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In One Square Kilometer of Seville

Oct 9, 2007
There's many good arguments that can be made in support of that notion. Certainly, Seville embodies much of Spain's history and its roots. Over it's 2000 years of history, Seville was once called "Hispalis" by the Romans, was occupied by the Vandals and Visigoths from the north, was taken and occupied by the Moors, and later re-conquered by the Christians. In addition, Seville's place in world history was established when it became the focal point and controller of all trade with the Spanish territories in the Americas.

Seville is a large city -- both in its population and area. It is Spain's 4th largest city, houses more than three quarters of a million citizens, and spreads across more than 2500 square kilometres of the Andalucian landscape. In any other city, all that history and such an expansive space would intimidate any visitor. It seems like just too much. But in Seville, the large pieces of Spanish history, and a large sample of the city's culture, can all be found in less than one square kilometer that's walking distance for almost any visitor.

Starting at the City's town hall, the Ayuntamiento, located on the east side of the Plaza Nueva, and within one square kilometre from this location, here's a few samples of what you can see:

The Seville Cathedral: A spectacular cathedral, rebuilt in 1401 was one of the largest in all Europe. The Capilla Mayor, the main altar of guilded and carved wood, and the Sacristia de los Calices offering art from Goya are two of the main attractions.

La Giralda: This tower has become an icon of Seville. Named for the weathervane at the top (El Giraldillo), the tower offers a spectacular view of the city. It's easier to get up than one might think: it was designed with gentle ramps to allow horses to go up the tower.

Museo de Bellas Artes: One of Spain's finest art collections is housed here. It displays collections of Zurbaran, Cano, Murillo, El Greco, and Valdes Leal, among others.

Casa de Pilatos: At one time, this was alleged to have been based on the design of the house of Pontius Pilate. While this s not accurate, the house is nonetheless one of Seville's finest amalgams of Islamic, Christian, Gothic and Renaissance styles.

Torre del Oro and Torre de Plata: These two 13th century towers were originally part of Seville's defenses.

The Reales Alcazares: The expansive complex was built by a succession of Moor caliphs beginning in 913 AD, and later expanded by Christian kings in the 14th century. It features a dazzling dome, elaborate stucco work, and fascinating patios and gardens.

La Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza: This features the oldest bullring in Spain and still hosts the best-known bullfighting festival anywhere in the world.

Jardines de Murillo: Formal gardens and orchards that were once the domain of the Alcazar. The monument to Christopher Columbus is particularly noteworthy.

The Craft Market (Plaza del Duque de La Victoria): An excellent area to inspect samples of local crafts, handiworks, and folk art. The market is open Thursdays through Saturday.

Patio San Eloy: In Japan, there's sushi. In Seville, there's tapas. Tapas are the Spanish variation of mixing fine food with fine art. A perfect example of both Seville's social sector and of fine tapas will be found here.

There's more to Seville, of course. But this sampling of Seville is just a piece of what visitors can find in only one square kilometer. This being so, imagine what the city could do with all of its 2500 square kilometers!
About the Author
Gaizka Pujana has a few sites which help people find accommodation in Barcelona, Seville and other Spanish cities.
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