October 21-22, 2008
By Christopher Minster
The Alcázar of Seville was oldest royal residence still Be sure to check out the
once a Moorish palace not in use in Spain: the Casa de la Contratación,
unlike the Alhambra in Spanish royal family uses it “house of trade.” The
nearby Granada, but its when they visit the city. Alcázar was the
history is significantly headquarters for trade
The Alcázar is divided into with the Americas during
different. It was a palace-
several parts. The most the Spanish colonial era. It
fortress under the Moors,
impressive section is the included regulatory
specifically the Almohades.
Patio de las Doncellas, or agencies and a school for
In 1248, the city fell to the
Courtyard of the Maidens. navigation, the first
Christian reconquest, and
This was one of the director of which was
much of the fort was
sections that King Peter Amerigo Vespucci, who II al-Mu’tadid, who ruled
had re-done, and it’s very gave his name to America. there before the Christian
falling into ruin. During
striking. Much of the fine The chapel features images reconquest supposedly
the reign of Peter the
work on the walls is and scenes of ships and used the skulls of his
Cruel in the late
reminiscent of the seas. enemies as flowerpots, and
fourteenth century, the
Alhambra, but the colors Peter the Cruel had one of
palace was rebuilt over the In addition to the
have survived better over his half-brothers murdered
ruins. Peter kept what attractions mentioned
time and it is easier to deep inside the palace
could be saved and had above, there are some
imagine how it must somewhere!
mudéjar (Moors living extensive, well-kept
originally have been. If
under Christian rule) gardens that you can see
the courtyard looks after the tour. Don’t let the
artisans rebuild the rest, so
familiar, it may be because gardens and beautiful
the fortress still has a
director Ridley Scott used courtyards fool you: the
distinctly Moorish flavor.
it in his Crusades movie Alcázar has a dark side.
The Alcázar of Seville has
Kingdom of Heaven. The Moorish sultan Abbad
the distinction of being the
“Let us build a church so in front of Saint Paul's in majestic entrance of the
big that those who see it London and Saint Peter's old mosque.
will think us mad.” That in Rome as the largest The tomb with alleged
is what the cathedral church in the world. remains of Christopher
chapter decided in 1401 The exterior shows off Columbus is always of
when the former mosque particularly well the great interest to scholars
of Seville had to be artistry of the unknown and tourists alike.
knocked down. It is one architect in playing with
of the last Spanish volumes and spaces. You
Gothic cathedrals, and enter by the Pardoner's
the Renaissance style is door, formerly the
already evident there.
New calculations have
now pushed the cathedral
The Giralda is the most emblematic The current appearance of a belfry
monument of Seville. This Minaret, was designed in the 16C by the
76m in height, was constructed by the Cordovan architect Hernán Ruiz, who
Moors between 1184 and 1197. After added the bell chamber and four
the reconquest in 1568 the Christians upper rooms each with their own
fitted the minaret with the bell tower. balconies. A statue symbolising faith
As an emblem of Seville the Giralda stands at the top of the tower and
forms an elegant and tall silhouette acts as a weathervane, whose
next to the cathedral. Built in the 12C, nickname Giraldillo also gives its
the minaret (96 m) of the former name to the tower. If you go to the
mosque was crowned with three top, you'll see there are no steps
golden orbs which disappeared in the because they used horses to reach the
14C during an earthquake. top and call for prayers.
Casa de Pilatos
By Josephine Quintero
The first Marquis of Tarifa departed on a Subsequent owners have contributed to
Grand Tour of Europe and the Holy Land the building over time and it is currently
in 1518. Two years later he returned, the residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli
enraptured by the architectural and and still one of the finest palaces in
decorative wonders of High Renaissance Seville. The marble portal was
Italy. He spent the rest of his life commissioned by the Marquis in 1529
fashioning a new aesthetic, which was very from Genoan craftsmen, while the
influential. His palace in Seville was called courtyard is typically Mudejar in style and
the House of Pilato because it was decoration with tiles work and intricate
thought to resemble Pontius Pilato's home plasterwork. This is surrounded by
in Jerusalem and later became a luxurious irregularly spaced arches capped with
showcase for the new style. delicate Gothic balustrades. In the corners
are three Roman statues, depicting
Minerva, a dancing muse and Ceres, and a
Tapas fourth statue, a Greek original of Athena,
dating from the 5th century BC.
Tapas are also an important part of The actual translation of tapa is “lid”.
the Spaniards’ way of life. Tapas are The story is that in the last century,
mini snacks, often displayed on the bar owners used to cover drinks with
counter in bars, and include things as a piece of bread to keep flies away. It
calamares (squid), callos (tripe), then became practice to put a tidbit
gambas (prawns), albóndigas on the bread and this evolved into the
(meatballs) and boquerones tapa of today. Each region of Spain
(anchovies) marinated in vinegar. has its own specialties.
