Legend has it that Seville was founded 3000 years ago by Hercules. Whilst this is perhaps unlikely, what is certain is that the Andalusian city is a hotbed, quite literally, of different cultures which culminates in one of the most fascinating cities in Spain. Seville is a perfect example of many associations with Spain, sizzling sunshine, fierce flamenco and brash bullfighting, but its architecture also nods to its Roman and Muslim past. This is no more evident than the Alcazar, a marvellous palace with beautiful garden grounds which combines both Muslim and Spanish influences. This is also clear in Seville’s immense cathedral, the largest in the world by volume, which stands on the site of the 12th-century Almohad mosque. The mosque’s minaret, the Giralda, is one of the largest in Christendom and towers beside the cathedral. Inside the cathedral stands the monumental tomb of Christopher Columbus, which is said to contain the bones of the famous explorer. The city’s locals are famous throughout Spain for being charismatic and welcoming, making it a real joy to visit.
Where is it?
Seville is found in the south of Spain, in the coastal region of Andalusia.
What is it?
The capital of Andalusia was a hugely important port city of the Moorish and then the Spanish Empire, and as such has a rich Muslim and Castilian heritage which is reflected in the architecture and character of the city.
Best time to visit?
Seville is famously sunny, but can become extremely hot during the summer. Visit in the spring, from March to June, to enjoy the sunshine without it becoming unbearable.
Plaza Espanya is one of the cities favourite relaxation spots, a lovely Plaza built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. Located in the Parque de María Luisa, a stunning pavilion building stretches around the square and is covered in colourful tiled Province Alcoves along its walls. A quaint river runs a circle around the perimeter, which can be navigated by charming tiny rowboats.