Sevilla or Seville
20.03.2011 - 20.03.2011
• Real Alcázar
• Jardín del Cenador de la Alcoba
• Plaza de España
• The Cathedral and La Giralda
On the 19th, we headed to Sevilla right after Mérida and got to the city at night. Sevilla is the artistic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of Andalusia and where Flamenco originated. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, the second longest river in Spain. Sevilla is more than 2,000 years old. Although it has a strong medieval, renaissance and baroque heritage, the city received heavy influences from Arabic culture. After the conquest of Sevilla by the Moors, Sevilla was taken by the Muslims in 712. The Moorih aesthetic and urban influences continued and are very present in contemporary Sevilla. The Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We started our day in Real Alcázar, it is a royal palace now but originally a Moorish fort. The style of this architecture is called Mudéjar—Muslims who remained in Christian territory. Inside Alcázar there is a wall that was built by the Romans which separates the patio of León and the patio of Montería. We walked into this palace and clearly could tell the influence of Muslims; the bricks, the Arabic characters and the “horseshoe”. We went into Salón de Embajadores (the salon of ambassadors), the ceiling of this room is made from gold. Then we got to Palacio mudéjar o de Pedro I, which was built by King Pedro I between 1356 and 1366. This palace served as a private building for King Pedro. It sits around patio de las Doncellas. Patio de las Doncellas, the main patio, is a masterpiece in Andalusia mudejar arte. According to my picture, we went to Palacio Gótico (Gothic), it was built in the order of King Alfonso in 1254. It has a chapel, Sala de lost apices and Sala Gótica. It’s interesting to see the whole palace because it looks so mussulman but it was built with the idea of Christianity. Mudejar only exists in Spain. It’s been a long time since the trip, I can’t think of anymore......
The ceiling of Salón de Embajadores
Patio de las Doncellas
Alcázar also has lots of parks; they are all together but just with different names. It was pretty nice to spend sometime there after the tour. We enjoyed the sun and flowers very much. We found a lot of orange trees here and some of us wondered what people are doing with these oranges and wondered whether they are edible. Well, Travis was adventurous enough to try it but he only had one bite and had to throw up... According to his face, it was not delicious. There is a big pool with fish and ducks in it. Someone threw some bread into the pool and all of a sudden all the fish came up and fight with the ducks for the bread..... I was shocked by it. Our professor actually studied in University of Sevilla, and his sister lives here now. His sister joined our tour as well. I’m glad he got to hang out with his family.
This is Travis after trying the orange
The fish and the ducks
A coupe of us managed to get to Plaza de España without a map and Plaza de España might be my favorite part of this city. It’s situated in Maria Luisa Park and it is a landmark example of the Renaissance Revival style in Spanish architecture. It’s a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over the moat by numerous beautiful bridges. In the center is a large fountain. By the walls of the Plaza are many tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain. I love how colorful and symmetric it is. It was really hot in Sevilla around noon, we had lunch in Maria Luisa Park and headed back to where we were this morning but to see another historical architecture—Sevilla Cathedral.
in Maria Luisa Park with the "Ladies"
Plaza de España
Sevilla Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. It was built on an old mosque and it serves as the burial site of Christopher Columbus. Since it was built on an old mosque it definitely has some characteristics of the Muslims. We saw the “horseshoe” arch and the pointed arch next to each other. The tower “La Giralda” of this cathedral was converted from a former minaret. The tower is 343 ft in height and it was one of the most important symbols in the medieval city. Numerous replicas of the tower have been built in the United States, there was one in New York City but was destroyed and another in Kansas City. The clock tower of the Ferry Building in San Francisco is also based on La Giralda. A lot of us went up the tower; the view was great, you can see the whole city and try to recognize all the historical buildings by walking to 4 different sides of the tower.
Different parts of the church
Christopher Columbus--4 kings of Spain carry his tomb.
View from the Tower
After that, Tina, Tyler, Katie, Kelsey and I decided to go to Puerta de Jerez. Tina is Tyler’s good friend and she is from Sevilla. I’m so glad we had Tina—our walking map. So we were warned to be careful with the birds because there are too many of them and we might get pooped anytime. Well, sure enough dear Tyler got pooped on when we were on the way to the river. The river was nice too; I guess it would be prettier at night. We then decided to walk back to the hotel, and it was quite a walk. But on the way we saw this cool old roman wall and took some pictures.
So then on the way home Kelsey and I decided to order pepperoni pizza, hmm it had been a long time since I had pizza the last time. I bet the pizza we had in Sevilla was the first one that I ordered and sort of like American pizza. What funny is that there is a Burger King (they are popular in Spain) right across the street from our hotel and some of us went there for food a couple of times. Then our professor found out and Burger King is prohibited since then. Haha.