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Monumental Seville: Cultural Heritage Visits and Leisure

Tourists are mainly motivated to visit Seville because of its monumental and cultural attractions. The typical sightseeing tour includes the district of Santa Cruz, the Real Alcázar palace, the Cathedral, the Giralda and the Golden Tower. In Seville the Cathedral, Giralda, Alcázar and Archive of Indies were all granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1987.

Discover Seville: There are many interesting cultural visits and walking tours around the City of Seville. Seville is a big city full of rich history an places to visit. The must see in Seville are many: Historic buildings and quarters, monasteries and fascinating streets are waiting to be discovered. Seville is a beautiful city that is full of life!

Real Alcázar / The Royal Alcazar

 It was Peter I, called "Peter the Just" by some and "Peter the Cruel" by others, who gave the old Moorish Alcazar its definitive appearance, when he converted it into a sumptuous Mudejar palace. With the Courtyard of the Dolls (Patio de las Muñecas), the Courtyard of the Maidens (Patio de las Doncellas) and the Ambassadors´ Hall(Sala de Embajadores). The Real Alcázar is an alternative venue to the City Hall for official receptions and events. Still in use today, it is the oldest royal palace in Europe and the official residence of the Spanish royal family when in Seville. Real Alcázar/The Royal Alcazar website:

Ayuntamiento de Sevilla / Seville City Hall

 The façade of Seville Town Hall, which gives onto Plaza Nueva, is Neoclassical in style and was designed by architect Balbino Marrón in the 19th century. Plaza Nueva occupies the site where the Convent Casa Grande de San Francisco once stood. The façade on the other side of the building, which gives onto Plaza San Francisco, is Plateresque and one of the best examples of this style. The extraordinary decorative design was the work of architect Diego de Riaño. In addition to a magnificent Gothic-Renaissance staircase, the Salón Colón or Columbus Hall, and the Chapterhouse, Seville's city hall boasts a large collection of paintings and an extremely well-endowed archive.

Universidad de Sevilla / University of Seville

 In the middle of the 20th century, the University of Seville was moved to the building of the Royal Tobacco Factory, a building designed by engineer Van der Borcht in the 18th century. After El Escorial, this was the largest public building in Spain.

La Torre del Oro y Museo Naval / The Golden Tower and Naval Museum

Built in the 13th century as part of the Almohad defence system, this flanking tower is comprised of a main stage, which is dodecagonal in shape, an intermediate hexagonal stage, and a circular top stage, which was added in the 18th century. The tower houses the Naval Museum, which contains important graphic and written exhibits relating to the city's nautical history.

El Río Guadalquivir / The River Guadalquivir

The river Guadalquivir is navigable from the sea all the way up to Seville, this is the only river in Spain with fluvial traffic. Its name derives from the Arabic wadi al-Kabir (meaning "large river"), although the Romans called it Betis. The Phoenicians, Tartessians, Iberians, Romans and Arabs all left their traces along the course of the Guadalquivir, providing a unique legacy of their civilisations. In the 15th century vessels from the Indies, loaded with treasure from the New World, sailed up the river to Seville. At the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition, the Guadalquivir formed the indisputable focal point of the Seville's urban image.

Subsequently, in 1992, the regeneration of the city of Seville to prepare it for the 21st century was partly centred around the new bridges built over the river. The Alamillo designed by the world famous architect Santiago Calatrava, stands 140 meters high and is suspended in the air at its obtuse angle by a series of cables. The Barqueta Bridge, which has a single arch and a line of suspension cables, provided one of the main accesses to the World Fair in Seville 1992. At 172 meters, the Cartuja Footbridge is the longest bridge in the city with supports at the ends only.

The Cristo de la Expiración Bridge, or "Cachorro" Bridge, was built prior to the re-opening of the river at the Corta de Chapina, and provides the main access to Seville from Huelva. Meanwhile, the Delicias Bridge took the place of the Alfonso XIII or Iron Bridge, a legacy from the 1929 Exhibition. It can be raised and lowered, and connects the outlying area of El Aljarafe to the city of Seville. Finally, the 5th Centenary Bridge, in the SE-30 ring road, has two lanes in each direction plus a reversible lane and was the longest in Spain at the time of its construction. It stands 45 meters high, therefore allowing large ships to pass beneath it.

