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Seville - Artistic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain

Seville is more than 2,000 years old. The passage of the various civilizations, instrumental in its growth, has left the city a distinct personality, and a large and well-preserved historical centre.

Following the 1492 Christopher Columbus expedition to the New World the results from his travels began to profit the city, as all goods imported from the New World had to pass through the Casa de Contratacion before being distributed throughout the rest of Spain. promoting a 'boom' time for the city.

Modern Seville is fairly laid back and pays homage to its historical past with the Latin quarter given a World Heritage Status.

A great place to start your Seville journey us at Plaza Virgen de los Reyes. Built between the 16th and 18th century it allows easy access to many of Seville's top attractions.

One of the busiest times of year is the Seville Spring Fair which generally begins two weeks after Easter Holy Week. The fair officially begins at midnight on Monday, and runs six days, ending on the following Sunday

www.sevilla.org

Top 5 things to do in Seville

Alcazar

The Alcázar of Seville is the royal palace in Seville and dates back to an original fort built in the 12th century.

The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence.

The lower level of the Patio was built for King Peter I and various lavish reception rooms can be found on both sides of the patio.

In the centre of the palace is a large, rectangular reflecting pool with sunken gardens on either side.

Beneath the patio you will find the fascinating and hauntingly reflective "Baths of Lady María de Padilla" which are actually large rainwater tanks which have been lit up for visitors.

www.sevillaonline.es/english/seville-city-centre/alcazar-palace.htm

Cathedral

The Seville Cathedral is known locally as Catedral de Santa María de la Sede (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See) and is the third largest church in the world.

It is also the burial site of 15th century explorer Christopher Columbus.

The cathedral was built to demonstrate Seville's wealth, as it had become a major trading centre in the years after the Reconquista.

Five years after construction ended, in 1511, the dome collapsed and work on the cathedral re-commenced. The dome again collapsed in 1888, and work was still being performed on the dome until at least 1903.

The cathedral has some 80 chapels and the Giralda is the city's most famous symbol and once navigating the sloping pathways to the top offer a fantastic view over Seville.

www.sacred-destinations.com/spain/seville-cathedral

Plaza de Espana

Designed by Aníbal González for Seville's 1929 Ibero-American Expo this magnificent semi-circular square that has become a symbol of the city.

The Plaza de España complex is a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over the moat by numerous beautiful bridges.

The centre of the plaza is dominated by a large fountain and in the surrounding red brick walls you will find tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain.

Today the Plaza de España mainly consists of Government buildings including the Town Hall.

Towards the end of the park, the grandest mansions from the 1929 fair have been converted to archaeology museums

www.sevillaonline.es/english/seville-city-centre/plaza_de_espana.htm

La Maestranza

The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla is the oldest bullring in Spain and is the site of the annual Feria de Abril, one of the most well-known bullfighting festivals in the world.

Construction began in 1749 of a circular ring on Baratillo hill to take the place of the rectangular bullring that was previously located there.

The inner facade of the plaza (called the Palco del Príncipe or Prince's Box) was completed in 1765, and is reserved for the exclusive use of the Spanish Royal Family.

The construction of the ring was completed in 1881; two thirds were constructed in stone, the rest in wood.

Even if you're against bull fighting, the building itself is fascinating and well worth a visit.

www.funtouristattractions.com/a/plaza-de-toros-de-la-maestranza-seville-spain/1029

Torre de Oro

The Gold Tower was built as a military watch tower in order to control access to Seville via the Guadalquivir river.

Constructed in the 13th century, the tower served as a prison during the Middle Ages and as a secure enclosure for the protection of precious metals periodically brought by the fleet of the Indies, another possible origin for the tower's name.

It is one of two anchor points for a large chain that would have been able to block the river. The other anchor-point has since been demolished or disappeared, possibly from collapsing during the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake.

Today the tower, having been restored, is a naval museum, containing engravings, letters, models, instruments, and historic documents. The museum outlines the naval history of Seville and the importance of its river

ruefind.com/attraction-41/naval-museum/torre-del-oro/seville.aspx

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