17 July 2017

Seville

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This morning we had a guided walking tour of this stylish, vibrant, city.  Here one can find stunning examples of Moorish, Spanish Colonial, Baroque, Renaissance, Mudejár, Neo-Classical and Gothic architecture, reflecting the varied history of Seville. Where azulejo is on street signs and buildings; every balcony and window ledge seems to have planters filled with flowers in full bloom; any vacant space is filled with sweet smelling jasmine trees, or some other greenery and the clip clop of the horses hooves on the cobbles competes with the noise of city traffic.

The Cathedral, Santa Maria de la Sede, is the largest gothic cathedral in the world, and is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage site.  It dominates the city,  and stands on what was the site of the 12th-century Almohad Mosque, with the Giralda, the mosque’s minaret, beside it.  After Seville fell to the Christians in 1248, the mosque was used as a church until 1401, when, due to its dilapidated state, it was knocked down and rebuilt, finally being completed in 1502.

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Puerta del Perdon, the gate leading out of the Patio de Naranjas of the cathedral.

We walked along narrow streets, that took us past, gated, planted courtyards, with every few steps revealing another delightful sight.

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The Archbishop’s Palace

The richly decorated Plaza del Cabildo are apartments.

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Plaza del Cabildo

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The General Archive of the Indies was established in 1785 by King Charles III, to collect all the documents referring to the colonies in the Indies, which had, until then been dispersed around the towns of Simancas, Cadiz and Seville, and store them in one place. There are over 43,000 documents, and 80 million pages of original papers. The building, Casa Lonja de Mercadores, was built in 1573,  by the architect Juan de Herrere, for merchants to trade. Merchants used to meet at the Puerta del Perdon, the gate leading out of the Patio de Naranjas of the cathedral, to conduct their business until the church complained to the city authorities. The graffiti on the side of the building dates back to when it was used by traders who would mark the place where they traded.

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