The Hospital la Santa Caridad e Iglesia de San Jorge / The Santa Caridad Hospital and the San Jorge Church

The hospital La Santa Caridad in Seville is closely linked to the legend of Miguel Mañara. The artists: Valdés Leal, Esteban Murillo, Simón de Pineda and Pedro Roldán, contributed with some of their best works to the decoration of the hospital and the church.

Palacio de San Telmo / San Telmo Palace

The historical Palacio de San Telmo in Seville is a Baroque-style building that was constructed in the 17:th and 18:th centuries as a school to train sailors. Palacio de San Telmo also was the residence of the Dukes of Montpensier. Today the San Telmo Palace houses the Office the President of the Junta de Andalucía, Andalusia's regional government.

Palacio Arzobispal / The Archbishop's Palace

The Archbishop's Palace traditionally was the official residence of the archbishop of Seville. This palace also contains the General Archive of the Archbishopric and features a late-Baroque portal from the early 18th century.

Archivo de Indias / Archives of the Indies

The building was originally constructed in 1584 to house the commodity exchange and is one of the best examples of the Mannerist style in Seville, strongly influenced by the style of the architect Herrera. In the times of Charles III, the building was adapted to house the Archives of the Indies, the most important archive in the world containing records related to the government and administration of the New World during the period of Spanish colonisation.

Casa de Pilatos / Casa de Pilatos

Casa de Pilatos in Seville is an emblematic building that was built in Seville by Fadrique Enríquez de Ribera on his return from Jerusalem in 1519. Many of the architectural features of this impressive house were imported from Genoa, including the entrance portico and the columns and fountain in the main courtyard built by Antonio María Aprile de Carona and Pace Gazini.

Iglesia del Divino Salvador / Church of the Divine Salvador

The baroque style church in Seville was built in the 17th and 18th centuries on a site successively occupied by Roman a temple, a Palo Christian, Visigoth and Omarabad church, and the main mosque of Seville, from which the ablution room and the minaret still remain, the latter converted into a bell tower, with an fabulous art treasures inside.

Iglesia de San Luis de los Franceses / Church of San Luis de los Franceses

This Baroque church with its distinctly Roman influence was built between 1699 and 1731 by Leonardo de Figueroa and has a Greek-cross plan with a magnificent dome. Frescoes by Lucas Valdés and Domingo Martínez adorn the interior.

Real Monasterio de San Clemente / Royal Monastery of San Clemente

The monastery boasts a rich variety of artefacts, including the magnificent main altarpiece, reliefs, canvases, paintings, sculptures and ornamental motifs, all of which represent a range of periods and artists, plus an exquisite collection of gold and silver articles. After a mayor restoration by the Regional Government of Andalusia, part of the Monastery San Clemente is now used for exhibitions and the adjoining church for classical music concerts. The monastery also offers five rooms for visitor’s accommodation and a public chapel, as well as the opportunity to try some of the delicious traditional sweets that the nuns still makes following ancient recipes.

Convento de Santa Paula / Convent of Santa Paula

 A convent representative of the age of the Catholic Monarchs: it combines Gothic-Mudejar, late Gothic and Renaissance elements (1504). The museum contains an interesting collection of paintings, sculptures and sumptuary arts. You can purchase excellent jams and other products made by the nuns.

Parque de María Luisa / María Luisa Park

 María Luisa Park is the city's most emblematic gardened area. In 1893, the Infanta María Luisa Fernanda, the widowed Duchess of Montpensier, donated half of her San Telmo Palace.

