Places to visit in Seville
Alcazar Castle, Christopher Columbus Tomb, Plaza de Espana, Indian Archives Museum, Don Juan, Juan Sebastian, Santelmo Maritime School, the world’s first Naval School, explorers and expeditions who played a role in the discovery of America. If you are even curious about the story of the famous Macarena song, take a few moments to read the Seville Travel Guide.
I am in the city of Seville, which has managed to fascinate us with its historical monuments from the Andalusian period such as castles and palaces in Spain. In fact, I can’t wait to share the list of places to visit here with you as soon as possible.
The word Seville is actually a word that is not read as it is written. The pronunciation of letters in Spanish can be slightly different. That is, letters are not read as they are written. Namely;
In Spanish, when the double letter “LL” comes together, it makes a “Y” sound. Although many people pronounce it “Sevila” or “Sevilla“, its original pronunciation is “Sevia“.
Yazı İçeriği / Index
- Where is Seville?
- Seville Places to Visit
- Information About Seville
- Seville History
- Popular Routes
- What to Eat in Seville? What to Drink?
Where is Seville?
Seville is located in the south of Spain, very close to the Strait of Gibraltar. For this reason, it is located in a very strategic position both in terms of maritime history and world history.
The still waters of the Guadal Quivir river flow through the middle of the city of Seville. It can give the impression of a lake rather than a river. In Andalusia, it was called “Vadel Kebir” in Arabic, that is, the Great Valley. Today it is pronounced as Guadal Kevir. There are many old and new bridges on the river that divides Seville into two. Andalusian Architecture is the dominant style in historical bridges.
Seville Places to Visit
Are you ready to visit the places you must see when you go to Seville, the city of explorers?
1. Alcazar Palace
Alcazar Palace, which was built as a resting place for Kings of Moroccan origin in the Iberian peninsula, is the most preferred place for tourists in Seville. In fact, I have to give it justice, the second masterpiece that I liked the most after the Alhambra Palace during my trip to Spain is definitely the Alcazar Palace. Today, it is known that the upper floors of the palace were allocated to the Spanish Royal Family.
The Alcazar Palace was built by the cruel King Pedro-I during the reign of Muhammad 5th. Pedro I emulates the Alhambra palace and orders to do the same or even better. This masterpiece, dominated by oriental architecture, is one of the must-see places in Seville.
While Baroque style predominates in cathedral and church architectures in Central European countries, traditional Andalusian architecture is dominant in Spain. Baroque and Gothic architecture are more prominent in works such as the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris or the Dom Cathedral in Cologne, Germany.
So much so that the Alcazar Palace is a place where you can feel the Andalusian architecture to your bones. In fact, it’s a masterpiece that you can say “the day never ends“. Even as I am telling you about this magnificent Palace right now, I almost live again, I breathe that magical air again.
At the same time, the Alcazar Palace has been used in many movies and TV series. The most well-known of the productions related to the Alcazar Palace is the Game of Thrones series watched by millions of people.
In addition, the Alcazar Palace, which has the status of World Cultural Heritage, is one of the cultural assets under protection by Unesco.
2. Seville Cathedral (Cathedral of St. Mary)
It is the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Seville, in the Spanish province of Andalusia. Known as “La Catedral de Sevilla” in Spanish, the temple is currently under restoration by Eduardo Martinez MOYA without disturbing its historical texture. Until the Seville cathedral, which was renovated by spending about half a billion euros, was built in the 1500s, the largest gothic style cathedral was Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
However, with the construction of the Seville Cathedral, it took the title of the largest gothic cathedral in the world. In addition, the tomb of Christopher Columbus is also located in this cathedral.
In fact, when Seville is mentioned, it is not possible to mention the famous explorer Christopher Columbus, who played a major role in the discovery of America. The tomb of the famous explorer is located in the Cathedral of St. Mary in this city.
According to the rumor, Christopher Columbus did not want to be buried in Spain as per his will. Queen Isabella also expelled Columbus, forbidding him to set foot on Spanish soil, dead or alive. For this reason, his tomb was located in the Dominican Republic until recently. After the revolution in Cuba, it is brought to the Cathedral of Seville in the city of Seville. Today, it is located in the mausoleum, which occupies a large area in the cathedral.
3. Plaza de Espana (Spanish Square)
This work, which was started to be built as a fairground in Seville in 1924, was completed within 5 years and put into service. It is one of the masterpieces displaying the influences of traditional Spanish tiled architecture. The square, which is mostly built in the late renaissance style and between the buildings, and the bridges over the river that runs through the middle of the square are one of the must-see places in Seville.
The famous Spanish Square, located opposite the Sevilla Maria Luisa park, can be reached in about 40 minutes on foot from the city center. It is also possible to go by tram or taxi. However, if you have time, I recommend you to follow the tram route. Unlike the tram in Lisbon, Sevilla trams are not Nostalgic. It consists of both modern rails and new generation trams. In other words, the tram is used here only for transportation purposes.
The best time to visit this masterpiece, which also means Spain Square, is in the afternoon, which coincides with the tone of the sun that we call golden light. A colorful harmony emerges as the Plaza de Espana is predominantly built of brick-colored stones and traditional Spanish tiles.
Although the water canals here are not as long as the canals in Bruges, Belgium or Amsterdam, you can tour with traditional rafts and boats. Plaza de Espana is one of the most colorful places on a trip to Seville. Therefore, you can take great selfies and photos, especially in the evening.
4. Indian Archives Building and Museum
Especially important historical documents and documents about the discovery of America and small and large islands in the Atlantic Ocean are kept in the West Indies Archive in the city of Seville.
During the tour of the Indian Archives, you are only allowed to visit the museumized sections. Museum admission is free for everyone. I can say that especially the labyrinth structure and the architectural landscape in its garden were enough to fascinate me.
Interestingly, the Indian Archives building reminded me of the Historical Suluhan Caravanserai in Beypazarı. I don’t know if it’s the angle of the sunlight, the color of the walls and the arch architecture, but I can say it’s very similar. In fact, although both were built with different architectures at different times, there are many similarities between them. Who knows, maybe he has a story we don’t know.
5. Guadal Quivir River
The river, which runs through the very center of the city of Seville and is approximately 650 kilometers long, is the longest river in Spain.
Pronounced as Guadal Kevir, originating in the interior of Spain, the English equivalent of the river is Guadal Quivir. It is actually a name of Arabic origin from the Andalusian period. “Vadel Kebir” is the Arabic equivalent. It means “Great Valley” in Turkish.
The Guadal Kevir river is also Spain’s only navigable river. Since the bottom of the river is very deep and there is not much elevation, the water of the river resembles a still lake. In fact, this means that it is suitable for ship transportation.
Cargo and touristic ships can be transported on this river. Born in the northern part of Spain, the Guadal Kevir river empties into the Atlantic Ocean after 650 kilometers from the city of Seville.
6. San Telmo Maritime School
It also includes the Torro del Oro tower, a historical stone work that looks like the clock tower in the picture above the title. Santelmo Maritime School, which is also a building dating from the Andalusian period, finds itself in the sixth place on our list of places to visit in Seville. The historical building, which serves as the Maritime Museum of Seville today, is also located on the Guadal Quivir river. This is Europe’s first Maritime School in history.
7. Maria Luisa City Park
If you have time and need a rest for a few minutes from the hectic pace, I recommend you to stop by Maria Luisa Park. It is one of the largest green spaces in the city of Seville. An unmissable opportunity for those who are overwhelmed by the high heat and humidity in the summer.
Information About Seville
General information about the history, architecture, culture, art and city of Seville. Seville, Spain, with its songs, world-famous people, masterpieces, explorers.
Series, Films and Productions Shot in Seville
- Lawrence of Arabia, 1962
- Kingdom of Heaven, 2005
- Dictator, 2012
- Game of Thrones season 5, 2015
- Assassin’s Creed movie and video game, 2014
- Star Wars 2, 2002
Culture and Art
Famous for its historical figures such as Christopher Columbus, Don Juan, Juan Sebastian, Amerigo Vespucci and Rodrigo Sanchez, the city has prominent cultural and artistic symbols today.
The famous “Spanish Womanizer” and troubled by licentiousness, Don Juan lived in Seville, Spain in the 17th century. According to the rumor, he manages to make the daughter of a famous Spanish family fall in love with him with various love games. However, on a cold winter day, the girl strangles her father, causing his death.
Afterwards, the ghost of the deceased father does not leave Don Juan alone and drags him to hell. It is not known whether it is a myth or a reality, but nowadays, the men who engage in debauchery are compared to “Don Juan“, which has nothing to do with love and affection. Since the century he lived, he has been adopted as an inspired role model in many theaters and cinemas.
By participating in the famous Magellan discovery that started in Spain in the 16th century, he found that the world was round, and at the same time, he made the first known world tour by sea, returning to the European mainland in 1522.
Actually, his real name is known as Juan Sebastian del Cano (Elcano). He did not live long enough for his second world tour and died on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean. It has an important place in the history of the Spanish sea and discoveries.
