Sevilla information

Introduction to the Province of Sevilla
The province of Sevilla in Andalucia is probably the most visited of all the inland provinces in the region. The city of Sevilla is a marvellous jewel in Andalucia’s crown, famous for its oranges, flamenco and bullfighting traditions. The rest of the province offers some fine, historical and beautiful towns and villages and there’s also some stunning scenery and natural spaces to retreat to when the city gets too hot.

Sevilla City
The grand old city of Sevilla, with the River Guadalquivir coursing its way through it, is a place that warrants a visit of several days. You will be hard pushed to do justice to everything here in just one day, but you will have fun trying! Sevilla has the advantage of being flat and so “on foot” is the ideal way to see it. It also has a good system of cycle lanes and public bike hire service so that is another option for getting round the city. Alternatively you could opt for an open top, hop on and off bus tour or one of the tourist horse and carriages.

Sevilla’s Cathedral with its Giralda tower is a good place to begin your exploration. The Cathedral is truly breathtaking in its proportions and is stuffed full of exquisite side chapels. A climb to the top of the Giralda is a must, for the extensive views of the city. Opposite the Cathedral, across the Plaza del Triunfo, is Sevilla’s Real Alcazar, once a fortress and still a palace. Its sumptuous interior and delightful gardens will distract you for hours.

South of the Cathedral is the Antigua Fabrica de Tabacos (the old tobacco factory), made famous by “Carmen”, and the Parque Maria Luisa, developed for the exhibition of 1929. The park provides a shady place to go when the sun is blazing down. Behind the park you’ll find the Plaza de España (famously featured in “Star Wars”), a massive semi-circular building, flanked by two towers, that curves around an open “square” with tiled features dedicated to each of Spain’s provinces.

Beside the river, the Torre del Oro (Golden Tower) is a famous city landmark and from here it is a short stroll to another, La Maestranza, Sevilla’s bullring. Across any of the bridges that span the Guadalquivir, you’ll find yourself in the district known as Triana, a great place to find backstreet tapas bars or flamenco shows.

Sevilla is at its busiest and most vibrant during atmospheric Holy Week (Semana Santa) and again during the non-stop partying of the Feria in April.

Around Sevilla City and Beyond
Just outside Sevilla city is the site of Italica, once one of the biggest and most important cities of the Roman Empire. Some of the houses that have been excavated have fine examples of Roman floor mosaics. In the north of the province are the Parque Natural Sierra Norte and the hills of the Sierra Morena. The pretty town of Cazalla de la Sierra is a good base for exploring this area. There are several marked walking trails from Cazalla taking you to the park’s wooded areas and rivers. The nearby 15th Century Carthusian monastery of La Cartuja is also not to be missed.

The town of Carmona, east from Sevilla city, was one a heavily fortified Roman outpost. Nowadays it’s a sleepy, attractive market town. The town’s streets and its Roman Necropolis are fascinating to explore.

Ecija isn’t known as the “frying pan” of Andalucia for nothing. This town regularly records the highest summer temperatures in the region. It is also famed for its many 18th Century church towers that give Ecija an appearance redolent of Oxford.

The little-visited university town of Osuna has a feeling of discreet grandeur about it. It is dominated by the beautiful 16th Century Church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion and the old university, which sit at the top of the steep hill around which Osuna is built. This area and the town itself below are delightful places for a stroll.

A little beyond Osuna is the town of Estepa, famous throughout Spain for the mantecados and polvorones (almond biscuits) that it produces at Christmas. Estepa also has some very fine monuments in its Torre de la Victoria (Victoria Tower), the 18th Century Palace of the Marquesses of Cerverales, the beautiful Baroque Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion and the Torre de la Homenaje situated high above the town within the old, fortified and walled hill of San Cristobal. This area is stunning when illuminated at night.

The Gastronomy of Sevilla
Sevilla is famed for its tapas (a small portion of a dish, served with a beer) culture. Typical tapas that you might encounter are Aceitunas (olives), Flamenquines (rolls of breaded and fried ham) and Montaditos (small bread rolls with varying fillings). Other typically Sevillan dishes include Huevos a la Flamenca (eggs baked in a tomato, onion and garlic sauce, usually with ham), Gazpacho (cold soup made from tomato, cucumber, bread, garlic, olive oil and vinegar), Cogollos con Anchoa (seared baby lettuce hearts served with anchovies) and Espinacas con Garbanzos (a dish of spinach with chickpeas). Don’t forget to try the Mantecados and Polvorones (almond biscuits) from Estepa and remember that the oranges that grow on the trees in towns in Sevilla do not taste good – they should only be used for marmalade!


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