In the 3 main palaces of Seville we can find a beautiful decoration telling us the stories of gods and godesses of Rome and Greece. How can it be possible with the huge influence of the Church in the city in the old days? Read this article to know more about this.

The Catholic tradition in the art of Seville is very powerful as you well know. For lovers of painting and sculpture, we are familiar with the Christs, saints, virgins Mary and biblical scenes that since the Middle Ages have decorated not only religious but also secular monuments in our city.

Seville in the 16th and 17th centuries was flooded with churches and convents to combat the Protestant reform and left little space for other non-religious artistic manifestations.

However, one of the features of the Renaissance and also of the Baroque is that an attempt to return to Ancient times. Greek and Roman mythology became popular especially from Italy. But also the court in Madrid for the fondness of the Austrian monarchs quickly joined this fashion.

Thus, Charles V and the very pious Philip II were lovers of mythological art. They hired Titian or Rubens to decorate the palaces of the Spanish capital with gods and goddesses of Olympus.

But what about Seville? here the clientele of the artists was almost exclusively the Roman Catholic Church so there was not much room for different themes, but there was something.

The city of Seville itself would have been mythically founded by Hercules, a demigod.

It is then that myth meets History. And although some versions make a legendary Phoenician merchant named Hercules-Melkart the founder of the city, others speak directly of the god Hercules who was sent to the Hesperides, to the far western border, to carry out some of his famous works. He was specifically commissioned to steal the oxen of Gerion, the king of Tartessos. Meanwhile, Hercules had time, among other things, to found our Hispal city, that would be later Seville.

Today we can see an statue our hero in the Arch of the town hall. And also at the top of the columns of the square Alameda de Hercules.

But it was above all the nobles who, in imitation of what was happening in Italy, decorated their beautiful Renaissance palaces with classical myths. These are some examples that we can see in the main palaces of Seville.

Palaces of Seville 1. The Casa de Pilatos

A mythological theme also referred to Hercules was represented by a Sevillian painter that we would never imagine. He was Francisco Pacheco, overseer of the Inquisition, a painter who established in his treatises how religious figures should be painted in order not to depart from Catholic orthodoxy. But he is also the author of portraits and occasionally of mythological scenes as we see in this beautiful ceiling.

In one of the halls of the upper floor of the Casa de Pilatos we can see represented the Apotheosis of Hercules, that is, the rise of Hercules to heaven. Hercules was the son of Zeus and Hecuba, he was therefore not immortal, but he achieved this immortality by his own heroic merits. Painting the hero, Pacheco wanted to make a parallel with his client, the III Duke of Alcalá: Don Fernando Enríquez de Ribera, a perfect Renaissance man and lover of everything Italian.

Another daughter of Zeus is Athena, born from the head of Zeus. We have this formidable warrior goddess in this Palace of Pilate. We actually have two, one with weapons called belligera and the other unarmed, called pacifera. They are two versions of the same character, one as a goddess of war but also of the opposite of her peace. The giant sculpture is made of marble, 4 meters high, brought by the founder of the palace from Italy and is largely a Greek original, although the arms and the head were added later.

Get to know Janus, the god of the beggining of the year (in Spanish)

And in the main courtyard of this palaces of Seville we find a beautiful Renaissance fountain at the top of which stands the god Janus. He is an exclusively Roman god. Janus is the god of doors, of beginnings and endings. That is why he has two faces and they awarded him the opening of the year, one of his faces looks at the previous year and the other at the future.

In fact, the month of January owes its name to this god. Janus-Januarius-January. He is a god who ensures good endings and also Janus is the father of Fontus the god of fountains. You can see it in this video that we have made of the Art series in ONE minute (in Spanish).

Palaces of Seville 2. The Palace of Dueñas

And changing the palace we are located in Casa de Alba, that is, in the Seville downtown. it’s Las Dueñas, one the palaces of Seville recently opened to the public.

There we find Hermes, son of Zeus and therefore brother of Athena. We have it as the protagonist of the most valuable tapestry in Seville, in fact it is considered one of the ten best in the world and we are lucky to have it in our city.

It represents the episode of Mercury in love with Herse, in which Mercury flies over the landscapes of Attica while contemplating the King’s daughters and falls in love with one of them, it is from the 16th century and was made by the prestigious Austrian tapestry maker, Willem Pannemaker. Click on this video (in Spanish) to admire it in all its splendor.

Palaces of Seville 3. The Palace of Lebrija

The palace of Lebrija is one of the palaces of Seville with a richest decoration. And here we have Zeus, the supreme god, father of the Olympian gods in a beautiful mosaic in the Lebrija palace.

This mosaic comes from Italica, roman ruins 7 km away from Seville. it was the Countess of Lebrija in the beginning of the 20th century who brought to her palace in Seville . In many ways she was heir to that aristocracy that loved classical antiquity.

