Day 6: Málaga – Seville
In the morning, you go northbound to the largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia, Seville. This city was the capital of the Muslim dynasty, considered to be the guardian angel of culture in Andalusia and the birthplace of the flamenco dance. Seville is the primary setting of many operas, the best known of which is Bizet’s Carmen. As the fourth largest city in Spain, it has hosted the World’s Fair in 1992.
Upon arrival, you will visit Seville Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. Its completion was back to the early 16th century and now the cathedral halls are dedicated as Royal Chapel, the burial place of the kings’ mausoleum for over a century, also the tomb of Christopher Columbus who discovered the New World as a credit to the great navigator.
From there onward we see the Alcázar of Seville, used to be a Muslim palace and the Spanish Royal Palace. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence, which is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the Seville Cathedral.
Then you walk through the Santa Cruz, Torre del Oro (the Tower of Gold) which is a dodecagonal military watchtower in Seville, southern Spain. It was erected by the Almohad Caliphate in order to control access to Seville via the Guadalquivir river. Then, visit Maria Luisa Park which is a large green space to the south of the city center, close to the river, with hundreds of exotic trees lining shady avenues, and historic, fairytale buildings, with exotic touches provided by colorful tiled benches, and Moorish fountains and pools. The park was the site of the Expo 29, which had Plaza de España as its centerpiece. Large enough never to feel crowded, the park is a delightful place for a quiet stroll, a kids’ runabout, or romantic horse-and-carriage or boat ride. Taking a horse and carriage is a great way to see the shady avenues of the park; a more energetic option is a bike for four with sunshade – the front seats have belts to strap wriggly young children in safely. You can find them in the road opposite Plaza de España.
In Plaza de España (Spain Square), you can admire a crafted porcelain painting, detailing the history and elegance of old Spain. It is designed by Aníbal González, was a principal building built on the Maria Luisa Park’s edge to showcase Spain’s industry and technology exhibits. González combined a mix of 1920s Art Deco and “mock Mudejar”, and Neo-Mudéjar styles. The Plaza de España complex is a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over the moat by numerous bridges representing the four ancient kingdoms of Spain. In the center is the Vicente Traver fountain. By the walls of the Plaza are many tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain. Each alcove is flanked by a pair of covered bookshelves, said to be used by visitors in the manner of “Little Free Library”. Today the Plaza de España mainly consists of Government buildings. The central government departments, with sensitive adaptive redesign, are located within it. The Plaza’s tiled Alcoves of the Provinces are backdrops for visitors portrait photographs, taken in their own home province’s alcove. Towards the end of the park, the grandest mansions from the fair have been adapted as museums. The farthest contains the city’s archaeology collections. The main exhibits are Roman mosaics and artefacts from nearby Italica.