Seville | B&B near Seville | Visit Seville | Places to visit near Seville | bed and breakfast
Discover Seville, only 70 minutes from our Bed & Breakfast near Aracena, Seville, Andalucia, Spain in the Sierra de Aracena National Park. Set amongst a chestnut and cork-oak forest we operate as a family B&B and self-catering holiday cottages. We run cookery courses, photography courses, creative writing retreats and fitness retreats. Hiking trails and stunning views.
Only 75 minutes by car from Finca Buenvino B&B lies Seville (Sevilla in Spanish). It is the fourth largest city in Spain and one of the most romantic and lively metropolitan areas in the Iberian Peninsula. Wander through the Barrio Santa Cruz or visit the Reales Alcazares, a mudejar style palace with its elaborate carved ceilings, fountain courtyards and exquisite gardens. Seville is also excellent for shopping and for a tapas crawl, and is an excellent place to see a Flamenco show.
Seville’s distinct personality is the result of the many cultures that have inhabited and ruled it for over 2000 years. Renaissance and Baroque styles are beautifully blended with the moorish influenced architecture, a memory of the time when the Caliphate of Cordoba and the later Abadi Kingdom of Sevilla ruled the city. Although very little of Roman Seville is left for us to see, it is worth visiting the nearby roman ruins of Italica, once one of the great limes cities of the Roman Empire.
Following the reconquest by the Christian army Seville’s growth continued unabated. King Fernando III, King of Castilla and León moved his court to the Alcázar of Seville, the former Moorish palace. A royal residence, the Alcázar was built in a Moorish lush style and the huge gothic cathedral was built during the 15th century, but maintains the original minaret of the moorish mosque.
The golden age of Seville was during the establishment of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. Seville to this day boasts the only inland port in Spain with the Guadalquivir being navigable for 80km inland from the sea. The city was awarded the monopoly of trade with the Spanish territories of the New World, and with it gold and silver poured in from the Spanish Americas. Seville minted silver and gold coins which became the first universally accepted European currency.
Places to Visit in Seville
It is worth hiring a carriage from outside the cathedral to get a first view of the major sights, among them, the Cathedral, the Maria Luisa Park and the Plaza de España. For visitors it’s a perfect way of killing the hour of the siesta, when the shops are closed and lunch is being digested behind the shuttered windows of the ancient houses!
In the evening there are a variety of bars and Tapas restaurants in the heart of Seville, or you may visit Los Gallos or the Casa de la Memoria to see an authentic Flamenco show. Ask us for advice when staying at Finca Buenvino.
If you are booked into one of our longer cookery courses we will visit some of Sevilla's markets and tapas bars.
The Santa Cruz quarter is the primary tourist destination of Seville and the former Jewish quarter of the medieval city. It is bordered by the Jardines de Murillo, the Reales Alcázares, Calle Mateos Gago, and Calle Santa Maria La Blanca/San José. The neighbourhood is the location of many of Seville's oldest churches and is home to the Cathedral of Seville, including the converted minaret of the old Moorish mosque, La Giralda.
The Alcázares Reales de Sevilla (Royal Palace of Seville).The Almohades built the original palace around 1100AD when it was known as Al-Muwarak. The palace is one of the best remaining examples of mudéjar architecture. Subsequent monarchs have added their own marks to the Alcázar. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence and are administered by the Patrimonio Nacional. The Palace gardens are a delightful refuge on hot summer afternoons, where the sound of water and the shade of exotic trees contribute to a sense of peace and refreshment.
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España – This is the most easily recognised building and probably the image that most people have of Seville. In 1929 Seville hosted the Spanish-American Exhibition and numerous buildings were constructed for the exhibition in Maria Luisa Park, among them the Plaza designed by Aníbal González, and the most famous of Moorish Revival architectural masterpieces. The Plaza de España showcased Spain’s industry and technology exhibits. There are many tiled alcoves with each representing a different province of Spain.
Torre del Oro
The Torre del Oro (Gold Tower) - The tower was a military watchtower built into the original city walls by the Moors during the Almohad dynasty.it’s said that a large chain hung from it across the river to another tower, to control access to Seville and the upper Guadalquivir river.
Constructed in the 13th century, the tower served as a prison during the Middle Ages and as a secure enclosure for the protection of Gold and Silver brought by the Spanish fleet from the Americas colonies (hence the tower's name). The mint was just across the road behind the buildings now occupied by an insurance company, and here you will be able to make out the silver tower La Torre de la Plata, which has been incorporated into the buildings in the side street.
The gold tower is divided into three levels, with the third and uppermost being circular in shape and added in 1760.
La Giralda (The Cathedral Bell Tower)
After the Reconquest the Cathedral was built over the former site of the city's mosque. The Giralda was originally the city’s mosque minaret but was converted into a bell tower and integrated into the new Cathedral. The Giralda is the city's most famous symbol and measures 105 meters in height. The tower's interior was built with ramps rather than stairs, to allow the 'Muezzin' to ride on horseback to the top. He would call the Muslims to prayers from the minaret and getting up and down the tower 5-times a day was not a task taken lightly! The tower is topped with a statue, known locally as El Giraldillo representing Faith.
La Catedral de Santa María de la Sede (The Cathedral)
This is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. The interior has the longest nave in Spain with the central nave rising to a height of 42 metres and is lavishly decorated, with a large quantity of gold evident. One of the outstanding features of the cathedral is various scenes depicting life of Christ. The altarpiece was the lifetime work of a single craftsman, Pierre Dancart.
In 1401 Seville’s leaders decided to build a new place of worship, as the ancient Muslim mosque was in a bad state of repairs following the 1356 earthquake. The cathedral was built to demonstrate Seville's wealth, as it had become a major trading centre especially with the Gold and Silver from the Americas colonies.
Located north of the modern day Santiponce, 9 km NW of Seville was founded in 206 BC by the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in order to settle Roman soldiers wounded in the Battle of Ilipa, where the Carthaginian army was defeated during the Second Punic War. The name Italica bound the colonia to their Italian origins. A shift of the river bed, probably due to silt build up that followed removal of the forest cove, left Italica isolated and literarily high and dry. As no modern city was built over Italica there is an unusually well-preserved Roman city with treasures on display in the Museo Arqueologico of Seville including the famous marble colossus of Trajan.
Italica was the birthplace of Roman emperor Trajan. Emperor Hadrian added temples, including a Trajaneum and rebuilt public buildings. Italica’s amphitheatre seated 25,000 spectators and was the third largest in the Roman Empire.