SEVILLA TOWER VIEWPOINT
Without a doubt, the best place to enjoy spectacular views of the city of Seville is from the highest point of the city. And we are not talking about the Giralda, which would be the highest point in the historic centre of the city, but we are referring to a viewpoint located outside the historic centre.
It is still very close to it and it is very easy to recognize, since it is in the tallest skyscraper in the city, visible from anywhere in Seville. It is the viewpoint located on the top floor of the Torre Sevilla building, a skyscraper known to Sevillians as “El Pintalabios” (The lipstick), a nickname that is perfectly understood when seeing the shape of the tower. Its powerful 180 meters tall makes this skyscraper the tallest building in Andalusia and it is the perfect place to enjoy spectacular views while we can have a drink.
Even though it was inaugurated a few years ago, in 2015, Torre Sevilla breaks the flat Seville skyline in a postcard that is already iconic. The skyscraper is located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, in the southern sector of Isla de la Cartuja, and at its feet, the charismatic neighbourhood of Triana expands. It has a shopping centre at its base and the design of both was the work of the Argentine architect César Pelli.
The last 19 floors of the tower houses a 5-star hotel, but to enjoy the view it is not necessary to be a hotel guest, since for non-staying visitors there is a specially enabled access located in the lobby of the skyscraper, without having to go up to the hotel reception. At this entrance of the lobby, you can get tickets for the elevators that will take us to the 37th floor, where the splendid Atalaya Torre Sevilla terrace awaits us, the highest bar in Andalusia where you can enjoy 360º views and contemplate how the weather changes. Enjoy Seville from a unique perspective.
Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada Street
241092 - Seville
And what is pringá? Its strange name is very logical since it comes from the verb pringar. The pringá is the result that is achieved by crushing and mixing the meat ingredients of an Andalusian stew. Once the pringá is made, it is spread (or smeared) on bread. It can be consumed as a second course or as an appetizer. The montaditos de pringá are one of the most iconic specialties in Seville´s appetizers or tapas.
The mixture is different in each establishment as it depends on the ingredients and quantities used. It can be made of chicken, pork, beef, blood sausage, bacon, chorizo. In Seville, we can find Montadito de Pringá, croquetas (croquette), and even pâté of Pringá.
The origin of the pringá could be in the existing family custom in Andalusia that concerns the way of eating the Andalusian stew, also known as puchero. During the first course, the broth is served with the vegetables and chickpeas, during the second course, the meats, and sausages are served, but without cutlery! Do not think of eating the second course with a knife and fork, the popular rule dictates that you have to eat all the meat squashed and mixed with pieces of bread, or in other words, eat the meat pringando or leaking. Hence the tapa resulting from this custom is called pringá.
Remember to try the montadito de pringá before leaving Seville.
In the historic centre of the city, we come across the commercial and pedestrian street Sierpes, which begins in the Plaza de la Campana, where one of the most emblematic confectioneries of the city is located and ends at the Seville City Hall. This street is made up of 400 meters almost rectilinear but with unequal widths. Full of life and shops, in hot times it has the protection of awnings that protect passers-by from the Sevillian heat. Blessed awnings ...
In the most commercial street of Seville, we will find shops of the most popular and current firms interspersed with traditional shops of the city possessing a great tradition reflected in their historic façades. Since the 19th century, these classic shops have been part of the life of Sevillians and their shop windows and products take us to another era. We are talking, for example, of the Ferrer Stationery, the El Cronómetro Watch Store, and the previously mentioned La Campana Confectionery. Strolling down this street admiring its counters and products is a real pleasure for the senses.T
The name of the street also has its history, wrapped in turn in a macabre and mysterious legend ... The first name that this street received was Espaderos, due to the large number of stores gathered there dedicated to the sale of swords. But later the name was changed to Sierpes due to a gloomy story that took place centuries ago on that street.
Legend has it that at the end of the 15th century several children disappeared on Calle Sierpes. This event triggered all kinds of fears and speculations among the Sevillian population. One fine day, the regent of the city, Don Alonso de Cárdenas, received an anonymous message from a fugitive who claimed to know the identity of the culprit, but that he would only reveal it in exchange for his freedom. The regent publicly promised the freedom of the fugitive and he then revealed his own identity and that of the culprit. The fugitive presented himself as Melchor de Quintana y Argüeso, a bachelor who was condemned to live furtively in the subsoil of the city for having participated in an act of rebellion against the King. And he fulfilled his promise by identifying the culprit, a revelation that chilled the blood of those present. It turned out that the culprit for the disappearances of the children had been a huge 6-meter-long snake, which lay in the subsoil with a knife driven by Melchor himself and which was full of remains of the children.
