Scribbler in Seville

These are a few of my favourite… places in Seville

Garden of Casa de Pilatos.

I have been toying with writing a post about the challenges of combining social media, writing and children, but guess what? I never got around to it. Because of the aforementioned three items. So instead, here are some of my favourite buildings in Seville, and details thereof. I had the idea when I saw a post on Tara Bradford’s excellent blog; sometimes things you take for granted, and see so often they no longer seem unusual or interesting, are exactly what you should be telling people about. These photos are no great shakes, just snaps.

After living here for a weeks shy of eight years, I still haven’t seen anything like all the city – so many little narrow alleys to explore, so little time. No doubt I’ll have some more favourites in a few years, when I’ve had more minutes to while away wandering around, camera in hand – which is, after all, the best way to take photos: with no hurry, observing and not imposing.

None of these photos are recent, but none of the buildings have been knocked down, either. There are few missing, which I couldn’t find (Barqueta bridge, the kilns of La Cartuja), which hopefully I’ll be able to add soon.

The Atarazanas, the royal shipyards.

This wonderful space is used for occasional art exhibitions and concerts, and at one point was going to be turned into a conference centre. Eek. Look at those arches – they were twice as high when the Royal Fleet’s ships were built here, but the rest of the pillars are below ground now. Buried treasure. I hope someone digs them up some time, and restores them to how they should be. That was the plan when it was going to be a museum of the river’s history, but that didn’t work out. Money, as ever.

Puerta del Perdon, Cathedral.

The Gate of Forgiveness, just the original part from the mosque-era shown here. It led to the Patio de Naranjos, where the Muslim faithful would wash before going in to pray. Look at that carving and the scalloped edge. Countless tourists pass through here – compared to the Atarazanas. I met my husband within sight of it, and he wooed me directly opposite – how can you not fall for someone, looking at this?

Muralla, fortified city wall, and tower.

I used to live just behind this wall, and I walked my dog along by it for years. I grew to love it, its texture and the feeling of inclusion within the city which it gave me. Sadly, the wall is not well maintained, and is crumbling in places. Like the Atarazanas, there’s as much of the walls below ground as there is above it. More hidden intrigue. I just love Seville.

Patio of Casa de Pilatos.

I visited this wonderful palace during my first week in Seville – I’d emailed and delivered my CV, and was waiting for job interviews. One of the welcome oases of calm and cool from the hot city. It’s a funny, and typically Sevillano, mix of Roman (the statue), mudejar (carved plaster arches) and Spanish Renaissance (painted balcony). The tiles are wonderful.

Patio of Convento de los Terceros.

This convent, and the palace next to it (Ponce de Leon) can only be visited by appointment, and I went with a group of middle-aged ladies, who clearly didn’t work, and who probably spent a good amount of time looking at places like this. It’s owned by the Water Board, but don’t hold that against it, as they seem to do a pretty good job of looking after the place.

Pabellon de Portugal, from Expo 29.

Noone does curved rooves like the Portuguese. Elegant, individual, and a tad oriental. Que maravilla.

Plaza de Armas, train station-turned-shopping centre.

The terrace below the massive stained-glass window belongs to the bar-club in the building, and is a fine place for a drink on a balmy summer’s evening. Inside, there are the usual chain stores, fast food outlets and a cinema, but even these can’t kill the spirit of this majestic edifice, also built for the 1929 Expo.

The Setas, otherwise known as Metropol Parasol.

And finally, and most recently, the Setas. This curving, swooping, winding structure is a breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, I love Seville’s old buildings. But there’s nothing wrong with bringing in this century, breaking the mould and shaking up such a traditional city.

9 thoughts on “These are a few of my favourite… places in Seville

  1. Tara Bradford

    Thanks for the kudos! Lovely photos; can’t wait to see the Setas for myself. And of course, hoping to meet you in person!

  2. lesley

    I think it’s time to visit these places again. Having moved away from the centre of town, I don’t get to see them on a daily basis anymore. Nice to be reminded how close we are to such beautiful places.

    1. Fiona Flores Watson

      It’s so easy to miss what’s right in front of us – head down, lost in thought, distracted, on the phone… I know, that’s exactly how I am – need to look with “new eyes”. Going away always helps, too – I always appreciate Seville more when I’ve been back to the UK.

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