Sevilla Famous Songs and Artists
In fact, the song Macarena sung by the band Los Del Rio, which we all spoke about in the 90s, is identified with Sevilla. Macarena is actually a female name in Spanish. At the same time, there is a Macarena District in Seville. Sevilles are proud of the Macarena song. To remember the famous 90’s Spanish song Macarena and Macarena dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TiR_gJTdl0
Seville, the city of Discoveries and Explorers, embodies important cornerstones in world history. Just like the scenario of the Game of Thrones series, it has a contentious and quite turbulent history. In fact, the ships that signed the discovery of the American continent first set off from the port of Seville.
Who Is Christopher Columbus?
Christopher Columbus, who played a major role in the discovery of America and who is also of ancient Genoese origin, is an Italian of Genoa origin. He set off from Spain to explore India by sea with his 3 ships.
The largest ship is named Santa Maria. Others are the ships Laninya and Lavinta.
According to historical rumors, Columbus had to stop at the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Just then, one of his crewmen went mad and drew a knife on Columbus. He then smashed the rudder and jumped into the sea.
At that time, it was not easy to find a man to work on the ship for sea exploration. Because a sane person would never participate in this madness, and for this the ship’s crew were usually gathered from bars and taverns.
The sails provided the main propulsion for the expedition ships. In fact, the Latin sails, which were invented by the Portuguese, could be used more efficiently than the Greek square sails, as they operated independently of the direction of the wind. Because ships with square sails, invented by the Greeks, could only move in the direction of the wind.
The theory of Christopher Columbus to explore India from the sea was to reach India by taking advantage of the shape of the earth by constantly traveling west in the ocean. Although India was not discovered on this road, many islands and eventually the Americas were discovered. In fact, the discovery of India was made by Vasco de Gama on behalf of Portugal in 1498.
What is the Purpose of Geographical Explorations?
India is a country where gold, silver, gunpowder, spices and silk fabrics were abundant in ancient times. It is very costly to transport these raw materials to Europe by land. Due to the fact that most of the Silk Road and Spice Road were under the control of the Ottoman Empire, Europe was often faced with the threat of embargo and trade was very expensive as it paid high customs fees.
The aim of the discoveries made over the ocean was to reach India by sea and to be able to trade more cheaply without paying customs fees to any country. As a result of these discoveries, many small and large islands were accidentally discovered in America, the Cape of Good Hope and in the Atlantic Ocean.
“The Chinese invented gunpowder to make fireworks. However, for the first time in history, the Spaniards turned gunpowder into firearms and used it in wars.“— Discovery of firearms
Discovery of America
All historical documents and documents related to the discovery of America are kept in the West Indian Archives building in Seville today.
Christopher Columb goes to ask the Kings of Portugal and Spain for money for expeditions. But they both turn it down. When this is the case, Columbus goes to the Andalusian Emperor Mohammed 12. But when his answer was negative, according to the rumor, Columbus sets out to ask for support from the Ottoman Empire. While still over France, Queen Isabella is caught on the way and says she will support Columbus but wait for the conquest of Granada and then give 3 ships.
After a while, Granada is conquered by the Spaniards. In the celebrations at the Alhambra Palace, the chief guest is Christopher Columbus. In this celebration, Columbus is even given the rank of Admiral by the Queen. A Spanish rich family named Pinzon gives 3 ships to Christopher Columbus. Columbus sets off soon, but in the Canary Islands, one of the ship’s crew goes mad and smashes the rudder.
Rodrigo of Triana
On the night of October 11, 1492, approximately 30 days later on the expedition, the translator named Rodrigo of Triana “Land Ho!” shouting, becoming the first to see the Americas. Again, rumor has it that this crew named Rodrigo Sanches was an old Muslim and II. It is said that he was an Ottoman agent appointed by Sultans Bayezid.
In the morning of that night, when those on the ship wake up, they see that the ships are surrounded by many rafts and boats. There are white people on the boats. The crew of the ship is very surprised. Rodrigo is the first to get off the ship. Seeing this, the locals begin to flee. Columbus gives wide coverage to this event in his letter to the Queen and says:
“If all the locals are fleeing when only one man lands, give me 50 men and I’ll take this place completely.“— From the Letter of Christopher Columbus to the Queen.
The Spanish Queen Isabella has a saying. She says she will give a big gold prize to the person who sees the Americas for the first time. Columbus wakes up here and says his name and receives the award from the Queen. Rodrigo de Triana, who learned this, got angry and became a Muslim again and returned to Istanbul.
It is known that the person who trained the famous Turkish sailor Piri Reis was Rodrigo Sanches (Rodrigo de Triana). On the same day, approximately 21 years after the discovery of America, Piri Reis publishes that famous world map.
