Seville is the capital of Andalucia and the cultural and financial centre of southern Spain.
A city of just over 700,000 inhabitants (1.6 million in the metropolitan area, making it Spain’s 4th largest city), Seville is Andalucia’s top destination, with much to offer the traveler.
The city is situated on the banks of the smooth, slow Guadalquivir River, which divides the city into two halves: Sevilla and Triana. The Guadalquivir (known as Betis by the Romans and as Betik Wahd-Al-Khabir by the Arabs) has had a major impact in the history of the city. The location of Seville is roughly coincident with the point where the Guadalquivir stops being useful for navigation.
Its landmarks are:
- The Cathedral of Seville was once judged the third largest church in the world after Saint Peter’s in Rome and Saint Paul’s in London, it is now arguably the largest church in the world when compared using the measurement of volume. Seville’s fifteenth century cathedral occupies the site of the former great mosque built in the late twelfth century. The central nave rises to an awesome 37 metres over a total area of 11,520 square metres. The Cathedral is the final resting place of the remains of Christopher Columbus. Adult admission is €8 each.
- La Giralda is a large and beautiful minaret tower, originally intended for the chief mosque, but now is the magnificent bell tower of the Cathedral and a symbol of Seville. Climb the 34 ramps for a great view of the city. Adult admission to both attractions is €9 each.
- The Real Alcázar is a beautiful palace in Mudéjar (Moorish) style, built in the XIV Century by Pedro I the Cruel. With its myriad rooms, extravagant architecture, lavish gardens with many courtyards, ponds and secrets to be explored, it is a fascinating place to visit. Be sure to check out the room where Christopher Columbus’s journey to the Americas were planned. You can see his coat of arms embroidered on the wall along with many other royals. In the heat of summer it offers a cool retreat from the suns glare and can quite easily keep you occupied for a few centuries, if not all of your life. Adult admission is €8,50 - students younger than 25 years pay €2. To see the Upper Palace with audio guide, admission is €4,20. Open Mon-Sun: 9:30-19:00, Closed 1 Jan, 6 Jan, Holy Friday and 25th Dec.
- The Jewish Quarter (Barrio Santa Cruz) is located around the Cathedral. It is filled with small winding streets and is generally regarded as the most charming part of the city, but it is also fairly touristy.
- Torre de Oro is a thirteenth century tower, the top of which is rumored to have once been covered in gold. It now houses the local maritime museum. Admission €1 for students.
- Parque María Luisa was built for the 1929 Iber-Americano World’s Fair and now is landscaped with attractive monuments and museums.