The Real Alcazar is the former "Royal Palace" of Seville. The building complex dates back to the Almohads of Marrakech. After the expulsion of the Muslims in 1248, the palace was used by the Christians Kings and was later expanded in the "Mudéjar" style using Islamic elements.
After Seville was freed from the Muslim Invaders during the "Reconquista", the former main mosque was transformed into a cathedral. The cathedral La Giralda was built between 1402-1503. The dome collapsed twice, so that the building was completed in 1903. The 105 m high bell tower "La Giralda", was the minaret of the old mosque. The Cathedral of Seville is the largest Gothic church in the world. In 1987 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Plaza de España was built for the "Iberoamerican Exhibition" of 1929. The architect Anibal González designed a semicircular building, that opens to the west (America). The actual exhibition area was located south of the Parque de Maria Luisa. In the buildings at the Plaza de España the managing of the Expo was accommodated.
The "Plaza Nueva" is the central square in the city of Seville. In the middle of the square stands the equestrian statue of San Fernando. "Conquistador Fernando III" conquered Seville in 1248 and expelled the Muslims from the city. In 1671 he was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.
The Metropol Parasol is a huge structure made of wood and steel, which was built in 2011 on the "Plaza de la Encarnacion". The ingenious building by German architect Jürgen Mayer H. is the new landmark of the city. The roofscape is even more impressive, than the view from the street.
The old tobacco factory was built in the 18th century and was the first of its kind on the European continent. The richly ornamented building looks more like a royal palace, than an industrial building. Today the "University of Seville" is located in the building complex with the beautiful courtyards.
The golden tower dates back to the 13th century, the time of the Almohads. The tower served up to the Spanish Conquest as a watchtower of the port. The origin of the name is not clear. Perhaps it was clad with yellow tiles on top or it is just the evening sun?
The "Calle Sierpes" is a pedestrian street in the center of Seville, leading from the town hall "Ayuntamiento" to the north. In the summer, the sun sails are stretched over the street to provide shadow.
The construction of the bullring started in 1760. It replaced a wooden arena and was opened in 1881. Bullfights are still part of Andalusian culture and have not been banned, like in Barcelona 2012. The Plaza de Torros is a major attraction of Seville.
The beautiful bridge Puente de Isabel II was made of cast iron elements. The bridge was built between 1845 and 1852 by French engineers. It connects the center of Seville with the Barrio de Triana on the other side of the Guadalquivir. The bridge was named after Queen Isabel II.
The church of San Ildefonso was built on the ruins of an ancient mosque. Construction began in 1794, and in 1841 the church was inaugurated. The colored church with the two belfries was named after San Ildefonso, a famous theologian who was appointed bishop of Toledo in 657. He wrote many works dealing about the Virgin Mary and thus contributed significantly to the cult of Mary in Spain.
The Puerta de la Macarena is one of the two remaining city gates of medieval Seville. At the northern gate, called Arco de la Macarena parts of the old city wall are still preserved. Behind the gate is the Basilica de la Macarena, with a famous portrait of Virgin Mary.
Welcome to Seville
With around 700,000 inhabitants, Seville is the largest city in Andalusia and number 4 in Spain after Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. Seville stands for flamenco and bullfighting and thus corresponds to the tourist cliché for all of Spain. Bullfighting is very controversial even in Spain and Barcelona has already closed its bullrings. If you want to visit a flamenco show you can do that in one of the many flamenco bars in town.