The evil serpent or sierpe was exposed in the middle of the street and Melchor went like this, from fugitive to hero, and even ended up marrying Don Alonso´s daughter. The force of this legend made it necessary to change the original name of Calle de Espaderos to Sierpes.
Among all the many souvenirs that we can buy in Seville, there is one especially loaded with symbolism, which represents the city, and which will also be tremendously useful on hot Sevillian days. These are fans, whose use and beauty even includes a mysterious language used in the past by the Sevillanas. There are many types and prices. We can precisely admire them in one of the most traditional places in the city, which is located on Calle Sierpes. A fan is a perfect souvenir that will refresh us and fill us with elegance.
THE KISS STREET
The narrowest street in Seville is Calle Reinoso, but everyone knows it as Calle del Beso. Hidden in the heart of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, it awaits us to proudly display its cobbled narrowness. It is a pedestrian street that does not allow the passage of vehicles.
It also stands out for its freshness, a fact that is fully appreciated in the hot summer months of Seville. Its narrowness gives it a perennial shade that allows it to keep the temperature cool in its narrow passage.
The neighbourhood of Santa Cruz is full of narrow streets since with this arrangement the residents of the old Jewish quarter of Seville ensured an optimal defence and a good shade. But our street of the Kiss is by far the narrowest. It is barely 50 meters in length link the Plaza de Los Venerables and Lope de Rueda street, forming a narrow-cobbled alley. Their facing façades are separated by a scant meter at the height of the pedestrian crossing. But it is very surprising to look up and see how that small distance even gets smaller in the upper part of the buildings, so much so that it seems that the facing balconies could almost touch each other since they are separated by only half a meter.
And precisely this closeness between the balconies is what gives rise to the affectionate nickname that the street receives since the neighbours of these nearby buildings could perfectly kiss each other from their balcony.
Calle Reinoso was known in the 18th century as Calle del Moro Muerto but received its current name thanks to the poet Félix José Reinoso who was a neighbour of the neighbourhood. But what has been said, neither Moro Muerto nor Reinoso, for Sevillians is the street of the Kiss.
And what better place to take a souvenir photo than to take it in this romantic alleyway and kissing your loved one?
That Sevillians like to rename some monuments, streets, or buildings, is a fact. There is a place in Seville that is increasingly known by visitors and that everyone who comes close to it likes a lot. Its initial name was Metrosol Parasol, but once it was built, everyone began to call it "Las Setas" (The Mushrooms), to such an extent that two years after its inauguration it was decided to make the nickname official and the work was labelled with the name "Setas de Sevilla ”. So ... let´s go to the Mushrooms!
Las Setas is a colossal structure of wood and concrete in the shape of a pergola it is the largest wooden structure in the world. It was built to renovate the central Encarnación Square and its inauguration took place in 2011. Such an avant-garde project immersed in a city that has such traditional architecture draws a lot of attention. And it is precisely the ground-breaking aesthetic of the work that makes it so attractive and so visited.
The enormous structure is made up of six parasols resting on the ground on six pillars and on two concrete columns that house the elevators that access the viewpoint at the top of the work. And the fact is that the top of the structure is a large undulating roof formed by the union of the six parasols and that has a terrace with a spectacular viewpoint. It is a wonderful opportunity to observe the historic centre of Seville from the heights and to be able to look at the majestic Giralda.
In addition to its magical 28-meter high viewpoint, Las Setas offers us to enjoy other activities. The monument has five levels in which the different rooms or activities are distributed. On the first level, we find the Official Store of Las Setas, a Tourist Information Point in Seville, a Past View area of the city to be able to take a virtual visit through the history of Seville, access to the elevators, and the wonderful Antiquarium. The latter is an archaeological museum that guards and exhibits remains from the Roman and Andalusian periods found in the subsoil of the area while initial excavations were being carried out for the construction of a car park.
On the second level, we can gather strength since the market and restaurants are located here. Going up one more level, already in the third, we will enjoy the elevated plaza of the structure. On the fourth level, there is a bar, a large area reserved for holding events, and starting the catwalks that take us to the fifth level, where the terrace and the viewpoint await us.
Visiting the Mushrooms is having the opportunity to travel back in time, to know the history of Seville, to visit a market, a museum, to shop, to have an appetizer and to enjoy unparalleled views….
And all this without leaving a mushroom!
