SEVILLE, A SPANISH CITY TEEMING WITH CHARM, ROMANCE AND HISTORY.
In the pantheon of world tourist destinations Seville, Spain, is truly special.
Its citizens exude warmth. Its ancient streets and historic neighbourhoods are romantic, charming , and yes, beautiful. The whole city gives off a feeling of lightness and there is a special ethereal ambience which stays with visitors for a long long time.
For those planning a visit here is some helpful information:
LOCATION AND POPULATION.
Seville is situated in the south of Spain and is the capital of the Region of "Andalusia".
It has a polulation of 700,000. And its charm immediately casts a spell on travellers .
Its historical city centre is the largest of its type in Spain with a wide variety of architectural and heritage "jewels". They include the world famous Seville Cathedral - with its historic "La Giralda" tower, the stunning Palace "Reales Alcazares", the Archive of the Indies, and the Golden Tower.
HOW TO GET TO SEVILLE AND WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE THERE.
Seville has a mediterranean climate. Summers are very dry and warm, and winters are pleasant and mild.
The average temperature all year round is 18.6 degrees Celsius - one of the highest in Europe.
The streets of Seville are lined with orange and lemon trees (and Dame de Noche shrubs) flooding the atmosphere with the magical perfume of lemon and orange blossom.
Seville's port, situated 80 km away from the Atlantic Ocean, is truly
historical, being the point of departure for the voyages of Christopher Colombus. It is the only fluvial port in Spain and Seville's famous river,The Guadalquivir, is navigable from its estuary in Sanlucar de Barrameda to the city of Seville.
The city is highly accessible with an international airport and the high speed train, the AVE, takes only two hours to travel from Madrid.
CONTRAST IN SEVILLE: PASSION WEEK AT EASTER AND THE EXCITING APRIL FESTIVAL.
It is always an uplifting experience to visit Seville, but it is especially so for Easter and The April Festival.
Easter in Seville known as the "Semana de Pasion" is world renowned as of "international tourist interest."
The highpoint of this week, with intense religious feeling everywhere, is when the various fraternities walk in colorful procession from their churches to the Cathedral, creating spectacular scenes which could only happen in a city like Seville.
DANCE DANCE DANCE
"La Feria de Abril" is a week long festival of flamenco dancing, "fiesta" and bullfighting.
During "La Feria, Seville is divided in two:
In one part the stunning "Plaza de Toros" (bullfighting Arena
"La Real Maestranza") is centre stage each evening at 6p.m. as the top "toreos" (bullfighters) and the celebrities from Seville arrive to celebrate the "corrida" (bullfight).
In the other part of the city, the "La Feria" at "Barrio los Remedios",a festival or "fiesta" is guaranteed at any time of the day or night!
Sevillians – men, women and children - dress up in traditional gypsy costumes and dance "sevillanas" and "flamenco" in the fairground next to the Guadalquiver river.
Here onlookers can enjoy the excitement of the dancing while sampling the best local cuisine - available from many of the hundreds of the traditionally decorated "casetas" (individual marquee style tents) erected temporarily for the fiesta.
It is an unforgettable sight to see the parades with their carriages and riders, with women and children dressed up in their multi coloured "feria costumes" of shawls, polka dot skirts and "sombreros cordobeses" (hats).
It is really exciting when the riders dismount for a drink of "Fino" – Jerez sherry or some "manzanilla" wine and a taste of the tapas on offer.
Without warning, everywhere people begin to dance a "Sevillana" - an old traditional dance expressing courtly love that always delights visitors.
But Seville is famous not only for "La Feria de Abril" and "Semana Santa".Its University, founded in 1,505 has more than 55,000 students coming from all parts of Spain as well as many other parts of the world. This gives Seville an air of intellectuality to add to its already exotic warm and personal character.
And life in the streets of Seville is intense and interesting with food very much to the fore. In particular the famous Spanish "tapeo", tapas, or small really tasty snacks are available at nearly all bars and cafes.
The "tapeo", renowned for its simplicity and frugality, cleverly combines all that is fresh and nourishing from the Mediterranean diet.Art and Culture are omnipresent also in the life of Seville.
Flamenco music an intrinsic part of the city's heritage can break out at any moment and anywhere. Get involved with the locals and you will find how easy it is to get carried away by their music, dancing and lifestyle.And why not explore Seville on foot or by bicycle. Cross the river, once the domain of Christopher Colombus. Take the "Triana" bridge and get lost in the Labyrinth of "Santa Cruz". Soon you will fall in love with Seville..........for ever!