Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 37.3833, -5.9965
I should have had a Fitbit on today….. I walked the old city for about 8 hours and reckon I racked up the kilometers. First up, after successfully navigating the cobbled streets from the hotel, I joined the very knowledgable Mercedes from Sevilla Walking Tours for a few hours. This was a really great introduction to Sevilla, its fascinating history and its different barrios (districts).
We discovered a lot of Santa Cruz, the former Jewish Quarter, which is one of the most picturesque and delightful parts of the city, with narrow winding cobbled streets and whitewashed houses. It’s a perfect place to sit outside a bar, enjoy some tapas and watch the world go by, or wander through centuries-old gardens and relax on beautiful tiled bench.
Originally the Romans governed the whole of Spain, but it was the Muslim civilisation (reigning between 711 AD – 1492 AD) that had the most lasting impact on the city of Sevilla as they constructed all the beautiful moorish-style buildings including the Cathedral and the Real Alcazar.
The cathedral has some beautiful stained glass windows and and an impressive highly carved alterpiece covered in gold leaf as well as the monumental tomb of Christopher Columbus.
Columbus was originally buried in the cathedral of Havana but during the Cuban revolution in 1902, Spain transferred the remains to Seville.
The views from La Giralda, the bell tower of the cathedral are lovely. You can see the ornately sculpted parapets, arches and columns and the plaza below with its symmetrically planted seville orange trees. La Giralda was originally built as a moorish minaret in 1184, but a century later, when Seville was taken by the Christians, the mosque was converted into the cathedral and the minaret into the bell tower.
Fun Fact 1 : There has long been doubt about the authenticity of the remains in the tomb of Columbus and DNA tests are currently underway.
Fun Fact 2: La Giralda was built with a ramp wide and tall enough to allow a person to ride on horseback to the top of the tower to make it easier for the meuzzin to perform the call to prayers 5 times a day.
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