All good things come to an end. And after four beautiful days exploring the city, my trip to Seville ended as well. But before flying back to Zurich, we dedicated the last day to visit two of the most important monuments in Seville: the massive Gothic cathedral with its iconic Giralda tower and the Real Alcázar palace.

We didn’t really choose to visit these places in hour last hours in Seville. Rather we didn’t have any other option. When we arrived in Seville, we were a bit shocked when we saw the amount of tourists visiting the city and the never ending queues in front of these two monuments. In that sense, the city has totally transformed since the last time I visited it about ten years ago. Now it’s almost an obligation to reserve tickets days in advance. And websites to buy the tickets don’t always work well, and there are also so many non official websites selling also tickets (and I’m not even sure those other websites are totally trustworthy…). So if you’re visiting Seville and want to visit the cathedral or the Real Alcázar palace, here is my advice: book tickets well in advance!!

The Real Alcázar palace, contrary to what it seems, is not a muslim palace, but a royal palace built for the Christian king Pedro de Castilla during the Reconquista. The Alcazar sits on the ruins of the former Abbadid Muslim residential fortress, destroyed during the conquest of Seville. The palace is one of the best examples of Mudéjar style in Spain: the architectonic style used in Christian buildings in the peninsula that was influence by Moorish style and workmanship. The palace is an architectonic gem. A succession of lavish buildings with stunningly decorated patios (courtyards), where Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles meet with the more exotic Mudéjar ornaments and gardens. We didn’t have a lot of time to visit the palace and delight ourselves with all of its impressive rooms and gardens, as there were lots tourists groups everywhere, making it difficult to stop and admire the little details… but I loved what we could see (even if it was near impossible to take photos with so many people around!)

The visit to the cathedral was a bit more relaxed (although it was still bursting with tourists). The cathedral of Seville is a very impressive one. It was built to replace the old mosque that had served as cathedral during almost 200 years after the Reconquista. It’s the third biggest church and the biggest Gothic building in the world. And, of course, its most famous feature is La Giralda, the minaret of the old mosque which, after some remodeling during the construction of the cathedral, was reconverted in the bell tower. The interior of the cathedral is just as impressive as its exterior, with beautiful altarpieces, paintings, stained glass and sculptures, the elaborated Gothic ornaments of the structure, the grandiose tomb of Columbus, the magnificent Renaissance chapter house… one could spend hours just admiring every little detail of this cathedral!!

Here are the last photos of this trip to Seville. You’ll find some images from the area of Triana, the Park of Maria Luisa and Plaza de España as well taken on previous days. I hope you like them!

PD: I’ve been experiencing some trouble with WordPress recently. If you have missed the last two posts about this trip to Seville, you can find them here and here!

6 Comments

  1. Beautiful!! I loved your architectural angles. And the people, although not by choice, added so much to the story of Seville.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Anne!! I think the last day was the day I had more fun with the camera, I was changing lenses and using the telephoto a lot!
      Oh, I know people add… sometimes… but seriously, 10 years ago Seville didn’t have half the visitors I saw this time!! You wouldn’t believe the queues to get a ticket to visit the Alcázar or the Cathedral… I mean, people can spend the whole day waiting!! And inside, there are so many guided groups that it’s impossible to move from one room to another freely… you’re part of a human tide or something and move at the rhythm of the slowest one… I found it very frustrating!!!
      But, of course, then you go to a traditional restaurant and eat the fabulous tapas and forget about all the tourists and everything, you just enjoy again the real Sevilla 🙂

  2. I know what you mean. The only times we face long lines are at the National Parks and Disneyland!! Ha!! Seriously, we just don’t have the historical places of Europe. It’s times like this that you realize how young the US is. After one of our visits to Israel, we went to Germany and took a Rhine tour. The guide was pointing to all the castles and we thought those are young compared to what we saw in Israel! It’s all relative.

    • mercedescatalan

      Oh, but then you have those impressive mountains and canyons formed millions of years ago… And when you stand in front of them, you feel tiny and so ephemeral in comparison… That’s what I felt in Yosemite!!! And those long queues you mentioned too…. hahaha. And you have that incredible wildlife… that has already disappeared in Europe centuries ago!!! Ok, canyons, mountains, rivers, wildlife, they are not man made, of course, but they add so much to your culture…
      Yes, it’s all relative. But I guess that’s why travelling is so great! It makes you see everything in a different perspective

  3. Your photos are truly fabulous, Mercedes. A city shown with love. 🙂 🙂 A friend mentioned La Macarena and said I should try to see Our Lady next time- especially if I could time it for her festival.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Jo!! So happy you like my version of Seville 🙂
      There are many beautiful and impressive religious sculptures in Seville… But for me, la Macarena is by far the most beautiful one! Not only the sculpture, but the Easter procession is quite stunning!! No wonder why she has so many devotes. If you go again to Seville and you want to see the sculpture, arrive with time to the church: you can see the sculpture from behind (it’s where I took the photo of her in my previous post)

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