Tuesday 10th May
It was a wet start to the day but we decided to brave the conditions and do our planned 11 am walking tour of Seville. It poured pretty much throughout the whole tour and even Mark’s shoes, that had remained dry throughout the rain of Lisbon, became soaked through. Needless to say, mine did too :-(.
This first walking tour of Seville was a general walking tour where we ‘sloshed’, literally, past most of the main sites but it is worth noting that many of them are World Heritage Sites:
- The Giralda Tower: this used to be the Minaret of an old Mosque but was assumed into the Cathedral.
- The Seville Cathedral: the 3rd largest Cathedral in the world.
- The Alcazar: oldest functioning Palace in Europe still used by the Royal Family.
- The Alfonso X111 Hotel: this hotel displays an expression of ‘regionalsim’ architecture that captures the 5 key features of: columns, iron, stone, wood and tiles. Just FYI: Madonna had her honeymoon here and Tom Cruise has been a recent guest too.
- The Old Tobacco Factory: this is now the University of Seville.
- The amazing Plaza de Espana: built as the Spanish exhibit for the 1929 world Iberian/American Expo. This was also built in ‘regionalism’ style like the Alfonso Hotel.
A tapas bar had been recommended to us during our morning tour so we headed there for a bite to eat before taking the 2.45 pm tour of the Alcazar.
The Alcazar was well worth the visit as it a most impressive structure made up numerous rooms, courtyards and gardens. The Alcazar has a history of over 1100 years given it began life as a Roman Fort in the 900s and was later developed in the 1300s as a Moorish Palace. As such, the majority of rooms are covered with the most spectacular Islamic tiles making them mesmerizingly beautiful. The Christians conquered Spain in 1248 and the Palace was subsequently used as a residence by numerous Christian Monarchs. The Palace is considered to be one of the best examples of ‘mudejar’ architecture, meaning, the combination of Christian and Moorish architecture.
We headed home after the Alcazar to dry off but we’re heading out again at 8 pm for a wine and tapas tour. This was a fun night but as we’re home rather late I’ve just loaded some photos of this event and little else.