We took a train south from Barcelona (trains are A+, by the way) and then took a cab to our AirBNB. Literally the second I got out of the car, I had that feeling you do when everything in your life is amazing and exciting… like a smile bubbles up from deep inside and pastes itself on your face and your chest feels full of anticipation. There’s a few places that this has happened to me- Hoi An, Goa, and now Seville.
Seville (pronounced Se-vi-ya, kinda, think Barber of Seville) is a city with about 700,000 people in the mid-south bit of Spain, in the province Andalusia. It’s been around for a while- ruins under Alcazar have been dated back to 7th-8th century BC. Apparently, Hercules was from Seville. It’s been the setting for loads of movies and TV series, and it’s filled with history, culture, and food.
We stayed for not nearly long enough. It has so much to do and it’s one of those places you could just stay forever. In fact, Seville, if you see this, I want to move! You guys have churros and coffee for BREAKFAST, this is pretty much a life goal.
Doughnuts aside, there are some pretty incredible things to see here.
The Plaza de España
This was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition. It’s pretty stunning- you might recognise it from scenes in Lawrence of Arabia or Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. It is massive and the photos don’t really show that.
Seville Cathedral – Saint Mary of the Sea
This cathedral is interesting because although it’s Roman Catholic, it started life as… a mosque. Built in 1184, this was a working mosque up until Ferdinand and Isabella decided that Spain was a Christian country. So, in 1248, it was ‘Christianised’.
Building work continued in fits and starts from then through to 1575, changing in style as it went. As a result, it’s very haphazard, and you can see the Islamic architecture and the Christian gothic kinda smooshed up next to each other. A word to tourists: you can get in free on Sunday mornings! We wandered in, had a quick look, and decided to come back later. Unfortunately, when we returned, there was a fee to enter… so go on Sunday morning and don’t leave before seeing the church! Doh!
So if you do a 180 turn from that view above, you are basically in… Alcázar.
Alcázares de Sevilla
A palace, first built as a fort in 913, has experienced many additions and changes. It’s a stunning place to visit and we had to rush through it and could have stayed a lot longer. In particular, the gardens are peaceful and I could have happily spent a few hours walking through.
While being historically significant, it also is still in use today as a home for the local royal family. Some of you may also recognise it from Game of Thrones (Dorne).
And so the Seville adventure had to come to an end
After an amazing few days, we had to leave. It was begrudgingly and I promise that I’ll be back, to eat more churros, to have a few more bocadillo breakfasts, and to have a cold beer in the hot sun.