Every hour I spend here in Seville, the more I grow to love this city! We’ve had a lovely afternoon despite the heat (well over 90 degrees here today, and no glorious ocean breezes like we had in Portugal) and I’m honestly a bit sad to leave tomorrow morning already.
Our main visit this afternoon was to the Seville Cathedral. Like the Alcázar, it dates back to the Islamic era and used to be a mosque. When the Catholics took over, they kept most of the original building and just expanded on it to create the cathedral we saw today.
This led to not only a huge church, with a giant main hallway, litteraly dozens of side rooms and chapels, a courtyard, and the Giralda tower, but also a beautifully decorated one as the Catholics tried to outdo the previous architecture.
Just look at this main altar!
A closer look at a small section.
This church is also the final resting place of Christopher Columbus…you know, the guy who discovered America. His body is interred in the coffin being carried by these 4 statues.
Then it was up into the tower! This is the view about halfway up over the cathedral’s courtyard; you can tell just by looking at them which two walls date to the Islamic era and which two are Catholic Gothic style!
Up at the “top” (the tower goes up higher than this, but people can’t) are the bells which can still ring, though due to the number of visitors coming up here all day long, they usually don’t.
One of the views out of the tower. See the Alcázar taking up pretty much the entire middle of the picture? (Hint: it’s the old looking walls plus all that green space behind them)
Finally, it was time for a horse-drawn carriage ride! It was 45 minutes long and took us all around the main attractions in town.
I was super excited because it brought us all the way out to the Plaza de España (which was too far for us to walk by ourselves)! This beautiful square on the edge of a park is only open to outside visits, as the buildings are all active military offices. But the entire square is surrounded in buildings decorated in this same style, with a giant fountain in the middle and even a small waterway around the edges where people can take boats out to practice rowing!
The side of the square and the fountain.
Taking the carriage at dusk was the perfect time; it had cooled off to being pleasantly warm and we got to see the city lights turn on!
Finally, as promised: the secret tunnel we take to get back to our hotel room! Here’s the entrance…
Which turns into this…
Complete with map painted on the wall, in case you get lost (which is very easy to do, as there are several turns down here that aren’t shown in this painting)
Finally you come out out an iron gate into this courtyard! From here there are still several more hallways and turns to our room – we’re actually in the next building over from this one – but that’s the end of the awesome secret tunnel.
Today our comments winner is…Lauren H! Congratulations Lauren! Tomorrow we leave Seville (sigh) and head to Cordoba, a town only about 45 minutes away, so we won’t lose much time at all to traveling. Which is good, because we only get one day there before we leave for Madrid on Saturday!