CLIMB ON THE GIRALDA (AND GREET THE BELLS BY THEIR NAMES)
La Giralda is the most representative tower in Seville. In truth, it is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville and it is of Muslim origin. Its great beauty saved it from collapse when the old Arab mosque that occupied this site was demolished for the subsequent construction of the Christian temple.
This beautiful bell tower has a total height of 104 meters, with the Giraldillo, a colossal bronze statue that tops the tower and that acts as a weathervane.
Europamundo encourages you to reach the existing viewpoint on the top of the Giralda and feel all the power of the city under your feet. It is a unique experience! The climb is also very special because instead of accessing the top by narrow stairs as in most of the towers, it is reached through 35 ramps. This series of ramps were built so that the person in charge of calling for prayer could get to the top on horseback!
But in this bell tower, there is not only a spectacular view but of course, there are also bells. But those of the Giralda is not just any bells, no ... There is a total of 24 beauties, of which 18 of them are turning and the remaining 6 are clapper. Thanks to this bell tower, the Cathedral of Seville is the Spanish temple with the largest number of bells.
Besides, each bell has its name, almost always that of a saint, and they have their history. Among the bells, there is a head, which is the largest bell and is called Santa María la Mayor. She weighs 5,362 kilos and is two meters tall, on the other hand, we have the youngest, Santa Cecilia, who weighs "only" 139 kilos.
And who makes up this musical family? On the one hand, we have the male members of the family, who are 13 in total and are called San José, San Sebastián, San Laureano, San Isidoro, San Hermenegildo, San Juan, San Pablo, San Pedro, San Fernando, San Juan Bautista, Santiago, San Cristóbal and San Miguel. And on the other hand, we have the females who are 9 and they are Santa Cecilia, Santa Justa, Santa Rufina, Santa Lucía, Santa Florentina, Santa Bárbara, Santa Inés, Santa Catalina, and Santa María la Mayor. The two remaining until 24 are dedicated to All Saints and the Holy Cross.
Once the presentations have been made, it only remains for you to come and greet this musical family so well-travelled, and above all, so synchronized. Enjoy the climb, the views of the viewpoint, and of course, the wonderful sound of the Giralda bells ringing.
WHY ARE ALBERO YELLOW AND CARMESÍ RED PREDOMINANT IN SEVILLE?
The song says that Seville has a special colour ... But the truth is that two special colours flood the entire city, and they are albero yellow and crimson red. They are present adorning many façades of emblematic neighbourhoods and very important buildings, such as the Real Maestranza, the San Telmo Palace, or the Salvador Church. We also find the yellow albero on the pavement, as occurs in the Patio de Banderas.
The mixture of both colours is very powerful, and their combination is so extremely beautiful that Seville cannot be conceived without the two tones together, the use of each colour has a different origin.
Before the 19th century, the colours that predominated in Seville were the tones of the elements used in its constructions, the brown of the ceramics, and the white of the lime. But this neutral colour palette ceased to dominate the city because of the Ibero-American Exposition held in Seville in 1929. It turned out that in many buildings built for the event, the yellow albero colour was used as a golden tone to decorate their façades. Thanks to the yellow pigment of limestone rock, the lime of the walls was stained, obtaining a very luminous gold. The result was so aesthetic that it became popular until the city was flooded. Its effect was so popular that albero yellow is already a typical colour in much of Andalusia.
The yellow albero and crimson red tones define the identity of Seville. For you to explore, they have their colour codes on the Pantone scale: 130 C and 207 C.
To explain the presence of crimson red, we must go much further back in history, specifically to the 13th century. Red was the colour of the flag with which King Ferdinand III the Saint took Seville in 1248, a flag that went down in history with the name of the Banner of San Fernando. During the Middle Ages, scarlet was an expensive dye and widely used in flags due to the force it transmits, thus symbolizing power.
And speaking of the colours albero yellow and crimson red, we take the opportunity to explain an almost omnipresent symbol throughout the city and that has both tones. It is even the logo of the Seville City Council. It is the symbol "NO8DO" (popularly read "node") and is a cryptogram made up of the letters "NO" plus the hieroglyph "8" which is interpreted as "skein" plus the letters "DO". The whole set is read "no-skein-do", which is the same as "he has not left me." The most widely accepted hypothesis that would explain this acronym with hieroglyph is the theory that attributes it to King Alfonso X the Wise, who created this play on words as a way of thanking the city of Seville for the fidelity shown to the monarch during the uprising that led his son Sancho.
