So the last few weeks, I told you about our trip to Madrid, but did I tell you that we went to Seville too?!
Let me just say that our visit to Seville was the first of its kind!
We were lucky then that one of our blogger friends KemKem and her Italian husband from – Next Bite of Life – very kindly offered to host us while we there.
Thank you so much guys!
When travelling to destinations, I don’t make it a part of my trip to particularly follow a festival, on the other hand, I have followed a piece of Art around the world, but that’s another story..!
In this case, not only was it during the birthday of “The Tall Young Gentleman” who happened to be 14 years old (proud mum here!), but it also happened to be the Easter holidays too.
Now I’m not particularly religious, but the people of Spain are, and we happened to be in Seville right slap in the middle of a most important festival.
That festival called Semana Santa, otherwise known as Holy Week or Easter!
But firstly, let’s talk a little about Seville!
SEVILLE IN GLORIOUS ANDALUSIA!
Seville is the capital city of Andalusia and was previously known as the Roman city of Hispalis although, according to legend, Seville was founded by Hercules!
Seville has a population of about 703,000 people and is the fourth (4th) largest city in Spain! It’s Old Town is marvellous and is an area of only 4 square kilometres but has three (3) UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies.
Seville is a river destination leading to the Atlantic Ocean and in fact, is the only river port in Spain! It’s a beautiful city deriving its exotic nature from its Moorish roots and the trans-atlantic trade after the discovery of the Americas, art, literature, and architecture, and the Spanish Golden Age.
I’d always known that Seville was a place of history, but I had no idea how much interest and importance Seville had, and this was revealed by our friends.
They took us on a private tour of a hidden place called the Italica Archaeological Complex.
THE ITALICA ARCHAELOGICAL COMPLEX
I had no idea!
I had absolutely no idea that hidden in Seville was the first permanent Roman settlement in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, and the cradle of the emperor Trajan, who was born there in the year 53 AD, and his successor, Hadrian!
If I’d known that a Roman settlement was in Spain, I’d had gone to Seville much sooner!
I mean, my interest was piqued as I’m from Manchester – a Roman civilian settlement called Mancunium in 79 AD. I went to the University of Chester – a Roman fort called Deva Victrix in AD 79. And even my husband from Osnabrück, was born in a city which successfully won the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest against the mighty Roman army, in 9 AD!
It was surely meant to be!
The Roman city of Italica was established in 206 BC for the soldiers injured in the Battle of Ilipa, and soon became a city of capital importance between 206 BC and 138 AD, after the reign of that most significant Roman emperor – Hadrian – of Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England!
The Italica represented the majesty of the Roman city, clearly visible in the layout of its’ streets, and its’ public and private buildings, which were integrated into an exceptional landscape that was Roman town planning.
Even as a little girl, I had always been impressed by the ingenious of the Romans, and the Italica was no exception!
I mean, there was a Roman amphitheatre, the fully existing tiles of quite a few Roman baths, Roman streets, Roman courtyards, even a House of Birds and a Planetarium.
WHAT SHALL I DO IN THE “OLD TOWN” OF SEVILLE?
Sadly, we only had three (3) days in Seville and so on our last day, we spent all day and pretty much most of the evening, in the Old Town of Seville. And this is what we did:
- Use public transport: Our friends lived in the suburbs of Seville, so we took the underground metro into “town.” It was pretty easy to use so we bought one way tickets costing just €1.60 each.
- Join a free walking tour: I’m a sucker for free walking tours as well as paid tours…! so we contacted a company in Seville called Pancho Tours. Our guide was called Rafael and he was great and rather funny! When it comes to free walking tours, I have my favourites, but it’s always good to mix and match so that everyone gets a free chance, and as many local people as possible, get our custom!
- Learn about the history of Spain.
- Go gaga at the fact that Seville has not one (1) but three (3), UNESCO World Heritage buildings!
- Visit the official tomb of Christopher Columbus, or so they say….!
- Drink! Seville is a hot place!
- For goodness sake, wear a hat and cover yourself with suncream! I’m dark-skinned, but even I wouldn’t mess about with the sunshine!
- Go all romantic and hire a horse and carriage. Oh go on! You know you want to!
- Visit the Cathedral.
- Admire the beautiful baroque Palace of San Telmo or Palacio de San Telmo.
- Relax in the bosom of the charming University of Seville.
- Take a break and get yourself a sandwich or tapas and chill out in the Maria Luisa Park.
- Go shopping.
- Eat, drink & be merry.
- Admire the many churches and chapels in the city.
- Take lots and lots of photographs!
- Go swimming in the Guadalquivir River.
- Have a different flavour of ice-cream.
- Spend quality time at the wonderful, picturesque Plaza de España and remember, you’re in Spain. Olé!
HOLY WEEK IN SEVILLE!
If you’ve never seen a group of people, in hoods, and walking all over town, you’re in for a shock!
I observed this personally, when I first visited Spain, many, many years ago.
I’m not American. I’m British, but I’ve seen the films and read the history of the atrocities of slavery. And believe me, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw all those hooded parades, and people were smiling and playing instruments!
GOLLY! WHAT’S HOLY WEEK ALL ABOUT THEN?
The celebration of Holy Week regarding popular piety, relies almost exclusively on the processions of the brotherhoods or fraternities, stemming from the late Middle Ages (1350), to date. Think the Illuminati, Free Masons, etc. Membership is open to any Catholic person, and family tradition is an important element to become a member or “brother.”
IS IT WORTH GOING TO SEVILLE?
The city of Seville has beauty, Arabic architecture and both Jewish and Moorish influences. It has brilliant weather and fabulous food. It also has a river to recommend it. And bells!
Seville is pretty awesome.
And you heard it here first!
This article isn’t sponsored and the fruity time that I had in Seville, is my very own!
In the summer I’ll be going to Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and possibly Russia!
In the next few weeks, I’ll be focusing on Britain!
Sometime between now and May 1st, I’ll be visiting the interactive exhibition Discover Mexico or Entdecke Mexiko taking place on Washingtonplatz. It’s free to the public. Go see!
On April 18th, I’m going to be interviewed by a German TV station, about the 5th wedding anniversary of our very own William & Kate!
On April 21st, Queen Elizabeth II will be 90 years old. Hurrah! Ra! Ra!
To celebrate this most prestigious event, I’ll be attending a Gala Show Celebrating Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday. A Dinner for the Queen performance at the Wintergarten Varieté in Berlin with the talented Jack Woodhead and “a hint of gin and tonic!”
It’s going to be ridiculously exciting, so you’d better hurry up and get your own ticket!
April 23rd will mark William Shakespeare’s birthday and the 400th anniversary of his death with a very special event – Shakespeare Live! From the RSC in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, hosted by David Tennant! There will be live broadcasting all over the world and Berlin is going to be one of the lucky cities. Yay!
On April 27th, I’ll be attending STRICTLY STAND-UP – The English Comedy Night Show!
I can hardly stand it!
Berlin is going to be so much fun, so if you’re in town, come and join us!
I’ll be there. Will you?
If you’re not in Berlin in April, you must be bonkers!
Watch this space!
Have you ever been to Seville? Would you choose an orange or a lemon?
See you in Berlin.