Tapas can be taken as a meal in
themselves or as a tasty bite before
going on to a restaurant for dinner.
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España is one of The plaza is a huge half-circle
Seville's most easily recognised with buildings continually
buildings and the epitome of the running around the edge
Moorish Revival in Spanish accessible over the moat by
architecture. In 1929 Seville numerous beautiful bridges. In
hosted the Spanish-American the centre is a large fountain.
Exhibition and numerous Today the plaza mainly consists
buildings were constructed for of Government buildings, but
the exhibition in Maria Luisa the beauty remains. By the walls
Park, among them the Plaza of the Plaza are many tiled
designed by Aníbal González. On alcoves, each representing a
the Park's edge was built the different province of Spain.
current Plaza de España to
showcase Spain's industry and
Parque de María Luisa
By Josephine Quintero
In the 1920's, the Sevillanos decided Scattered about and round the edge scheme's impetus - a good example
to put on an exposition. In a are more buildings from the 1929 fair, is the stylish Guatemala building,
tremendous burst of energy, they some of them surprisingly opulent, off the Paseo de la Palmera.
turned the entire southern end of the built in the last months before the Towards the end of the park, the
city into an expanse of gardens and Wall Street crash undercut the grandest mansions from the fair
grand boulevards. The centre of it is have been adapted as museums.
Parque de María Luisa, a paradisiacal The farthest contains the city's
half mile of palms and orange trees, archaeology collections. The main
elms and Mediterranean pines, exhibits are Roman mosaics and
covered with flower beds and dotted artifacts from nearby Itálica.
with hidden bowers, ponds and
pavilions. Now that the trees and
shrubs have reached maturity, the
genius of the landscapers can be
appreciated - this is one of the
loveliest parks in Europe.
Triana and Calle Betis
Being on the other side of the river Trajan, who was born in nearby
Guadalquivir from the rest of the city, Itálica.
Triana has its own distinct identity, Calle Betis, which follows the river,
likened by locals to a village within has indisputably fine views of the city,
the city. It too has narrow cobbled especially the Torre del Oro, the
streets and winding alleys, but is less bullring and Giralda. Its row of 18th- where the bars are thronged with
picture-book pretty than Santa Cruz century townhouse facades, seen
and therefore feels more real; it's also party-goers long into the wee hours
from the other side of the river, is as in the copa bars.
less packed with tourists. Triana is impressive as any in Amsterdam or
named after the Roman emperor Dublin. In summer, much of the
city`s nightlife migrates to Calle Betis,
Did you know…?
IES La Arboleda Seville is the primary setting of many operas, the best known of
which are Bizet's Carmen, Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Verdi's La
Forza del Destino, Beethoven's Fidelio, Mozart's Don Giovanni and The
Avenida de la Arboleda, s/n Marriage of Figaro, and Prokofiev's Betrothal in a Monastery.
Lepe (Huelva) 21440
http://laarboledabiling.blogspot.com/ The Plaza de España in the Parque de María Luisa appears in
George Lucas' Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones as well as in
Lawrence of Arabia as the British Army HQ in Cairo, while the
courtyard was the King Alfonso XIII Hotel.
The motto of Seville is "NO8DO". The "8" is shaped like a skein
of wool, or, “madeja” in Spanish. The motto, therefore, is a rebus,
reading "NO madeja DO," a play on the sentence, "No me ha
dejado," or "she [the city] has not abandoned me [the king]". The
motto, according to one legend, refers to the city's support of King
Alphonse X in a 13th-century war with his son, Don Sancho.
Another places the phrase in the mouth of Ferdinand III while
riding into the city after expelling the Moors in 1248. This motto is
seen in the city flag and throughout Seville, inscribed on manhole
covers, and on some street signs.
The Roman ruins and remarkable stone for Seville, but fortunately excellent coloured floor with
mosaics of Itálica are located less the amphitheatre has survived, birds, Neptune and the Seasons.
than 9 kilometres to the north of although these days it is crumbling
the city, just outside the village of perilously. Beyond this are about The 27km-long Vía Verde of
Santiponce. There is also a well twenty mosaics, including an Itálica is a footpath along a
preserved Roman theatre in former railway line used for
Santiponce which is signposted transporting pyrite from the
from the main road. Aznalcóllar mines northwest of
Seville to the city's port on the
Itálica was the birthplace of three Guadalquivir River. From Itálica,
emperors and one of the earliest you can join the Vía Verde 4km
Roman settlements in Spain south at Santiponce, via the
founded in 206 BC. It rose to N630. From Santiponce, you can
considerable military importance either head south to Seville or
in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. northwest to Gerena along the
Throughout the Middle Ages, the Vía Verde.
ruins were used as a source of