A CINEMA ROUTE
The fine arts, every one of them: painting, music, sculpture, architecture, dance, literature, and cinema, find in Seville a very inspiring place to empower themselves in their maximum splendour and fly freely permeating all the city of beauty and culture. Flamenco, architectural jewels such as its Gothic cathedral, Sevillian painters such as Murillo or Velázquez, or the adventures of Don Juan Tenorio through the streets of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, are some examples that fill Seville with a great artistic culture.
And precisely, the one known as "seventh art" will be the protagonist of the points that we will cover in this guide, since Seville has been the scene of several productions for the small and the big screen that have known how to take advantage of the photogenic and loading culture of Seville to shoot adventures and mythical scenes that make us fall in love, even more, with this wonderful city.
One of the most sought-after settings for many shootings has been the Real Alcázar of Seville. This walled palace complex, whose work began in the 10th century, is one of the most visited monuments in Spain and for your visit, we advise you to buy your ticket well in advance. Its palaces and gardens have served as the cinematographic setting for several important productions, such as, for example, in several episodes of the famous series "Game of Thrones", in the recording of the mythical film "Lawrence of Arabia" or in the original jewel shot at the beginning of the 20th century entitled "The life of Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas."
Another scene immortalized by celluloid is the emblematic Plaza de España, which was the set of one of the Star Wars sequences, more specifically in Episode II - The Attack of the Clones. In this scene, Anakin Skywalker walks with his beloved Princess Leia through the Plaza de España, a location that recreates the royal palace of the Kingdom of Naboo.
Very close to the Plaza de España is the Royal Tobacco Factory, which is currently the Rectorate of the University of Seville. This magnificent building was the scene of a forbidden love that happened in the middle of the French invasion and narrated in the movie “Carmen”, a film directed by Vicente Aranda and starring the Sevillian actress Paz Vega.
The series “La Peste” is highly recommended, which tells the devastating epidemic of bubonic plague that devastated the city of Seville in the 16th century. This series will take us back in time to see what the city was like almost four centuries ago and we will be able to enjoy its scenes shot in the Cathedral of Seville, in the Casa Pilatos, and a recreated Castle of San Jorge. The latter was the former headquarters of the Seville Inquisition, located in the Triana neighbourhood and which is currently the Triana Market, but on its ground floor, there is a museum dedicated to the castle and the Inquisition.
A film that will make us know more about Seville and its Holy Week are the dizzying “Nadie conoce a Nadie” (Nobody knows anyone), through which we will visit corners of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, the Plaza del Salvador, or the Isla de la Cartuja after the Expo of 92, and all this following the common thread of a macabre role-playing game.
Triana is a picturesque neighbourhood of Seville that we can easily reach, we simply have to cross the iconic Isabel II Bridge, or as it is popularly known, the Triana Bridge and we will find a neighbourhood where any corner is a wonderful place to penetrate the soul of Sevilla.
In Triana the quintessence of Sevillian art is guarded, its streets smell like Seville, its bars taste like Seville, here Seville is heard and even felt. Seville is felt in Triana and its substance penetrates us until it invades all our senses.
This simple neighbourhood is adored by its neighbours, to such an extent that when a person from Triana has to cross the bridge to go to another area of the city, they say“I´m going to Seville” as if it were a separate city. Nothing could be further from reality, since Triana belongs to Seville, but the pride that Triana residents feel for their neighbourhood is so great that they feel it with their own identity.
Triana has always been a working-class neighbourhood, inhabited by potters and sailors and which has seen the birth of the greatest flamenco artists among them: Isabel Pantoja, Marujita Díaz, María Jiménez, bullfighters like Juan Belmonte or Rodrigo de Triana himself who gave the Scream from “Tierra a la vista.” A neighbourhood of artists and illustrious men.
To soak up the soul of Seville, a good option is to sit on the terrace of a Triana bar, the more traditional the better, and feel the essence of the neighbourhood. Listen to the peculiar talk of its people, browse the coming and going of the neighbours, let ourselves be captivated by the popular decoration of the bars, by the smell of their kitchens, by the taste of a refreshing salmorejo.
Another good option to get to know the spirit of a city and its people is to visit one of its markets. Without leaving the neighbourhood, we can take a walk around the Mercado de Abastos de Triana, located next to the Isabel II Bridge. To savour it well, the best thing to do is walk around it calmly, without haste, and observe what the neighbours buy, the products that are sold, the background noise that is heard, and also the places of leisure that Sevillians like. And is that in addition to grocery stalls, in this market we will find gift shops, flower shops, and many breweries.
What better place to watch life go by than where the daily life of a city is cooked? A traditional neighbourhood, its people, its bars, and its market.
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