Our first non-running exploration was to Catedral de Sevilla which is one of the largest churches in the world and is the largest gothic Cathedral. We rushed to the Cathedral hoping to make a 1:30pm tour but instead attended mass as it was closed for tourism due to ongoing services. We stayed for the whole service in spite of the cold. It is mid-winter here with temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s.
Typical cobblestoned street with orange trees and outdoor dining even in mid-winter.
The gothic cathedral.
We did take a tour of the cathedral after mass was over and the church re-opened for tourism.
Giralda bell tower, originally a muslim minaret. There are no stairs to the top but instead 34 ramps so that the muezzin’s could ride a horse to the top for the call to prayer. The Catholic’s added the renaissance style top.
The High Altar where we attended mass.
The purported grave of Christopher Columbus. Apparently his remains have been moved many times from Spain to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to Cuba and back to Spain. There is another tomb for him in Santo Domingo. DNA testing suggests that some of his bones are buried both places. Our guide told us that only 33% of his body is in this grave!
Chapter house built in the 16th century.
The Arfe Monstrance. This great gothic cathedral is also a very impressive museum with religious paintings by all of the famous Spanish artists and many artifacts and relics.
Saints Justa and Rufina venerated as martyrs in the third century who would not renounce Christianity. When thrown to the lions, the lions became docile and licked their feet.
Chapel of Our Lady Virgin of La Antigua.
We of course walked up the 34 ramps to the top of the Giralda and were rewarded by gorgeous views of Seville.
The bells and bell tower are the Christian addition to the old Muslim minaret.
Looking southwest towards the river. The bullring is just visible in the top center.
Looking down at the old Muslim courtyard. When this was a mosque the worshipers would wash their hands and feet in a central fountain.
Walking home from the Cathedral, Sandy couldn’t stop taking pictures.
Heading out on our second run. Quite hard to keep running when there is so much to see. This is a Christopher Columbus monument in Murillo Gardens just down the street from our home.
Then we came upon The Plaza de España which is in the Parque de María Luisa built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It is an example of the Regional Architecture, mixing elements of the Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival (Neo-Mudéjar) styles of Spanish architecture.
Rainbow in a fountain.
This very large semi-circular building now houses government offices.
This is our building, designed by the same architect who did Plaza España.
Our first taste of flamenco dancing is in the video below.
Boats are available to rent and row the small canal. A tradition we have shared with our guests in other countries.
Two Don Juans.
We had lunch with our apartment hosts Maria and José Manuel Parente. They are the best of many great hosts that we have encountered over the past three years.
Yes, that refers to Megan.
This wooden structure was completed in 2011 after many delays and cost overruns.
This structure is not what you expect to see in the very center of the old quarter of Seville but it is slowly becoming a landmark of the city. It is called Metropol Parasol or more informally as Setas de Sevilla. Setas is Spanish for oyster mushrooms.
Beautiful views of the city from the top level. There are four levels with the underground level housing the Antiquarium, where Roman and Moorish remains discovered on site are displayed in a museum.
The mushroom stalks are visible on either side of this main street.
Thistles for sale in The Mercado de la Encarnacion on the ground floor of Setas.
We love the huge decorative wooden doors of Europe.
Statue in front of Plaza de toros, bull fighting ring.
We took a tour of the bull fighting ring which started in the museum pictured below.
The most famous of the past matadors was José Gómez Ortega. He started studying bullfighting at age nine and was the youngest bullfighter to receive the title of matador de toros at the age of 17. He was fatally gored in the ring at the age of 25.
This was his first matador outfit.
The ornateness of the costume reflects the matadors prestige.
A small chapel where the matadors pray before entering the ring.
The Royal box on the shady side of the ring with The Prince’s door below.
Jim practicing his matador stance
The Cathedral dominates the city skyline
Plaza de San Francisco. We love the square pruned trees, reminiscent of Paris.
Another view of Catedral de Sevilla.
So many beautiful buildings surround the many open plazas in Seville.
City hall in Plaza de San Francisco.
Pricey Flamenco attire.
This is just the beginning of Seville for us and does not even cover the whole first week. We are really falling in love with this city with its wonderful architecture and quaint winding alley ways. The city is small enough that one cannot stay lost for long. We are also finding the city to be very clean and quite inexpensive.