Seville - Day 2 - From Catedral de Sevilla to Hotel Alfonso XIII (Puerta de Jerez)

MAY 04,2018 - MAY 04,2018 (1 DAYS)

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Seville - Day 2 - From (Prado San Sebastian) Catedral de Sevilla to Hotel Alfonso XIII (Puerta de Jerez and Prado San Sebastian):

Tip 1 Main Attractions: Jardines de Murillo, Santa Cruz quarter / Zona Monumental,  The Giralda, Catedral de Sevilla. 

Tip 2 Main Attractions: Real Alcázar de Sevilla.

Tip 3 Main Attractions: Archivo de las Indias, Puerta de Jerez, Hotel Alfonso XIII.

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Start: & End: Prado San Sebastian - circular route. Distance: 7-8 km. Weather: The beginning and end of our itinerary are in open spaces. 2/3 of the day is devoted to the Cathedral and the Alcázar. Keep in mind you should queue-in for these two site (at least, 1/2-1 hour/each). Indoor Times: allow 1 hour (min.) for the Cathedral and 2-3 hours for the Alcázar. Allow minimum 1-1.5 hours for queuing-up.

Day 2 Itinerrary: We took the #28 bus from our IBIS hotel in Seville (5 stops) to Santa Justa (one of Seville main bus stations). From there we continued with the EA bus to Prado San Sebastian (5 stops). North to the bus station of Prado San Sebastian extends Avenida Carlos V. We walk along Avenida Carlos V from east to west. On our right is the Placio de Justica (Sevilla Courts). We cross Mendez Pelayo (crosslights) and continue westward. On our right: the Jardines de Murillo which are the result of a 1911 gift from the Huerta del Retiro del Alcázar. Quite extensive gardens. Its final design is the work of architect Juan Talavera y Heredia. The gardens present a composition based on grid paths formed by hedges and sidewalks which create octagonal roundabouts where they meet, with fountains in the centres and benches covered with tiles. The flowerbeds are filled with dense masses of vegetation, giving the park an intimate atmosphere. The gardens end at the Plaza de Refinadores, presided over by a statue dedicated to Don Juan Tenorio. Recommended gardens. Nicely maintained, lots of orange trees and little fountains. Home of the Christopher Columbus monument. Haven for some quiet time when touring the city. Amazing trees with over century history. In the Medieval times was one of the biggest Jewish cemeteries in Seville. The gardens border the Alcázar:

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A bit north to Columbus monuents (with our face to the north) we turn LEFT (north-west) and walk along Calle Antonio el Balarin.  On our left the Muslim Walls from the 12th-14th centuries:

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 It is 10 minutes walking to the Santa Cruz quarter or Zona Monumental. Continue onto Plaza Alfaro, take the stairs, 256 m. Slight left onto Calle Lope de Rueda and continue 90 m. further. All around - marvelous antique doors and houses:

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The Hotel Murillo Sevilla Center, Calle Lope de Rueda, 7 is on your left:

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We turn left and right to arrive to Calle Jamerdana. Head northwest on Calle Jamerdana toward Calle Ximénez de Enciso, 35 m. Turn left onto Pje. de Vila, 10 m. Continue onto Pje. Andreu, 35 m and turn left onto Callejón Consuelo, 15 m. Head northwest on Callejón Consuelo toward Pje. Andreu, 15 m. Slight left onto Pje. Andreu, 10 m. Turn right onto Calle Rodrigo Caro, 50 m. We shall approach the Catedral de Sevilla from Santa Cruz quarter. 

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Turn left onto Calle Mateos Gago, 130 m.

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Turn left onto Pl. del Triunfo, 10 m.  The Giralda is the bell tower of the Seville Cathedral. It was originally built as the minaret for the Great Mosque of Seville in al-Andalus, Moorish Spain, during the reign of the Almohad dynasty, with a Renaissance-style top subsequently added by the Catholics after the expulsion of the Muslims from the area. The Giralda was registered in 1987 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, along with the Alcázar and the General Archive of the Indies. The tower is 104 m in height and remains one of the most important symbols of the city, as it has been since the Middle Ages. We queue up quite a long time until we enter the Cathedral through the  Moorish entrance, which is defined by its ornate fountain, where worshippers could wash their hands and feet before their daily prayers. Preserved pieces of various religions contribute to the overall magnificence of this sight.

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Seville’s main mosque was constructed between the years 1184-1198, though its conversion to a Cathedral in 1248 would later lead to major reconstruction. These changes gave the Cathedral a dramatic, Gothic appearance that was largely characterized by its massive size. Despite mass reconstruction, two parts of the original mosque were preserved: the Moorish entrance and the Giralda Bell Tower.

