TuesdayWe drive to Seville, through rolling hills, avoiding the odd blazing car-crash, and pausing to view the hill-top fort and white town of Teba, where in 1330, Sir James Douglas, en route to Jerusalem carrying the heart of Robert the Bruce, died fighting the Moors, presumably in what was supposed to be some sort of warm-up or pre-season friendly.
WednesdayWe have an excellent apartment, with living room, kitchen, washing machine and terrace, and are taking the opportunity to relax and unwind, as well as appreciating the sights, and a visit to the Flamenco show at el Tablao Arenal.
"Seville is a pleasant city, famous for oranges and women." Lord ByronSeville is also the capital of Andalucia, and, for some, heart and soul of Spain. Jan Morris locates the heart in the Escorial Palace near Madrid, but maybe there is more than one. But wherever it lies, it's currently being kept going by the European Central Bank, and maybe about to lose a major organ or two in the shape of Catalonia.
|Giralda tower in Seville|
More interesting for us was Real Alcázar, which was something of a surprise. It is a royal residence, based on an original fort built by the Moors in the 10th century, and expanded up until the reconquista in 1248, when a palace was constructed. Pedro I mustered an army of architects and craftsmen, including those who had worked on the Nasrid Palaces in Granada, plus others from Toledo and Seville, including Jewish artisans, to a Christian palace synthesising 400 years of Iberian Muslim architectural tradition.
We also appreciated the early twentieth-century architecture around the commercial centre, much of it blending art nouveau with revival mudejar style.
|Detail of the Neptune mosaic at Italica|
A 3D recreation of the city is viewable on YouTube: