6 places to visit in Seville
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Seville is often related with the flamenco dance and bullfighting, but the city has a lot of other things on offer.
It moved the imagination of famous composers like Verdi, Bizet and Rossini. The city´s architecture has been the setting of many television series and blockbusters like Star Wars Episode II, Kingdom of Heaven, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Who and recently Game of Thrones. This gorgeous city was the next stop on our Spanish tour.
We made our reservation in the city center to be close to the number one sight on our must-see list, the Cathedral of Seville. Second on the list was the Real Alcazar of Seville and since we only had one day for the city tour, we figured we wouldn’t have time to visit anything else. Things went a little differently and we got to discover a little more than initially expected.
1. Catholic Church of El Divino Salvador
On our way to the Cathedral we came across the Catholic Church of El Divino Salvador. We had little idea about it so we decided to check it out. When entering the lady at the counter asked us whether we want to visit the Cathedral also since she could offer us to buy double tickets allowing entrance for both.
The church was built on the same location where once the great mosque of Seville, the Ibn Adabbas stood. The current building has solely catholic elements in baroque and Rococo style. Inside there are a total of 14 altarpieces and a splendid reliquary on display.
2. Seville Cathedral
When we got to the Cathedral there was a long queue waiting at the entrance. We were not sure whether the tickets we bought would allow us to skip the line, but this was solved when Greg´s Mom headed directly towards the entrance verifying with security. And she was right, we were allowed in ahead of the queue.
The Cathedral is so large (the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the 3rd largest among all cathedrals after St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida in Brazil), that even after making the tour of it twice, we still discovered new elements that we missed earlier. The selfie mirror was particularly fun and we made a selfie of the family. After we satisfied our curiosity, we climbed the bell tower.
3. The Giralda
Once a minaret, the Giralda is now the Bell Tower of the Cathedral of Seville. It´s 104 m tall and instead of stairs there is a ramp. The climb to the top is easier, every ten meters there are bay windows where you can make a halt and admire the view.
As you reach the top, the decorations on the roof become visible and you get a beautiful view of the city too.
The old bells look like they will start ringing anytime, but do not fear, they are motionless. If you get a little space among the huge crowd of tourists you might get the chance to take a picture from the window.
4. The Alcázar of Seville
A walking distance from the Cathedral is the Alcazar of Seville. It was the royal palace of the Moorish Muslim kings, today the royal family of Spain uses its upper levels as its residence in Seville. The Mudejar architecture is well maintained and the design amazes with the detailed wall decorations.
Though visited by many tourists, we didn't have to wait long at the entrance.
Passing through the Puerta del Leon, we entered one of the most beautiful part of the Alcazar: the Courtyard of the Maidens (in Spanish called ˝Patio de las Doncellas˝) which was used as the court of the King of Jerusalem in the movie Kingdom of Heaven.
At the request of director Ridley Scott, the courtyard was even paved with marble.
The garden of the palace is well arranged, the fountains and palm trees offering a pleasant moment of rest in the shade during the sunny hot summer days.
5. Pilate´s House
We found out when we got there that for EU citizens the entrance is free on Wednesdays. We had to wait about an hour to enter because only a limited number of visitors are allowed in at a time and many tourists wanted to see it. If you think that this is Pilate´s House, well it´s not. The palace belongs to the Dukes of Medinacelli and it is a typical Andalusian palace.
The confusion in the name comes from the fact that Fadrique Enríquez de Rivera, who finished the construction of the palace, initiated a pilgrimage imitating the way of the cross from Pontius Pilate´s house to the Calvary. Due to this confusion and its historical value, the palace lures many visitors.
6. Metropol Parasol
After we finished with Pilate´s House, Greg´s parents were tired and returned to the hotel. We had still some strength left, so we included one more sight on our way back to the hotel. Las Setas de la Encarnacion is a giant mushroom made of Finish birch wood on the square where Roman and Al-Andalus ruins were found. On the underground level is a museum where the ruins are exhibited and the roof offers a panorama of the city. We would have expected the square to be more populated, instead it looked a little abandoned due to the many empty shop spaces and the handful tourists wandering around.
At the end of the day we felt exhausted, but again filled with new experiences and knowledge. A long night of good sleep was all it took, and we were ready for another adventure.