Europe 2013-Citizens of the Republic of Ushington visit England, France and Spain travel blog

Decorated Seville balcony

Tile work even under the balconies

Entrance to the courtyard of a private house

Tile work in the entrance

Seville cathedral

Bell tower-formerly a minaret


"The Lizard"

Orange Tree Courtyard

Washing station during period of the mosque

Bell tower


On top of the tower


The choir-currently used as a main altar as restorations are underway on...

Altar used for special services

Nice candlesticks

Justa and Rufina-martyred sisters from the 3rd century

Family crest of the Columbus family, on Hernando's grave

Christopher Columbus' tomb




Ceiling of the dome



Entrance to the Royal Palace

Bougainvillea in the garden

Palace garden

Tile work in one of the older rooms


Courtyard with multilevel garden

Courtyard ceiling






Dome ceiling



Seville street scenes-from our carriage ride











Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana-concrete and full of people











Off to Seville, city of oranges and flamenco. Our train ride was 2.5 hours. We were met by a driver who took us to our hotel in the old Jewish quarter of Seville. There is nothing remaining of the quarter, except the name.

The hotel, Las Casas de la Juderia, was once a group of 17th century casas. There are winding pathways, charming courtyards and it is very easy to get lost. Some rooms are even on the other side of the street-through a basement tunnel. Luckily our rooms are close to the main desk.

Our guide, Marta, met us for a late afternoon walk around the main sites of the city-the cathedral (of course) and the Royal Palace. There is extensive use of tile in the city. It is common to have a gated courtyard that is open to the street. The house may look very ordinary from the outside, but one peek inside the courtyard will reveal something special. Sometimes, even the bottoms of balconies are tiled, so you can see beautiful things right over your head.

The Seville cathedral began as a mosque in the 12th century. You enter via a courtyard filled with orange trees. The Muslims made skillful use of trenches to provide irrigation to the trees. The minaret had a ramp on which the muezzin could ride a horse so he didn’t have to climb stairs 5 times a day. The mosque became a cathedral in the 13th century.

The main entrance for visitors is through the “lizard gate” in which is hanging a wooden reproduction of a crocodile that was a gift to Queen Isabella.

Perhaps one of the things most people come to see is the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Although his body has been in 5 different locations, the definitive remains are here (about 150 g). This has been confirmed with DNA evidence, as his son Hernando, is also buried in the Seville Cathedral.

Another chapel is dedicated to Saints Justa and Rufina. They were sisters who lived in Seville during the 3rd century and made their living selling pottery. They were tortured and killed.

We also visited the Royal Palace (Reales Alcázares de Sevilla). This was originally a Moorish fort, and new wings have been added by other kings. It still remains the official residence of the monarch when he is in Seville.

After our tour with Marta ended, we took a very touristy buggy ride through the town. It was a lovely way to end our day.

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