better.

They were both excellent. The show was amazing. The were accompanied by some very talented musicians. At the end they all came together to play some traditional music.

I believe they switched locations since we visited. Be sure to visit their website for the most up to date information on shows (change language to english). Make sure to make reservations  – it is a popular show.