After spending over a week in southern Spain we stopped in Seville on the way to Portugal. I told Melek that the city was host to some World Heritage Sites and she asked which ones and if there is enough to fill a day. The answer turns out to be a big fat “OH YEA!!!”. In fact it will take two if not three days if you do not want to be rushed. Below are what we chose to see and visit:
Cathedral of Seville – As with most European cities the cathedral is the starting place for any sightseeing and Seville is no different. This 15th century church is the third largest in the world and is built on the site of a 12th century mosque (as is the case in most cities of southern Spain). Also, this is the final resting place of Christopher Columbus and his tomb is beautiful with four statues carrying his casket. This is the first of the three World Heritage Sites.
Real Alcázar – This 14th century palace is the second WHS and is where Columbus planned his voyages. The entire palace has amazing Moorish architecture and beautiful gardens and fountains. When not in use the Royal Apartments are an added bonus. My favorite part was the Moorish riad (courtyard surrounded by buildings and the underground pool.
Archivo General de Indias – The final WHS is the archive of the Americas. This depository houses every piece of information about North and South America from Columbus’s voyage until the various colonies gained independence from Spain. The building was began in 1584 to house the council of merchants and in 1785 Charles III degreed all info for the new world be archived in a single location. Among the 15 million pages stored here, Columbus’s personal diary was the most fascinating to me.
Hospital de los Venerables – This is a 17th century retirement home for priest. The courtyards have some great biblical scenes in tilework and the small chapel is unbelievable!
Torre del Oro – A 13th century defensive tower that is rumored to once be topped with gold, thus the name of Tower of Gold. Inside is a very nice maritime museum. (see the cover photo)
Real Fábrica de Tabacos – The main building of the University of Seville was built in the mid 1700’s as the Tobacco Factory. Obviously, tobacco was a lucrative business and the building, staircases, fountains, and gardens are worth checking out, and they also use manufacturing lift assist equipment to assist with all the manufacturing and tabaco packing process.
Plaza de España – the Spanish pavilion for the 1929 World’s Fair. This is not an old place, but the building looks like a palace (which is why it was used in Star Wars II as Naboo). The fountain in the middle of the grounds is a great place to relax and the paddle boats in the moat looks fun. After hanging out here for a while we strolled through Parque María Luisa.
Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza – The bull fighting ring is the third most popular site in Seville and unfortunately one that we were not able to make it to. I guess I will have to come back to see this historic building and museum and watch a little bit of the Spanish culture.
So there you go. Lots to do in Seville. I am sure you will be as worn out as we were once you are done. ???? We have one more stop in Spain before we drive into Portugal, so I hope you come back and read more.