Seville Art and Culture
 
A  guide to the best  places to visit in Seville, Spain.
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Seville Art and Culture
A mixture of artistic traditions
Seville has witnessed the passage of the most diverse civilisations. Hispalis was founded by the Tartessans and next to it, in the year 207 B.C. the Romans built the remarkable city of Italica
 
Founded by the Roman General Publius Cornelius Scipio, the city witnessed the birth of two Roman Emperors:Trajan and Hadrian. The long Muslim rule, from the year 711 till 1248, left indelible marks in this city. The end of the Cordovan Caliphate in the 11th century gave rise to the splendour of the Taifa Kingdom of Seville, especially under the rule of al-Mutamid, the Poet-King.
The height of Seville's splendour came with the Discovery of America. During the 16th and 17th centuries, its port was one of the most important in Spain, having the monopoly on trade with the overseas colonies. The intense trading activity in Seville during this period gave rise to an urban layout filled with small palaces, noble houses, churches and convents.
 


The monumental site formed by the Cathedral, Royal Fortresses and Archive of the Indies was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is the city's emblem. The Gothic church, built on top of the Almohad Mosque of Seville, is located among whitewashed houses in the district of Santa Cruz.Of the Arab legacy, the old minaret is preserved, which nowadays is the famous Giralda, as well as the Patio de los Naranjos (the Courtyard of the Orange Trees).
 


Next to these, the Reales Alcázares (Royal Fortresses) are built on top of an Arab citadel from the 9th century, yet we owe the Mudéjar decoration to Pedro I the Cruel in the 14th century. The walls enclose numerous rooms, lavish halls, and intimate courtyards. Its spacious gardens, with Arabic and Renaissance elements, frame the whole complex.

Finally, the Archive of the Indies leads us to Spanish renaissance art. It is one of the most important documentation centres in existence relating to the conquest of America. Another important renaissance building in the city is the Casa de Pilatos, a palace that fuses Gothic and Mudejar elements with Renaissance influences of Italian origin.

We can also approach the baroque façade of the Royal Tobacco Factory, now the University, the San Telmo Palace, the María Luisa Park, or Plaza de EspañaAround here there are many interesting buildings, part of the Hispanic-American Exhibition that took place in Seville in 1929.
 
On the banks of the Guadalquivir we find the Torre del Oro, of Arab origin, which dates back to the 13th century and was part of the ancient walls. Because of its close relationship to the maritime history of Seville, this tower was chosen to house the Navy Museum.Its silhouette marks the entrance to Arenal, a bullfighting district par excellence. One of the most emblematic bullrings in Spain is located here: the one belonging to the Real Maestranza de Caballería.

Seville's city centre leads us into the best-known streets, like Sierpes or Campana; and to numerous churches, hospitals, Renaissance palaces and Baroque buildings. In addition, the district of La Macarena holds landmarks like the Alameda de Hércules, the old Hospital de Las Cinco Llagas (now housing the Parliament of Andalusia), the Basilica of La Macarena, and the Church of San Lorenzo. The last two guard the most cherished religious images of Seville: La Virgen de la Esperanza (the Virgin of Hope), and the Jesús del Gran Poder (Jesus Almighty), carvings venerated during the Holy Week processions.

Another one of the truly authentic districts of the city is Triana, on the other side of the river. Its old seagoing tradition is evident in Calles Pureza, Betis, and Alfarería, as well as in the Plaza del Altozano. The Parish of Santa Ana, and the Chapel of the Cristo de la Expiración, were they worship the Cristo del Cachorro are surrounded by colourful houses and reminders of the 19th century.

The Island of Cartuja is located on this side of the river, where the architectural legacy left by the 1992 World Exhibition meets the monumental site of the Carthusian monastery and the Andalusian Centre for Contemporary Art.

A walk around Seville will take us to a number of museums, like the Fine Arts Museum, one of the most important of its kind in Spain. Located in the 18th century Convent of La Merced, it has works by El Greco, Velázquez, Zurbarán, and Valdés Leal and an outstanding collection of paintings by Murillo, located in the convent's chapel.

In addition, the Cathedral Museum exhibits priceless collections of precious metalwork, paintings, reliquaries, jewels and religious vestments.

Another important museum is the Provincial Archaeological Museum, which has a collection of Roman artefacts that were found in the nearby city of Italica, as well as the Tartessian Carambolo treasure, and other oriental pieces. To complete your experience of the Roman World, visit the no less important collection under the care of Condesa de Lebrija House-Museum.

However, if the traveller has enough time, an "in situ" visit to the Italica Archaeological Site, which includes the amphitheatre and the Hadrian district, with Roman mosaics and sculptures.

The Museum of Popular Arts and Customs, which has a peculiar collection of antique clothing, lathes and horse-drawn flour mills, as well as popular furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries, should not be forgotten.

The attractive cultural panorama of Seville also includes other centres and art galleries, like the Bullfighting Museum, the Focus Foundation, and the Monastery of San Clemente Exhibition Hall
 
31st December
 Sevilla
 12 lucky grapes for all present and fireworks at the doors of the Town Hall