Bear in mind there is a long and exhausting queue for the cathedral. We spent 1/2 hour in the sun. Sometimes - not easy. Tickets available to buy online in advance to avoid the queue. Enter at the "door of the prince", take the left side with pre-booked tickets. You can purchase a combi ticket at Church of El Salvador, Seville’s second largest church which is about 5 mins walk from the Cathedral, for the same price (€9). With that same ticket, just walk right through the entrance to the gate near the ticketing counter to enter the cathedral. Do note that the entrance for Group and Individual tourist is different. Even after you entered the cathedral - it is busy. You cannot avoid the herds of visitors even in top of the Giralda tower. So many selfies and fuss around. We would recommend getting there early.

southwestern side of the Cathedral - Door of the Prince:

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Door of the Baptism:

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You cant visit Seville without taking a look at Seville Cathedral, one of the most famous Roman Catholic Cathedrals which is spectacular inside as well as outside. Take time to visit the many side chapels of this UNESCO World Heritage site and you will breathless with the incredible ceilings and art work. Many people state that this is the biggest Gothic cathedral in the world ! It is the third-largest when compared to the Neoclassical Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and Saint Paul's Cathedral in London. Allow 2 hours to visit the cathedral - including the Giralda tower.

A symbol of the Christian Reconquest over the Moors, the cathedral was constructed between 1402 and 1506 on the site of the town's 12th-century Great Mosque. The cathedral has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reflecting its cultural and historic importance. The splendour of the Cathedral is furthered by the influence of the Renaissance, where work in the Royal Chapel, the Main Sacristy, and the Chapter House was carried out. Massive building with many very ornate features and rich catholic icons. The cathedral is beautiful and contains stunning art and religious objects. A magnificent building with superb architecture.

The interior extends 117 meters in length, 76 meters in width, and soars to 40 meters in height. The five-aisled interior is laid out on a rectangular floor plan, and the space is notable for its beautiful lines and overall sense of harmony:

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The choir loft, which fills the central portion of the nave:

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Sacrisitia Mayor (the treasures and the gallery): The treasures of the temple can also be remarked, as a large number of paintings by Murillo, like the portraits of San Isidoro and San Leandro; pictures like Santa Teresa, of Zurbarán, and the sculpted head of San Juan Bautista.

Great sacristy ceiling:

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The Cathedral keys:

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Internal court of the the Main Sacristy:

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Capilla del Pilar:

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Altar de Plata - The so-called Silver Altar is an ephemeral monument that was mounted to celebrate the liturgical celebrations and for the greater glory of the Sacrament. Formerly it was erected before the High Altar during the octaves of the Corpus and the Immaculate.

Central area, with the large demonstrator shaped like the sun, under which the image of the Virgin of Granada is placed, with San Isidoro and San Leandro on either side:

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Capilla de San Francisco - when we arrive before the Chapel of San Francisco we see, in the frontal wall, a showcase in whose interior is a bust of an Ecce Homo, anonymous Sevillian of the XVII century:

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Ecce Homo . Anonymous Sevillian of the seventeenth century:

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The tomb of Christopher Columbus is magnificent. The tomb houses some of his relics, and the font in the baptistery Chapel of Saint Anthony which contains the painting of The Vision of Saint Anthony (1656) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Incredible gold altar wall befitting the resting place of a world explorer. This monument created by Arturo Mélida in 1892 was originally built for the Cathedral of Havana in Cuba, but was brought to Seville after the loss of Cuba in the Spanish-American War of 1898:

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The side chapels of the Seville Cathedral contain an abundance of art treasures, opulent tombs, and stunning altarpieces. Notable works include the Guardian Angel by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, displayed to the right of the Puerta Mayor. The baptistery Chapel of Saint Anthony (in the second chapel in the North Aisle) contains another painting of The Vision of St. Anthony (1656) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. In November 1874, it was discovered that thieves had cut out the portion depicting Saint Anthony. The Saint Antonio Chapel also displays the Baptism of Christ and The Infant Christ appearing to Saint Anthony of Padua. Among the finest sarcophagi found in the side chapels are the Gothic monument of Juan de Cervantes in the Capilla de San Hermenegildo and the Plateresque-style tomb of Archbishop Mendoza in the Capilla de la Antigua:

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Capilla de los Dolores:

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Capilla de San Pablo:

