Seville - city of music, Spain

Monday, September 22, 2014

Olé!

This weekend just gone I was in Seville, Spain for the bi-yearly Flamenco Festival La Bienal.

La Bienal is the biggest flamenco event worldwide. Held every two years, for a whole month at a time Seville is the must-be city for all flamenco fans. The city was a wonderful host, and hubby and I were truly spoilt by the music, weather, people and sights.

There are three words I would use to describe Seville - warm, dramatic and self-assured...

1. Warm...
Friendly people swarmed the streets and tiled squares, with smiling faces raised towards the warm sun, while heat radiated from the cobbled paths. Vibrant coloured buildings, intermixed with golden sandstone. I saw families, friends and couples relaxing in the warmth of the streets and celebrating life in this warm Southern Spanish city.

Taking in the heat of the day at Plaza de España - Seville
taking in the heat of the day at Plaza de España - Seville

Walking through the central city, fabric floating overhead to keep off the heat of the day - Seville
walking through the central city, 
fabric floating overhead to keep off the heat of the day - Seville

Locals and tourist alike gather for a free outdoor concert as part of the La Bienal Flamenco Festival - Seville
locals and tourists alike gather for a free outdoor concert 
- part of the La Bienal Flamenco Festival

Walking though a plaza at night - Seville
the nights were heavenly warm in Seville

2. DRAMATIC...
Never have I visited a city where I have been so overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the architecture! Move over Rome, New York and Tokyo - hello Seville. Not only are the buildings dramatic, but they are grand as well, and most importantly pleasant on the eyes.

Add to this architecture some dramatic flamenco music and dancing, emotional hand gestures, the rumble of excited voices, children running and playing in the beautiful squares (Seville has many) and people everywhere generally having a great time - and you have yourself one overwhelmingly dramatic city.

The Cathedral of St. Mary - Seville
The Cathedral of St. Mary - the third largest cathedral in the world,
and the largest of all medieval and Gothic cathedrals in terms of both area and volume...

The Cathedral of St. Mary - Seville
...it was so big I couldn't even begin to capture the front entrance with my camera

Inside the Cathedral of St. Mary - Seville
...inside the Cathedral of St. Mary
(in just one of the many corners)
we craned our necks to get a view of Jesus on the cross

Golden ceiling in the Hall of Ambassadors - Alcázar of Seville
golden ceiling in the Hall of Ambassadors - Alcázar of Seville
The Alcázar is the royal palace in Seville, 
and is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe

The Courtyard of the Maidens - Alcázar of Seville
the Courtyard of the Maidens - Alcázar of Seville

The Alcázar Gardens - Sevile
The Alcázar Gardens
- palm trees, a maze to get lost in and miles of paths to walk.
If I was going back again I'd take a book and picnic.

La Bienal Flamenco Festival - Seville 2014
the highlight of our weekend away?
the amazing flamenco of course!

3. Self-assured...
Sevillanos are proud of who they are, their culture, city, food and wine. They know themselves and what's important - family, children and friends. Self expression was everywhere, and seemed to be embraced by all.

A wedding in the Cathedral of St. Mary - Seville
we stumbled upon a wedding in the Cathedral of St. Mary.
The bride was singing Ave Maria, accompanied by a live orchestra,
while her newly husband joined in on Saxophone!

Plaza de España - Seville
the Plaza de España - Seville

Beautiful tiles adorn many a building in Seville
beautiful tiles adorn many a building in Seville

On a final note one can't go to Seville and not sample some of the delicious food. The tapas, jamón ibérico, gelato and sweets were amazing!

Seville sweets
stopping by a 'small' coffee shop - Seville

Jamón ibérico - Seville
it was jamón just too delicious,
so we ordered the jamón ibérico selection!

Would I recommend Seville as a destination? Absolutely. I'm already planning my next trip back.

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20 comments

  1. I want to visit Seville!!! It looks so beautiful. Your photographs are incredible :)

    Carly

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    1. Thank you so much Carly. I try to take photos that capture the feel of a place - but I think I still have quite a way to go. Defo add Seville to your Europe list :)

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  2. I would love to visit Seville it looks so beautiful! I am really interested in cultural festivals so would love to see the flamenco festival!

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    1. Oh Anna - you should. Seville is so close to the UK. I just found out that in the Spring there is another flamenco festival that is held every year in Seville. It's free, outdoors, starts in the early evening and the music/dancing goes all through the night and to the next morning. I am planning to go back for that!

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  3. Wonderful images, especially the first one! I'd love to visit.

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  4. I saw flamenco in Spain when I was a child and I spent a whole year just obsessed with castanets and frilly dresses and black hair in buns. So pretty. I even got castanets as a Christmas present!

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    1. Ha ha - that is so cool. I think even as an adult it's very easy to get swept away in Flamenco...

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  5. I love the light that you've captured in your photos. Thanks for the personal tour :)
    ~ Marcella

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    1. You're more than welcome Marcella. Glad you enjoyed :)

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  6. I heard such cool things about Seville - it's wonderful to actually see pictures and hear how to city is! It seems so fun and so beautiful!

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    1. It really is. I wasn't aware of the scale of the buildings prior to visiting. It was a lovely surprise!

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  7. [stopping over via the link up]

    it looks so pretty! I really want to visit Spain, but we have other countries on our list before that one. :/
    diana @ life in German.

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    1. Fair enough - my travel list continues to expand every week!

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  8. Wow! This is gorgeous! I would love to go there.

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    1. Add it to your list Elizabeth!

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  9. I love your description and the use of three adjectives to describe Seville. I've always, always wanted to visit that city!!

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    1. Another place to add to your travel list Amy? Thanks for your comment - I really wanted to try and describe Seville well in this post so people would get an idea of how it felt to be there.

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