This splendid 16th-century building is one of the points on Seville’s UNESCO World Heritage triangle (the other two being the cathedral and the Alcazar) – and the only one with free entry. It was built to house Seville’s main commercial operations during the Golden Age, as more and more merchandise was brought back from the Americas. Since 1785 it has been used to store documents tracing all Spain’s dealings with the New World – some 80 millions of pages of them, on 8km of shelving. While most of the exhibits (maps, posters and documents) are labelled in Spanish, there is a very interesting 15-minute video on show, with English subtitles.
Avenida de la Constitución s/n (no number), 41004 Seville
+34 954 50 05 28
Google map: bit.ly/143kXe2
*Eloise is our Been there local for Seville. You can read her bio here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/seville-local-eloise-horsfield and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/EloiseHorsfield You can also catch her on Twitter at @EloiseHorsefield
An absolute gem. One of the oldest tapas bars in Seville, with a bar on the site since the late 17th century. Popular with tourists and locals alike.
Dark wood panels with seating at a minimum but great food and a great atmosphere.
You stand at the bar and order and your tab is chalked on the bar counter to keep track.
Food really good quality and not that expensive. The espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas is particularly to be recommended.
You can book a seat at the back for the dinner menu but we much preferred the tapas menu at the bar, so much so that we returned a number of times during our stay in Seville.
While we were there there we encountered an elderly gentleman named Valentino who writes poetry on napkins and hands to people in the bar. If you do see him, buy him a glass of beer for his trouble.
We first heard about this place on Rick Stein's TV programme 'Spain'.
C/ Gerona 40 near Plaza Ponce de Leon
+34 954 22 31 83
Open until late every day
Google map: bit.ly/o0Hn7B
See bar featured at the start of this Youtube video on Rick Stein's Spain:.
It's still not on the map, but this towering lattice construction has kicked up quite a fuss in Seville.
Locally known as the Setas (mushrooms) this 'architectural innovation' houses an archaeological museum, the Antiquarium (Roman ruins were found when a carpark was constructed some years ago); a regular market; and a walkway offering vistas of the cathedral and the Cartuja. Swanky bars and restaurants are set to open shortly.
Antiquarium Entry and Pasarela (walkway) is €1.20 or free if you are a resident of Seville.
Opening times: 10.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. - 00.00 a.m.
Plaza de la Encarnación, 18 41003 Seville, Spain
+34954 56 15 12
Google map: bit.ly/ixcJSv
La Maestranza is Seville's beautiful bullring. Join a museum tour and find out all about this rich beautiful Spanish tradition - you will learn things that will surprise you!
Tucked down one of the many narrow streets in the Santa Cruz district is this jawdropping 16th century palace built by an Indian viceroy. The vast baths are vaulted, with stuccoed Mudejars, antique lanterns and roman seating. Float around in the incense-filled chambers - it's a truly magical experience. All this and fragrant tea!
Hernan Cortés Palace, placed in Castilleja de la Cuesta, only 5 minutes from Seville, was the last place were the the conquest of Mexico lived and died.
The building from the XVI century with neomudéjar style was later bought by the duchy of Montpensier.
This is a storming place to see in all its glory. When the sun beats down on you it is a wonderful and cool refuge. Once inside, you will be utterly amazed at the wonders that lie in store here.
The Golden Alter at the centre of the cathedral is something that you just cannot miss even if you tried.
Must be seen to be believed.
Yes, it's in all the guide books but the Alcazar is easily missed. From the outside it doesn't look anything special but inside it's magical and a lot less frantic than the Alhambra. If you visit make sure you spend some time in the gardens. If you only have an afternoon in Seville and have to choose between the Cathedral and the Alcazar then give the Cathedral a miss.
Plaza del Triunfo; tel: 954 502 323
Pedro the Cruel's Palace (1364 with ealier bits). On a much more manageable scale than the Alhambra in Granada but even more beautiful. Interesting gardens at every turn. The gardens close at 5.00pm, so go ealier for the full experience. Opens 1.30pm Sundays, closed Mondays.
