SEVILLE

LOCATION

Seville is situated in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, in the centre of the Autonomous Region of Andalusia. It can be considered to be the artistic, cultural, financial, economical and social centre of the south of Spain. The city is just 6 metres above sea level, in the heart of the Guadalquivir Valley, and the river flows through the city. It spreads out to the Aljarafe, the Marshes, the Doñana National Park, the Sierra Norte and the Sierra Sur.

HOW TO GET THERE

Seville is one of the great cities in Europe. Thanks to its resources and strategic location it is the last great metropolis of the south of Europe. There are many different ways to get to the city, because there is a network of highways that reach every corner of the region. The access system to the city has been renovated and there are fast ring roads that connect all the key places of the city and the surrounding area. This makes Seville is one of the best connected cities in Spain by road, with access by motorway or highway to all the capitals in Andalusia, as well as Madrid and Portugal.


Access roads: (see map)

  • N-IV to Airport, Córdoba (138 km.), Madrid (538 km.)
  • N-630 to Mérida, Badajoz (217 km.), Cáceres (264 km.)
  • A-92 / N-334 to Málaga (219 km.)
  • A-4 / N-IV a Cádiz (125 km.)
  • A-49 to Huelva (94 km.)

Santa Justa Railway Station, is an important connection between Seville and the rest of Andalusia, Spain and Europe. The railways from Madrid, Málaga and Granada converge in this station. The high speed train (AVE) also goes from this station, which takes you from Seville to Madrid in just two hours and a half, and to Córdoba in just forty minutes.

San Pablo International Airport, is just 10 km away from the city centre. It has regular flights to and from the main European and Spanish capitals.

ART AND MONUMENT HERITAGE

Seville has a long and fruitful history, with important and very beautiful monuments and art heritage, and buildings of different styles. Its religious architecture includes many churches and convents. After two important world fairs were held in the city (1929 Ibero-American Fair and the 1992 Universal Expo), the art heritage in the city continued to grow and make the city even more beautiful. There are also museums in important buildings, and the bridges are a characteristic feature of the city.(+information)

IMPORTANT MONUMENTS

The Cathedral and the Giralda

The Cathedral of Seville is one of the most important monuments of Spanish architecture. It is the largest cathedral in Spain. In 1928 it was declared National Monument and in 1987 it became UNESCO World Heritage. The Cathedral of Seville is situated on the site of the Great Mosque that the Almohad dynasty erected in the 12th century. Today, the only part that is left of this mosque is its minaret, called the 'Giralda'. Its appearance is the result of different extensions and transformations that have taken place since then. Nowadays the only remains of this mosque are the Orange-Tree Patio and the minaret – the Giralda – which offers beautiful views of the city. In the cathedral we can see beautiful works of art. On the high altar is the altarpiece, which is considered to be one of the largest in the world. The statue on top of the Giralda is known as the ‘Giraldillo’, and it represents the victory of Christian faith.(+information)

The Royal Alcazar

Occasional residence of the Spanish monarchs. It has been declared World Heritage. It is a palace that different kings have renovated several times since the Moors, and it offers the widest variety of different styles, materials and influences in Seville. We can find different styles: Islamic, Mudejar, Gothic, Renaissance... In this palace we can find beautiful rooms and patios: Patio de las Doncellas (Patio of the Maidens), Patio de las Muñecas (Patio of the Dolls), Salón de Doña María de Padilla (Room of Lady María de Padilla), Salón de Embajadores (Room of the Ambassadors), which is the most important part of the palace. Other elements that are worth mentioning are the doors (original piece of art from 1366), the dome built in 1427, and the rich decoration of plasterwork and tiling on the walls. The Alcazar Gardens are very beautiful. Mudejar, Renaissance and Baroque influences have created beautiful and historically important gardens, which reflect different types of gardening that took place in each period. Over the centuries these gardens have been filled up with exotic plants from every corner of the world.(+information)

Plaza de España

It was designed by Aníbal González as part of the large building programme carried out in the city for the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. It is built with a regionalist style (a mixture of Mudejar, Gothic and Renaissance styles). The materials used are bricks and ceramics. All around the square there are 48 benches dedicated to the Spanish provinces, decorated with ceramic tiles that depict historical events, the coat of arms and the map of each province. There is a small stream that flows around the square, with four bridges that represent the four kingdoms of the Spanish Crown: Castilla, León, Navarra and Aragón.

