Sevilla would be our first taste of Andalusian Spain and my what an experience. I was surprised to learn that many of the things that we traditionally associate with Spain come from Andalusia! Flamenco, tapas, Bullfighting all have their origins in this region which has a long and rich history.
We stayed in an area called La Alameda which is a big public square surrounded on all sides by lots of nice restaurants, bars and cafes. It felt like the mort arty place of the city contrasted by the older and more traditional looking areas. It even has a very family feel to it as there are plenty of kids playing in the square with soccer balls and the like as the parents dine in the nearby tapas bars.
What we came here to see however was the world famous Réal Alacazar de Sevilla, a stunning Moorish palace with even more exquisite gardens. It has recently been featured on ‘Game of Thrones’ as the backdrop for the Watergardens and palace grounds for the Dornish Royals. It is not hard to see why this location was chosen.
I would say it is one of the most beautiful Palaces I have ever seen and interestingly enough it is the oldest Royal Palace still in use! The upper levels are reserved for the Spanish monarchy when they are visiting from their main residency in the capital Madrid.
It is very unique in that there are not very many paintings like you would find in other European palaces, but this art is supplemented by the enormous detail put into all the carvings and archways. It is almost as if it was built with the intention to integrate nature into the palace, with lots of natural lighting and even a beautiful open air courtyard .
As said before the gardens are very beautiful and have the feel of an oasis, with its collection of trees and plants of which the most striking are all the ornamental orange trees.
After the Alacazar is another landmark featured in film and TV – Plaza de España. The large semi circular complex with canals running through is the backdrop for the city of Naboo in Star Wars.
What I though was really interesting was the tiled alcoves that spanned around the walls, each one represented a different province of Spain and gave you a little insight of its history. We wanted to go inside but apparently there was not much to be seen as today its use is mainly various government offices and departments.
Another must while you are in Seville is to see a flamenco show! There is one where you can have a tapas dinner and the show comes on every hour or so – though I forget the name of the place, just ask a local, they are very friendly.
Those are the two main sights but there are plenty of other things to do as well such as seeing the bullfights at Plaza de Toros (though we did not partake), Torre del Oro, Metropol Parasol and Catedral de Sevilla.