Patio de Banderos, close to the Cathedral;
tel: 954 502 323;
This Palace dates back to the 1400s AD and has real Roman mosaic floors. All of the furniture is left untouched, giving it an authentic grandeur.
8 Calle Cuna, on the northern edge of the Santa Cruz district;
tel: 954 227 802;
Entry is free - but beware there is a fee to pay if you want a tour of the top floor (used during the winter).
The Cathedral is mainly visited for the incredible views from the top of its tower, the Giralda (the old mosque's minaret), but it is worth looking inside the main building as well. The church is filled with the jewels and gold brought by the New World wealth, and its scale is truly imposing: the beautifully carved organs are raised so high up into the dark ceiling that it is impossible to see them. All in all it helps you to understand some of the feelings behind the Reformation.
Avenida de la Constitución, in the centre, next to the Alcazar;
tel: 954 214 971
This wonderful Moorish palace next to the cathedral is very human in scale and the Islamic art is stunningly beautiful. Even on the very hottest summer days, the flowery gardens are an oasis of calm.
By contrast, the cathedral next door is a gloomy, depressing place. The Giralda is part of the Grand Mosque that the Christians incorporated into their church post reconquest.
Plaza del Triunfo, Santa Cruz, Seville;
tel: 954 502 323
The view from the top of the Giralda at the cathedral is worth the view, and the climb is sloping which is much easier than steps.
The Alcazar is beautiful and very cool and peaceful inside. Lovely gardens too.
La Giralda: Plaza Virgin de los Reyes;
tel: 954 214 971;
Alcazar: Plaza del Triunfo;
tel: 954 502 323
For the best view of Seville you just can't beat the one from the La Giralda - the highest tower in the city. It's a steep climb up the ramp but it's worth it.
Plaza Virgen de los Reyes; tel: 954 214 971;
Open: Mon-Sat 11am-5pm, Sun 2pm-6pm
Carmona is a beautifully located town founded by the Carthaginians and later made into a vital political and economic centre of the Roman and Moorish empires, giving it a glorious Roman necropolis with tombs, two gateways (Puerta de Sevilla and Puerta de Córdoba), a 15 century church (San Pedro) and an awe-inspiring Gothic Mudéjar-style church (San Felipe). There are numerous other Gothic churches, noble mansions and houses tucked away in the streets and squares of the old town, so just get lost in it all. To appreciate Carmona fully go up to the castle (now a parador) which looms over the town.
Carmona is 20 miles east of Seville, just off the motorway to Córdoba. Buses leave from Seville's Prado de Sebastian bus station (just across from Murillo Gardens) and the journey takes 1 hour.
The Roman city of Italica is one of the most important and largest Roman ruins in the whole of Spain. It is a great example of Roman architecture, with intact mosaic work, broad paved streets, and one of the largest ampitheatres (20,000 seater) in the Roman Empire. You can still walk around where the gladiators once walked. Hadrian (he of wall fame) was born here. The site is so large that it may never be completely excavated. It's 9kms north-west of Seville, in the village of Santiponce and is easily reached by local bus. Entrance is free if you take your EU passport, otherwise it's 1.50 euros. Closed on Mondays.
The Plaza de España is a massive half circle with palatial buildings. The fountain in the centre is a great place to rest (especially in the middle of the day) and appreciate this purpose-built exhibition showpiece of Seville. This square is also a must for Star Wars fans as it is featured in the films.
Plaza de España is a 10 min walk east of the cathedral and is signposted from there.
Don't be put of by the name, this "charity hospital", in particular the entrance patio and it's gem of a chapel, are well worth a visit. The place was built in 1676 as a home for the destitute and still operates as such. There is a small entrance charge, but the original paintings by Murillo and Valdés Leal (including one of a dead bishop being eaten by worms) plus the chapel itself, make it great value.
Calle Temprado 3, Sevilla - it's a side street parallel to the river road near the Torre del Oro; tel: 95 422 32 32;
Open: Mon-Sat 10.30-13.30 and 16.30-18.30
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