Solar Eclipse and Natives’ Stolen Gold
After the discovery, the natives bring fruits and gifts to the Spaniards as symbols of friendship. Seeing the large gold jewelry of the natives, Christopher Columbus says, “Bring me Gold.” Locals start bringing gold as gifts. But Columbus wanted much more. He thinks of a scenario. He plans to use the upcoming Solar Eclipse to his advantage and says:
-“If you don’t bring us as much gold as we want, I will take the Sun from you.“.
The place where Christopher Columbus threatened the natives with this word is today’s Dominican Republic. Just before the eclipse, the bells of the Spanish expeditions begin to ring. When the solar eclipse is fully realized, the locals swear allegiance to the Spaniards and say they will bring the gold. Thus, the bells are rung again, and when the eclipse is over, the natives have regained their sun. The natives said let’s take you to the place where they mined the gold, and they took the Spanish ships to what is known today as Cuban territory.
Columbus’ ships buy so much gold from Cuba that the ships cannot carry this weight and run aground. He prepares a second fake scenario to save the ships Columbus and says to the natives;
-You here with the crew of the ship and the lucky ones among you, protect the gold with the ship Santa Maria. We leave with Laninya and Lavinta ships, saying let’s go to God and bring help. One of the ships goes to Barcelona, the other to the port of Lisbon.
However, Christopher Columbus makes his deception talk here as well and introduces the Native Americans on his ship to the Queen as Indians. When the ships return to the Americas, only the nobles and the rich are taken on board, not alcoholics. By order of Queen Isabella, these people are appointed as Governors of the discovered island and new lands.
Amerigo Vespucci and the Caribbean (Caribbean Tribe)
There is a traveler named Amerigo Vespucci among those who went to America for the second time on Columbus’ ships. Vespucci, who had seen India by road before, said when he saw the Americas, “-this place does not look like India at all“.
They come to Cuba. However, there is no trace of the ships they left. The natives of the Carib tribe starved to eat all the Spanish sailors. Upon this, a priest who came on the ship said, “-it is very urgent that this place needs to be blessed and Christianized“. This is what is known as the Caribbean today.
Enraged by the Carib tribe’s actions, Columbus immediately writes and sends a letter to the Queen full of exaggeration and lies. The Queen reads the letter and says “–in a word, nonsense, arrest Columbus” and has Christopher Columbus arrested and brought to Barcelona. Christopher Columbus is reinstated as Admiral. He is later pardoned but released penniless.
Columbus sells all his property and buys another ship. He secretly sets off again for the Americas. While docking to get drinking water to an island in the Atlantic Ocean, his ship runs aground. It is even known that Columbus turned the happiness stick used by the locals here into cigarettes and brought it to Spain. Europe’s first tobacco factory was also established in Seville. Today, this historical factory is used as a university building.
James Cook and the Discovery of Australia
A sea voyage can be a maximum of 30 days. After this period, the teeth are pulled out due to vitamin C and mineral deficiency and the human body loses its endurance. In ancient times, sailors thought they were cursed. British sailor James Cook determined that this was due to a lack of food and drink. He invented dried fruits and vegetables and vegetable oils for those who go on long sea voyages.
When Cook, who discovered Australia, saw the Kangaroo for the first time, he called it “Kangru“, which means “I don’t understand you” in the Aboriginal language. Therefore, it is still unknown what the real name of the animal is.
What to Eat in Seville? What to Drink?
During our Seville trip, we visited almost all the places to visit at a high pace. It was noon or it was evening. Would you like to regain our lost energies with the famous Tapas Recipes of Spanish cuisine?
Home of Tapas: Seville
Seville will be the place where you can find the most delicious tapas recipes in Spain. You can taste tapas cuisine in Barcelona, Madrid, Cordoba, Granada and even Malaga, but Seville is definitely the homeland of tapas.
World-famous tapas dishes mainly consist of pork and its by-products. If you are looking for halal food, I would say be careful. In all of Spain, pork and fish dominate the dishes. So think of Istanbul Eminönü; There is a doner shop on every corner. Here in Spain, every corner is full of places selling pork (salami, sausage, steak, bacon, sandwiches, etc.).
Tapas menus are very rich. Appetizers served alongside the main meals as appetizers in our country are called tapas in Spain.
Although I do not prefer (“I have never eaten it, nor do I intend to eat it”), pork has almost become a food culture for the Spaniards. I have traveled to many other European countries, but I have yet to see another country that is so fond of pork. I witnessed it in Paris, very close to places selling pork products similar to those in Seville. But it wasn’t around every corner. 🙂
The Spaniards are famous for the Iberian pig. With its full name, Iberico Pig. Like Iberico bacon, black or wild boar. Since such pigs are fed with acorns, they are also called Bonito pigs. In addition to pork, there are dishes that are famous for lard and even pork blood.
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