Plaza de España / Plaza de España

Built by Sevillian architect Aníbal González, on the occasion of the Latin American Fair in 1929, it is considered his most important work. Its regionalist style is characterised by the author's inspiration in a Renaissance style combined with typical Seville architecture values, including ceramics, forge and brick. The building is semicircular with two towers at the ends followed by galleries with half point arches which end at different modules surrounding the Plaza, especially the main central building. Surrounding the building there are ceramic benches which represent each one of the Spanish provinces. Today, it houses offices of state gardens to the city. In 1929, on the occasion of the Ibero-American Exhibition, a veritable museum of plant species with beautiful pathways and arbours was designed by French landscape architect Nicolas Forestier.

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería y Museo Taurino / Seville Bullring and Bullfighting Museum

Built in the 17th century, this one of the most important bullrings in the history of bullfighting. Nearby stands the monument to Curro Romero, the "bullfighter of Seville". As the fascinating artistic legacy of the Real Maestranza de Caballería, the 17th-century noble guild that built the bullring, the Bullfighting Museum contains the most important artefacts associated with this tradition in Seville. The bullring itself is also open to the general public.

El Barrio de Triana / The District of Triana

Triana is much more than just another Seville district. It has a unique identity composed of corrales de vecinos (originally, traditional courtyards surrounded by modest apartments), history and legends, plus the streets San Jacinto, Pureza and Castilla, the Plaza del Altozano, the Isabel II Bridge, more commonly known as the "Triana Bridge", and the Calle Betis, which runs parallel to the River Guadalquivir and offers a stunning view of the city. Read more about Triana: Click HERE >>

El Barrio de Santa Cruz / The District of Santa Cruz: The Jewish Quarters in Seville

This symbolic district, is next to the walls of the Alcazar. These quarters have their origin in the old Jewish quarters, which included the districts of Santa Cruz, Santa María la Blanca and San Bartolomé. It is impossible to resist to the winding alleys, the whitewashed houses, the beautiful flowery, courtyard and the small squares.

These Jewish quarters from the middle Ages were protected by the crown after the Re-conquest period, but at the end of the 14th century it was taken over by the Christians who converted the synagogues into churches. Walking through these quarters is like travelling through time.

The district commences at the arch leading to the Judería or Jewish Quarter, and continues along the Callejón del Agua, the site of the old aqueduct that supplied water to the Alcázar palace. This wonderful stroll also takes in the Plaza de Doña Elvira, Calle Gloria and the Plaza de los Venerables where the Hospital de los venerables Sacerdotes is located. Nearby lie Calle Santa Teresa, the convent of San José and the house where Murillo lived. The stroll terminates in the Plaza de Santa Cruz with its exquisite cross, an example of Seville's famous wrought iron tradition. Have a gastronomic route and enjoy the best Andalusian cuisine. There are also places with the best flamenco, and a place to enjoy real Arabic baths.

El Arenal / The District of El Arenal

El Arenal is one of the most traditional districts in Seville and recalls a long-gone seafaring and colonial past. During the 16th and 17th centuries the city boasted one of the most important ports in the world, a status gained following the discovery of America and the subsequent trade with the Indies.

The port was located on this bank of the Guadalquivir and stretched up to the present-day Triana Bridge, and it was here that the treasure-laden galleons of the Spanish royal fleet cast their anchors. Nowadays, a pleasant stroll can be taken along the former wharf, where a variety of companies hire out small sailing vessels and offer boat rides on the river and interesting excursions downstream to the coast.

The Bullring presides over the district that once was the home to legendary Spanish troublemakers such as Rinconete and Cortadillo, Guzmán de Alfarache, and others. Impregnated with the art of bullfighting, El Arenal is one of the most attractive districts in the city of Seville.

Teatro de la Maestranza / The Maestranza Theatre

The Paseo de Colón boulevard contains the following sights: the Golden Tower, the Maestranza Theatre and the statue of Mozart opposite, the bullring, the statue of Carmen (the famous Cigarrera or cigarette maker), the statue of the bullfighter Pepe Luis Vázquez and, next to the "Triana Bridge", a bust of the flamenco singer Antonio Mairena and Chillida's magnificent "Tolerance"monument There are also interesting examples of regional-style architecture, plus many cafés with nice terraces.

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