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Inside the cathedral is a spectacular golden altarpiece. This altarpiece and the Tomb of Columbus are the two main highlights of the cathedral. The most spectacular part of the interior is undoubtedly the golden Retablo Mayor (main altarpiece) in the main chapel of the Seville Cathedral. This magnificent masterpiece was designed by the Flemish craftsman Pierre Dancart who worked for forty-four years on the reliefs, starting in 1482. The altarpiece was finally finished in 1564 with help from other artists. Large iron grilles, forged between 1518 and 1532, separate visitors from the altarpiece. The Retablo Mayor, the largest altarpiece in the world, consists of thirty-six gilded relief panels depicting scenes from the old testament and the lives of saints. At the altar in front of the wall of gold sits a statue of Santa Maria de la Sede, the patron saint of the Cathedral:

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Natural light in the cathedral is scarce, because the windows are small and bear beautiful stained glasses. Illuminating the interior are 75 stained-glass windows dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The oldest windows are the work of Cristóbal Alemán and Arnao de Flandes. A decorative 16th-century reja (grille) encloses the choir, which boats ornately carved Gothic stalls created from 1475 to 1479:

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The tower (included in entrance price) provides spectacular views. Great view from top but it’s a long climb up. The top accessed by 34 ramps and one set of steps. The bells are quite loud if you happen to be up top when they strike! A warning though: there are a number of steep spiral stairways to navigate, so probably not suitable for those with mobility issues. This iconic Moorish tower is the most emblematic landmark in Seville. Formerly an Islamic Minaret, the Giralda Tower is one of the few remaining elements of the original Great Mosque that was replaced by the cathedral. The tower was built in the 12th century by Islamic rulers of the Almohad dynasty, who hailed from the Atlas Mountains of North Africa. Architect Alí de Gómara designed the brick section of the tower, which exemplifies Moorish design with its decorative arched niches and geometric patterns typical of buildings in Andalusia. The nearly 100-meter-high tower is now the cathedral's Bell Tower. At the top is the 16th-century El Giraldillo weather vane, an enormous bronze statue of a female figure bearing a cross to symbolize Faith. Tourists may climb to the top of the Tower for sensational views over the city. Admission to the tower is separate from the cathedral and opening times are also slightly different:

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Bells of the Giralda tower:

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The Organ of The Catedral de Sevilla:

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Puerta del Lagarto (near the Patio de los Naranjos:

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The Patio de los Naranjos large courtyard contained within the cathedral precinct is a beautiful way to leave the cathedral underneath the orange trees. This patio was the ablutions courtyard of the mosque and is entered through a fancifully decorated Moorish gate, the Puerta del Perdón, that was the main entrance to the mosque. In the center of the patio is an octagonal fountain, a relic of the Islamic midha used for ritual washing before entering the mosque, a custom in the Muslim faith. As the name suggests, the patio is planted with orange trees. During springtime when the flowers are in bloom, a heavenly fragrance of sweet citrus blossoms permeates the courtyard:

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The Cathedral from Puerta del Perda:

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The Giralda from the Door of Prince: 

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Opening hours: MON: from 11.00 to 15:.30, TUE to SAT: from 11.00 to 17.00, SUN: from 14.30 to 18.00. July and August (except July 17 and 25): MON from 10.30 to 16.00,  TUE to SAT from 10.30  to 18.00, SUN from 14.00. to 19.00. Closed: January 1, January 6, December 25. Reduced hours (11.00 to 13.00): January 5, December 24 and 31. Prices: The entrance includes a visit to the Gothic Cathedral, the sacristies and the Renaissance chapter house, the treasury, the Giralda, the patio of the orange trees and the Church of El Salvador located in the Plaza del Salvador (600 meters from the Cathedral). Prices: General admission: € 9 (does NOT include audio guide, the price of which is € 3 if requested), reduced ticket : 4 € Pensioners / Students up to 25 years old (DOES NOT include audioguide, the price of which is € 3 if requested), FREE admission: children up to 14 years of age accompanied by an adult, handicapped, FREE - Mondays from 16.30  to 18.00. 

The Cathedral from Pl. del Trio(u)nfo during the afternoon hours:

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From Pl. del Triunf we continue (200 m. walk) to the Puerta del Leon: the main entrance of the Real Alcázar de Sevilla. Skip to Tip 2 below.