Torre del Oro (Gold Tower)

Almohad dynasty in the 13th century. It was a wall tower, joined to the Alcazar. It was also used as a prison in the Middle Ages, and sometimes as a safe place to store the precious metals brought periodically by the Spanish treasure fleet. In 1944 the Marine Ministry turned the tower into a Naval Museum. It contains important graphic and written documents on the nautical history of the city.

Bull Ring and Maestranza Museum

Built by Vicente San Martín in 1761 (18th century). It is one of the oldest bull rings in Spain. The bull ring and the adjoining buildings form an almost triangular block. There is a bull fighting museum with a collection of costumes, photographs, pictures, etc. on the world of bull fighting. Next to the museum is the headquarters of the Real Maestranza de Caballería (Royal Cavalry Armory), designed by Aníbal González in 1929. (+information)

María Luisa Park

Princess María Luisa donated a large part of her palace gardens to city in 1893. The gardens spread from the university to Plaza de América. This area with trees and gardens is over 400,000 square metres, and it was not modified until the Town Hall let it out for important construction works for the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. This park can be considered to be one of the most beautiful in Spain, because of the variety of plants and its beautiful walks, avenue, ponds, squares and arbors.

GASTRONOMY

The gastronomy in Seville is closely linked to Andalusian cuisine, with ingredients that are used as if they were out own, from the surrounding area, such as Parma ham, seafood from Cádiz and Huelva, La Mancha cheese… Olive oil is essential – because Seville is connected with the Mediterranean towns. Refined and tolerant Moors introduced new products. New ingredients arrived from America and they were introduced very soon in Seville’s cuisine and even in the rest of Europe. The gastronomy in Seville is characterised by its variety and quality. It is a light cuisine, rich in fresh products from the region, with olive oil as the main protagonist. Some of the main dishes that can be found are: gazpacho, Russian salad, menudo (a type of Andalusian tripe), bull's tail, loin with lard, Seville beef (beef stuffed with olives and white wine), ‘pringá’ (mixture of beef bacon, chorizo, blood sausage and ham), fish pavías (fish pastries) or chickpeas and spinach, made with a recipe inherited from the Moors. Seville’s patisseries are very famous. They started making ‘tortas de aceite’ (aniseed wafers) and ‘polvorones’ (an Arabic cake). And also other well-known cakes – ‘cortadillos’, ‘pestiños’, ‘piñonates’, ‘mostachones’ and quince jelly. However, the most delicious cakes in Seville are made in the closed convents of our city. Cakes like the 'yemas’ of San Leandro, home-made marmalade of Santa Paula, cakes and citron doughnut of Santa Clara, assorted cakes of Santa Inés or the doughnuts of San Clemente.

RESTAURANTS

  • El Espigón: Fried food and very fresh seafood. The speciality is Andalusian sea cuisine, with all its variations – stews, fried food, tapas...Avda De Felipe II, 28.
  • Casa Robles: Cold meats from the Huelva mountain range are important – house speciality duck foie gras with marmalade from the Santa Paula convent, tuna flank from Isla Cristina or white asparagus from the Córdoba mountains. C/ Álvarez Quintero, 58.
  • Bodegón San Vicente: Experienced cuisine and original recipes. Fish, meat, seafood from the coast, elaborate tapas, vegetable sautés, fried fish, pâtés, daily stews, cold meats and home-made bread are some of the dishes that are present in this restaurant's menu, which is famous for its original recipes.Calle Virgen de Lujan, 45.
  • El Cabildo: Typical dishes are the mackerel salad with peppers is a typical dish, salmon roll with vinaigrette avocados, fried fish, Seville sautés and fresh meat, all of them from Spain. Plaza Del Cabildo, s/n.

