Seville is like a treasure chest where you can find exceptional cultural heritage that have left the Arabs and colonialists. It can be all explored in the sunny Andalusian atmosphere so get ready for a great adventure. Remember, this city loves fun and celebration, especially in April. Then, thousands of people come to see the most solemn Holy Week processions in Europe.
Modest contemplation of the religion is definitely not an Andalusian thing. They love ceremonies, theatrical installations and every opportunity to celebrate, play and dance on the street.
The best time to explore Seville is during la Semana Santa (Holy Week) when over 50 exceptional processions pass through the city. Some of them take even up to 14 hours before they reach the Cathedral! It is difficult to imagine this festive mood, the crowds of people, both locals and visitors, if you do not see it in person.
Then, everywhere in the city you can spot beautiful girls dressed in colourful flamenco dresses, they all dance and play in casetas, tents specially prepared for the occasion. The Andalusians was born with dancing in their blood – they can perfectly improvise a small show on the street. Local fiestas cannot do without a sevillana dance, a bit like flamenco, but much lighter.
Sightseeing in Seville
Seville is definitely not only about la Semana Santa. There is so much to see. Visiting Seville is best to begin at the entrance of the 97-meter Giralda – once the minaret of the Islamic temple, today part of one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world. It is worth climbing even just to look at Seville from up above and admire the view on the bullfighting arena, Alcazar palace with stunning gardens, the old town and the Guadalquivir river with a palm alley along (nice walking spot!)
The old part of Seville has an impressive size. The streets north of the Giralda are full of colourful churches and curiously decorated buildings in Andalusian style. There are plenty of secluded patios with greenery adorned by fountains.
It is a real fun to get around Barrio de Santa Cruz, the former Jewish district. Even with the map you will definitely get lost in the winding, narrow streets. When exploring this area, be attentive. You can run into hidden religious figures, shops and eateries in small squares – all cosy, colourful, decorated with flowers.
Legend has it that the most famous seducer of the world, Don Juan, was born at Plaza de Dona Elvira. In the spring, the fragrance of flowering orange trees truly seduces you, and believe me, there are plenty of them in the centre of Seville. But you better not try those fruits – they are very bitter.
It is good to see the flamenco show in one of the many bars or tablaos in the evenings. Finally, Seville is considered the capital of this dance. Flamenco was created by Spanish gypsies, Gitanos, singing about their fate and their affection, as hot as their temperament.