Spain

1 DAYS

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Alcázar

Tip 2 Main Attractions: Real Alcázar de Sevilla,

From Pl. del Triunfo (after exiting the Seville Cathedral) - we head south on Pl. del Triunfo toward Calle Miguel Mañara, 110 m. Turn left onto Calle Miguel Mañara, 95 m. and Puerta del Leon, the main entrance to the Real Alcázar de Sevilla (Royal Palace in Seville) is on the left:

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Opening hours: October to March: everyday: 09.30 - 17.00. April to September: everyday from 09.30 to 19.00. Closed on: January 1 and 6, Good Friday and December 25. Prices for day visits: General admission : adult -  € 11.50. This entry includes the visit to the ground floor of the Palaces and Gardens of the Real Alcázar. Reduced entry for pensioners and students from 17 to 25 years old (upon presentation of the supporting documentation) : €3.  FREE: minors up to 16 years of age (accompanied by a person of legal age), people with disabilities, all of them upon presentation of the supporting documentation. Note: expect waiting at least 1/2 hour with a long queue of visitors. Avoid hot or freezing days. There are 3 queues: the left one: for guided visits, the middle one - with pre-booked tickets, the right one - without in-advance booking. The staff members decide, in rael-time, which queue to advance. In summer days - you may queue-up longer than 1 hour ! A breathtaking spectacle. A magnificent marriage of Christian and Mudéjar architecture. 

The Real Alcazar is one of the oldest palaces still in use in the world. The site, which was originally developed as a fort in 913, has been revamped many times over the 11 centuries of its existence. The palace has evolved through different stages over time, from the late 10th century to the present day. From its walls we can appreciate the influence of the cultures that have passed through the city. The Alcázar started life in the 10th century as a fort for the Cordoban governors of Seville but it was in the 11th century that it got its first major rebuild. Under the city’s Abbadid rulers, the original fort was enlarged and a palace known as Al-Muwarak (the Blessed) was built in what’s now the western part of the complex. Subsequently, the 12th-century Almohad rulers added another palace east of this, around what’s now the Patio del Crucero. Christian king Fernando III moved into the Alcázar when he captured Seville in 1248, and several later monarchs used it as their main residence. Fernando’s son Alfonso X replaced much of the Almohad palace with a Gothic one and then, between 1364 and 1366, Pedro I created his stunning namesake palace.

Entry to the complex is through the Puerta del León (Lion Gate) on Plaza del Triunfo.

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Passing through the gateway, which is flanked by crenellated walls, you come to the Patio del León (Lion Patio), which was the garrison yard of the original Al-Muwarak palace.

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Interior Patio near the entrance from Purta del Leon:

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Off to the left before the arches is the Sala de la Justicia (Hall of Justice), with beautiful Mudéjar plasterwork and an artesonado (ceiling of interlaced beams with decorative insertions). This room was built in the 1340s by the Christian King Alfonso XI, who disported here with one of his mistresses, Leonor de Guzmán, reputedly the most beautiful woman in Spain:

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The room off its northern end has an international collection of beautiful, elaborate fans:

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Next, you see the Sala de Audiencias,whose ceiling is inlaid with golden rosettes:

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Look at the Retablo de la virgen de los mareantes (Triptich) in the Sala de Audiencias:

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The Sala de Audiencias (Chapter House) is hung with tapestry representations of the shields of Spanish admirals and Alejo Fernández’ celebrated 1530s painting Virgen de los mareantes (Madonna of the Seafarers):

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The Salón del Almirante (Admiral’s Hall) houses 19th- and 20th-century paintings showing historical events and personages associated with Seville. There is also a painted altarpiece in the Almirante room, dedicated to the Virgin of Sailors:

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The facade of the Palacio del Rey Don Pedro is still today the Alcázar’s crown jewel. It was built next to the Gothic palace of Alfonso X 1 at the initiative of King Pedro I , between 1356 and 1366, its construction was collaborated by craftsmen from Toledo , Granada and Seville itself. This palace was constructed to serve as a private building of King Pedro I. It is a special experience walking along the galleries and rooms decorated with beautiful tiles and admiring the beautiful Mudejar ceilings.

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from the lobby you reach the Patio de las Doncellas, main courtyard, a masterpiece of Andalusian Mudejar art:

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From the entrance to the maidens' patio we find the Alcoba Real on the right, 

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the Embajadores room is on the right:

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and the Carlos V. Ceiling room on the left. The Renaissance splendour  shines through in the rooms of Carlos V, while the interior rooms display magnificent collections of tapestries show Carlos V conquering Tunisia:

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Do not miss the Patio de las Muñecas courtyard, with its fascinating collection of capitals:

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The Patio de la Monteria owes its name (The Hunting Courtyard) to the fact that hunters would meet here before hunts with King Pedro:

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Patio del Yeso, part of the 12th-century Almohad palace reconstructed in the 19th century:

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Jardin de la Galeria:

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Jardin de las Flores:

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Jardin de Trogu(?):

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Jardin de la Danza:

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Jardin de las Damas:

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Jardin de la Alcoba:

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El Cenador de Carlos + El Cenador del Leon:

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A view to the Labyrinth:

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A staircase near the Alcázar WC:

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Palms and Roses:

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Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Manicured Trees:

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Galeria de las Grutesquos. As you exit the backside of Real Alcázar and enter the gardens, the first visual treasure you will admire is on an elevated terrace. This is the Gallery of the Grotesque. This former Almohad wall was lavishly reimagined in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The frescos of mythological creatures between the columns resembling coral were painted by Diego de Esquivel. Accenting the pond is a statue of Mercury, the Greek deity of industry and commerce. The mythological god was sculpted by Bartolomé Morel in 1576:

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Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Mercury Pond:

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Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

View to the gardens from Mercury Pond:

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Patio de Alcubillo - on our way out from the Alcázar:

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You exit the Alcázar through the Apladero near the Patio de Banderas:

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

As we exit the Alcázar - we cross, again the Pl. del Trionfo:

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Our next destination is the Archivo de las Indias. Skip to Tip 3.

Citywalk

Tip 3 Main Attractions: Archivo de las Indias, Puerta de Jerez, Hotel Alfonso XIII.

From Pl. del Triunfo head south toward Calle Miguel Mañara, 110 m. Continue onto Calle Fray Ceferino González, 100 m. Turn left onto Av. de la Constitución, 40 m. to see Archivo de Indias on your left. The Archivo General de Indias is, actually, situated adjacent to the Cathedral, on Avenida de la Constitucion. This 16th-century building houses 80 million pages of documents and maps about the Indies (9km of shelving), Spain’s mighty empire from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, providing the most complete and documented historical view (thought, not the most objective) of the Spanish administration of the New World. Open to the public, the Archive stages frequent exhibitions, and documents can be viewed for research purposes. In 1987, the Archive was officially designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the group of buildings which also includes the Alcazar and the cathedral. The archives' building was, originally,  built as the Casa Lonja de Mercadores in 1573. The square two-storey building, with galleries around a central patio, has several public spaces: one gallery on the ground floor, while a large part of the first floor is dedicated to exhibits for visitors. The gallery on the ground floor houses a bronze cannon with a fascinating history. Made in Seville in 1616, it was used on a galleon which sunk in 1622 near Cuba. The ship was located in 1975, using documentation from the Archivo, its cargo of silver and gold coins recovered, and the weapon was returned to Spain in 1976. The Lonja is famous for its magnificent red and white marble staircase which leads from the ground floor to the first floor. This was built with marble from Malaga, and is very impressive with its name plaque and royal crest carved in relief. Upstairs, you can see maps dating from the 17th century of almost every Spanish colony, extending across the whole of Central and South America, and across to Asia: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, the Phillippines. FREE. Opening hours: MON-SAT: 9.30-517.00, Sunday and holidays: 10.00-14.00:

 Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We continue southward along Av. de la Constitución:

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On your left - Torre Abdel Aziz:

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Av. de la Constitución ends, in the south, in Puerta de Jerez. The Puerta de Jerez is one of the main pedestrian squares in Seville, gateway to the city's sights. Its name comes from the old gate of Jerez which used to be on this site, one of the main accesses through the city walls, and leading to the road from Seville to Jerez de la Frontera (The gate does not exist anymore). The square has a wealth of beautiful constructions, such as the Fuente de Híspalis, right in the middle; the Hotel Alfonso XIII, built for the 1929 Exposition; the Palace of Yanduri, influenced by the French tradition and built in the early 20th Century; the Guardiola House; and the Chapel of Santa María de Jesús. In recent years, the space has been pedestrianised, connecting the square to the Cristina Gardens, becoming a lovely area for the enjoyment and recreation of  citizens and visitors:

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

View of the Cathedral from Av. de la Constitución and Puerta de Jerez:

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As we turn left (east) to Calle San Fernando - we see Hotel Alfonso XIII on our right. Hotel Alfonso XIII is a historic hotel in Seville, Spain, located on Calle San Fernando, next to the University of Seville. Designed by the architect José Espiau y Muñoz, it was built between 1916 and 1928 especially for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It officially opened on April 28, 1929, with a sumptuous banquet attended by King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg. The hotel is owned by the City of Seville:

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Spain, visiting things to do in Spain, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

A few steps further along Calle San Fernando will bring us back to the main bus station of Prado San Sebastian.

Spain

- DAYS
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