TAPAS

  • Altamira: Excellent Andalusian tapas. Situated in a pleasant square in the Santa Cruz Quarter; it offers a variety of Andalusian tapas that you can taste while sitting out on their marvellous terrace. Enjoy their home-made stews, like spinach with nuts, sautés, stuffed aubergines, or fried fish from the coast of Huelva. C/ Santa Maria la Blanca, 4.
  • Bar Eslava: It has tapas of Andalusian stews, like menudo or cuttlefish with potatoes. Tapas of sirloin steak with cabrales cheese or dill sauce, tapas of grouper capaccio, grilled open mackerel, beef sirloin, razor-shells, clams, mussels. Delicious salmorejo and gazpacho. Superb croquettes… C/ Eslava, 3. (Next to Plaza de San Lorenzo)
  • Bodegón San Vicente: Experienced cuisine and original recipes. Fish, meat, seafood from the coast, elaborate tapas, vegetable sautés, fried fish, pâtés, daily stews, cold meats and home-made bread are some of the dishes that are present in this restaurant's menu, which is famous for its original recipes.Calle Virgen de Lujan, 45.
  • Taberna del Alabardero: Large palatial house where you can taste high quality Seville tapas at good prices. There are interesting menus at lunchtime, and a high quality restaurant on the top floors. C/ Zaragoza. (Next to Plaza Nueva)

SHOPPING

One of the most representative features of our city is the long trade tradition that has developed and carried on over the centuries. Seville has an important craftwork industry like the ceramics and pottery. The artistic production of ceramics is in the Triana Quarter and it began with the Moors. Spanish-Moorish ceramists made glazed pottery and they applied it to architecture on façades, paving, skirting boards and ceilings. Later on, the Mudejar style adopted Oriental techniques that became the base of the local style. This way, mosaics and tiles were made, with traditional motifs painted by hand. Surprisingly, nowadays many of these decorations are still the main protagonists in many streets, buildings, patios, and even wine cellars and restaurants in the city.

The Guadalquivir Valley is rich in clay and it can also be used in houses and the fields to produce typical items such as jugs or botijos (drinking jugs). La Cartuja handcrafted items are worth mentioning. The firm was created by Charles Pickman in 1839. Seville still has a large network of shops where many handcrafted products can be purchased. Items such as shawls, mantillas, embroidery, lace, fans, musical instruments, leather work, flamenco dresses and accessories, etc. are examples of craftwork in Seville.

In Seville it is a tradition to use mantillas. Women in Seville use them at Easter on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Shawls are very popular in Seville on special evening occasions. Many fans, which are widely used in our city, are hand painted. Flamenco dresses are very important – they are the only regional dresses that are follow trends, and the accessories, which are designed to enhance the dress (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, shawls, shoes, flowers, ornamental combs) all match the dress. As well as the craftwork that is made in our city, Seville has become an important fashion centre in the past years, with important local designers such as Victorio & Lucchino or Toni Benítez.

SHOPS

  • Artesanía Textil: Manila shawl manufacturers, of all shapes and sizes, mantillas, ornamental combs, fans... There is also a section of leather and fur items. C/ García de Vinuesa Nº 33.
  • Artesanía Salcedo: Traditional craftwork. You can find decoration objects manufactured following the purest Andalusian craftwork, with iron, wrought iron, lamp shades, lanterns, etc. C/ Tetuán.
  • Barros de Sevilla: Traditional ceramics. You will be able to find gifts decorated with Seville motifs, high quality ceramic objects and many other items. C/ Fray Diego de Cádiz, 15.
  • Cerámica Santa Cruz: Opposite the Giralda. Some of the items that the shop sells are ceramics, souvenirs and T-shirts. C/ Mateos Gago, 10.
  • Victorio & Lucchino: The best collections by designers from Seville. They are friendly and carefree. Vital and passionate, typical of Seville. Star designers and latest generation prêt-à-porter garments. C/ Sierpes, 87.

