Saturday, April 26, 2014

Seville- our new favorite city!

We planned on staying in Seville for 5 days.  After about 2 hours, we knew it wasn't enough!  We also stayed in a room we rented through Airbnb- our first time using this site.  After about 2 hours, we knew we would use it again- the people we were renting a room from, Alex and Sofia, were great!  You can search them on Airbnb with the title of their rentals "Sunny in Triana".  They are a young a very vibrant couple!  Their love of Seville was totally infectious!  Their apartment was in the town of Triana, which is now a section of Seville.  Seville is a conglomerate of neighborhoods, each with its own personality.  This also gives this very large city a sense of being in small town Spain.  We decided it is our new favorite city!  It embraces you like Barcelona, it is homey like Valencia, and it is grand like Madrid!  The best of Spain, in one place!  And totally walkable!  We loved it!!!

First, it was Semana Santa, or Holy Week, in Seville, which is the epicenter of Easter!  Incredible!   The focus is on their "Processions", or parades of the faithful.  But, mass still lasted 2 1/2 hours.  Really something to behold-much like Mardi Gras for the faithful!
 Scary, isn't it?  But it has an entirely different meaning here!

 The procession includes these HUGE things that take many, many people to carry!  Usually they also have candles or some type of lighting, and hold eitherMary or Jesus
 Hundreds carry crosses
Even the sweets reflect the love of Semana Santa!

The Cathedral in Seville is the third largest in Europe, after St. Peters in Rome and St. Pauls in London.  It is truly a huge monument, although we do not consider it the most beautiful.  However, that does not take from its magnificence!  The bell towers base was developed from the tower of a Mosque that orginally sat in this space.
The top of the bell tower (this is a replica on ground level)
 Trivia questions: where is Columbus buried?  Answer: Seville Cathedral!
 Bell tower and rear of Cathedral from courtyard
 Flying buttresses from the top of the bell tower (yes, we climbed it!)
 Cathedral Square at sunset
Cathedral from Triana bridge

We rented a room from Alex and Sofia, a remarkable young couple, with an amazing enthusiasm for Seville.  They live in the area of Triana, just across the river Quadraquevir.  The view is amazing!!!  The Triana Bridge was designed by a student of Eifle, of the Eifle Tower.  On the Triana side, the river is lined with cafes!

Plaza de Espana is a beautiful square designed for the 1912 World Fair- truly amazing tile work!  It is a semi=circle of beauty, with a large pool area for boating.

Even at night, it was beautiful.  Spain does an excellent job at their lighting!

The Torre de Oro, or Tower of Gold, is the structure used to store the gold brought back from the New World.  The Quadraquevir river is the only river in Spain that empties into the Atlantic.  It has a really nice little museum that includes models of the NIna, Pinta and Santa Maria!
 View from Triana
 View from the river walk way

And of course: Flamenco!!!!

We will have to cover the Alcazar, both day and night, on a different post.  It deserves its own!!!!

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