Stalkers in Sevilla

Andrew and Dick flew from Barcelona to Sevilla on January 22 arriving early afternoon.  To date they have joined us in every non-US city we have lived in with the exception of Melbourne.  They would have come to Melbourne but they were in the process of renovating their new home in Sitges Spain.

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Tres amigos, a happy reunion on the deck of our home.

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First thing we do is go to lunch at a local favorite, Bar Alfala.

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This is a tiny crowded bar.  It took us about ten minutes of waiting while sipping on beers to finally get a seat at the bar.  We shared tapas.

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It was rainy, raw and wet for most of their time in Seville.

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Plaza San Francisco with the Giralda in background.  This is Andrew’s first visit to Seville and he just loved it.

Jim booked online tickets for Alcázar of Seville which is most tourists number one destination in this city.  We are pretty much palaced out after three years of touring palaces so for us it is well down the list but we knew that Dick and Andrew would like to see it.  An Alcázar is a type of moorish palace or castle in Spain and Portugal built during Muslim rule.  The Alcázar of Seville was built for the Christian king Peter of Castile by Castilian Christians on the site of an Abbadid Muslim residential fortress destroyed after the Christian conquest of Seville.  The palace is a preeminent example of Mudéjar architecture but features Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque design elements from previous stages of construction. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as their official residence in Seville.

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The entrance courtyard.

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Room of justice with an adjacent patio.

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The boys admiring the tile.

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The room of Admirals where Ferdinand and Isabella met with their seafaring explorers including Christopher Columbus.  Andrew’s eyes are already glazing over.

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Patio of Maidens.

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Ornate domed ceiling of the Ambassador’s Salon.

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Summer bedroom.

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Doll’s patio.  The ground floor was used in the summer heat and the upper floors in winter when they stayed warmer.

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Absolutely stunning tile work everywhere.

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A look at the gardens which we could not access due to rain.  They close all parks and gardens when it rains here.  A great disappointment as we are much more interested in the gardens than the palace itself.  We will have to return with other houseguests someday.

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Jim has had enough.

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Another tantalizing glimpse of the gardens.

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These two are still going strong and anticipating the gift shop at the end.

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How many courtyards does a palace need?

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Jim and Andrew escaped the palace and are waiting for the shoppers.

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The Cathedral is adjacent to the Alcázar.

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Wandering home.  We love all of these alleyways and are actually learning our way around.

The guidebooks which tout the Alcázar hardly mention Plaza España which we absolutely love.  We couldn’t wait to take the boys there but the garden side was closed due to rain so we took them in the back way which is also spectacular as the arresting beauty and dramatic building sneak up on you slowly.

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We went in through the Gate of Aragon.

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It is just stunning to walk out onto this balcony.

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The plaza with its fountain, canal and towers are breathtaking.  Maria Luisa park, closed today, is spread out beyond the plaza.

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The railing and baluster are all beautifully tiled.

Turn up the volume and watch the video above, it is ethereal.

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We walked through old town Sevilla and crossed the Guadalquivir River to Mercado de Triana.

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Before going into the Mercado we visited the free Museo Del Castillo de San Jorge which is the remains of a medieval fort with exhibits on its use as a prison during the Spanish Inquisition.

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It was quite small and informative with everything written in Spanish and English.  We all quite enjoyed it.

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The Guadalquivir from inside the fort.

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After the museum and market we visited The Parrish Church of Lady Santa Ana.

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Santa Ana’s virgin, we visited the crypt also.

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A tapas lunch in Triana, nothing worth mentioning.

We took a three day, two night road trip to Tangier, Morocco and Gibraltar which we will cover in another blog.  The day after our return from Morocco Jim stayed in bed all day with fever, chills and weakness and Sandy spent the day as tour guide taking D & A to the Cathedral, The Church of the Divine Savior (which we will also cover in another blog) and Setas de Sevilla which we mentioned in a prior blog.

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On top of Setas. de Sevilla.

Final day in Seville, Jim was better and we visited Casa de Pilatos or Pilates House in English.  This palace is a four minute walk from home and we pass it every day but don’t know much about it.  The construction of this palace was begun in 1483 by a Spanish nobleman and completed by his son whose pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1519 led to the building being given the name “Pilate’s House”. It is an example of an Italian Renaissance building with Mudéjar elements and decorations.

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This is Plaza de Pilatos across the street from the palace.  We have no picture of the front of the house in spite of walking by numerous times.

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Can’t tell that it is midwinter from the bougainvillea.

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Typical Mudéjar elements.  Mudéjar refers to moors who remained in Iberia after the Christian reconquest.  Mudéjar art is influenced by Islamic art but mostly produced by Christian craftsmen for Christian patrons.

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Casa de Pilatos is a small palace with some elements of interest but not a must see.  There was a short Spanish/English guided tour of the top floor which is furnished and more interesting.  No pictures allowed.

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Taberna Aguilas is still one of our favorite little tapas bars.

IMG_2380So goodby to Dick and Andrew again for a few weeks.  Since we are both living in Spain now we plan on seeing them again in Madrid and then we will visit them at their home in Sitges.

4 responses to “Stalkers in Sevilla”

  1. Hi Jim and Sandy,
    You are truly a worthy Fodor’s replacement but with amazing pictures 😎

    Your stalkers look like they never lack opinions about art, tiles, history or food. 😜Bar Aguilar should belong to my work partner Dr. Elsa Aguilar.

    By the way have you seen the medieval frescoes from the tiny Pyrenees mountain chapels that are preserved inside the hilltop museum of the world exhibition hall in Barcelona? I love those primitive demons and angels and icons.

    Maybe you’ve reached your Stockholm syndrome wall on fortresses in Spain. I felt that way in Italy once about “ one more Madonna with Child.”
    Happy travels
    Anette😊

    Like

  2. How totally FUN and FABULOUS to see you FOUR Muskateers reunited yet again!!!! You are so blessed to have each other to share these amazing and culturally stunning experiences with!
    xoxoxoxoxoxo
    Chanda 🙂

    Like

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