ADDITIONAL OFFERS

As well as a rich and valuable historic-artistic heritage, Seville also has many other things to offer. In our city we have the Isla Mágica Theme Park, based on 16th century Seville, when America was discovered. The theme park has many show and rides – one of the most notorious ones is the Jaguar, a roller coaster with 360º loops and giddy drops.(+information)

FLAMENCO PERFORMANCES

In Seville you will be able to enjoy daily captivating flamenco performances in the well-known ‘tablaos’.

  • El Palacio Andaluz: It offers the purest and most spontaneous flamenco, with all its passion. A show with spirit, full of passion and colour, with a large list of artists. Bulerías, soleás, alegrías, fandango, sevillanas, as well as less well-known dances and classical Spanish dance make up an extraordinary show. C/ María Auxiliadora, 18.

THEATRES

Seville currently has theatres and cultural spaces that enable the integration of the capital in the international circuit of theatre, opera and orchestra companies. Some of them are:

  • Teatro Lope de Vega, it was inaugurated in 1929 and it became the Municipal Theatre in the 1980s. The most important national and international shows are put on in this theatre, with more quality and variety each year.
  • Teatro Central, is situated in the Cartuja Island. Its programme includes avant-garde plays and musicals. Its programme includes up-to-date classical theatre, jazz, rock concerts and flamenco, like the ‘Flamenco Viene del Sur’ (‘Flamenco comes from the South’) cycle.
  • Teatro Maestranza, has a programme that alternates dance, opera, Spanish operetta and concerts – the most important ones performed by the Royal Symphony orchestra of Seville.

MUSEUMS

Seville currently has theatres and cultural spaces that enable the integration of the capital in the international circuit of theatre, opera and orchestra companies. Some of them are:

  • Museo de Bellas Artes, its headquarters is the Old Merced Covent. It is the second most important art gallery in Spain after the Prado Museum. There are Gothic works of art from up to the 20th century.
  • Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, was created in 1990 with the aim of giving the Autonomous Region a suitable institution for research, preservation, promotion and spreading of contemporary art. The Cartuja Monastery became the headquarters of the Centre in 1997, which meant a crucial step for its development.
  • Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares, has been situated in the Mudejar Pavilion since it was created in 1973, and it was built by Aníbal González for the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. Large improvements have been introduced in its exhibition and projection rooms, and the library.
  • Museo Arqueológico, has been in the Plaza de América in the María Luisa Park since 1946, in the building constructed by Aníbal González as the Fine Arts Pavilion for the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. Among the many pieces of art that there are in the rooms, the most important are the ones from the Roman remains of Itálica, and also the Tartessian Carambolo Treasure.
  • Museo Taurino, was built in 1989 by the Royal Cavalry Armory. Between the walls of the bull ring, visitors can visit the history of the National Festivity with a magnificent collection of pictures, bronze, tiles and sculptures that represent this colourful and artistic show.

GOING OUT AT NIGHT

Seville is a cheerful city, with passion for life and lively nightlife, thanks to its climate and its people. There are many different possibilities to choose from. The centre of the city has very lively nightlife and you can find bars, pubs, etc on every corner. It is the main area where you can find different atmospheres. There are many places to choose from in the centre: Arenal, Santa Cruz Quarter, with its typical wine cellars, the Alfalfa area, the Plaza del Salvador area, where many people gather, and the Alameda area with a more alternative atmosphere. The Triana Quarter has a lot of history and many night bars, mainly on Calle Betis, where we can find flamenco music bars and others with more modern music. In Los Remedios there are also many great bars. The Nervión area is another place where we can go out; there are many pubs and discos for people of all ages.

LINKS OF INTEREST