We focus on the most important mosaic in the house that represents the loves of Zeus and is based on the metamorphoses of Ovid. Zeus is attributed dozens of stories of love, jealousy and various cruelties. A god with love affairs of all kinds, a rather harassing type, capable of kidnapping if necessary.


Let’s see some of the adventures recounted here:

In the mosaic we have him with Ganymede, a beautiful boy whom Zeus took a fancy to and kidnapped turned into an eagle. Ganymede had to conform and it was not so bad: Zeus placed him as cupbearer of the gods, that is, the one who served them their favorite drinks.

3 palaces of Seville and classical mithology
Danae by Artemisia Gentileschi

Another whim of the father of the gods was with Io, who had to transform himself into a cow in order to escape the wrath of Hera, Zeus’s aggrieved wife. She was of little use to her since Hera sent her a gadfly to permanently torture her.

The gods also had the gift of transforming and Zeus took advantage of it with Leda, whom he possessed transfigured into a swan.

And let’s not forget Danae, who, not being able to seduce her, he imaginatively possessed in the form of golden shower, represented by famous artists such as Titian, Rembrandt or the Italian baroque painter woman Artemisia Gentileschi.

As we can see, the imagination of Zeus when it came to seducing had no limits.

Greek and Roman gods

3 palaces of Seville and classical mithology
God Mercury/Hermes

These gods of which we have spoken generally have a Greek and a Roman name, which is sometimes confusing. The characters are the same, but with different names. To avoid confusion, these are the equivalences of the characters that we have mentioned in the article, from Greek to Roman.

Zeus-Jupiter

Athena-Minerva

Hermes-Mercury

Heracles-Hercules


All these beautiful stories in the rich palaces of Seville were told in sculpture, painting, tapestry or mosaic. As you can see, our artists immortalized the classical gods who with their myths accompany us on these walks through the city of Seville and that although it is not comparable to religious production, they also have their place in this fascinating century of the Renaissance.


Have a look in our tours to discover the palaces of Seville : https://www.toursevilla.com/tours/

If you like classical mithology watch this website: https://portalmitologia.com/

These are the official websites of the 3 palaces of Seville we have mentioned in the article:

Casa de Pilatos http://www.fundacionmedinaceli.org/monumentos/pilatos/

Palacio de Dueñas https://www.lasduenas.es/info-al-visitante

Palacio de Lebrija https://palaciodelebrija.com/

Welcome to the Seville virtual tours!

Today I present to you a new virtual experience adapted to the times. We know that you like to travel, that you like history, art and culture. Unfortunately it is not possible or quite difficult to travel to Seville.

This is why I offer you a new alternative: the virtual tours. This on-line tours allow us to know the world comfortably and safely from home. It is easy and accessible to everyone. I will show you Seville as if you were here.

Would you like to know more? Watch this short video on youtube https://youtu.be/Kk-UFxsVZZ0

It will be a presentation by Zoom. I’ll share my screen and you’ll enjoy of an hour about Seville, its history and monuments.

Seville Virtual Tours. Learn History and get to know the city of Seville with my tours on-line
Old jewish quarter view from Google Earth

I offer you regular tours (weekly) to which you can register individually or if you already have a group I propose virtual tours “on request”

  • To see the topics we will talk about, read below.
  • For practical questions like when it will be, how much does it cost … see below.
  • For regular tours and “on request” read at the end of the article

These are the topics that I propose:

1. Introduction to Seville: History and walk through the city.

2. The great Cathedral and the beautiful Alcazar

3. The first round the world and Seville in the 16th century

4. The Seville Sefardic Jewish quarter

INTRODUCTION. HISTORY AND WALK THROUGH THE CITY.

Seville Virtual Tours. Learn History and get to know the city of Seville with my tours on-line
Triana Bridge

Many of you have been to Seville, admired its monuments, felt the smell of orange blossom in spring or the color of orange trees in winter … with this introduction you will get to know in a didactic and informative way its history that dates back to the 7th century BC. Phoenicians, Romans, Muslims and Christians. A mixture of cultures that can still be seen in many places. We will walk through the romantic Maria Luisa Park, next to the Guadalquivir river, through the Plaza de España, the Tobacco Factory, the Plaza de Toros or the Expo of 92.

We will make a brief comment on these places to have an overview of Seville. And the Alcazar and the Cathedral? They are without a doubt the main monuments of Seville. They are so broad and rich that we will leave them for an episode later.

THE GREAT CATHEDRAL AND THE BEAUTIFUL ALCAZAR (ROYAL PALACE)

Seville Virtual Tours. Learn History and get to know the city of Seville with my tours on-line
Gothic arches in the Cathedral

The Cathedral of Seville built in the 15th in gothic style is the third largest cathedral in the Christian World. But it also houses a great collection of painting, sculptures. One of the main attractions is the tomb of Christopher Columbus. We’ll tell you the story of this mysterious tomb that could be a fake (or not).

We’ll get to know the remains of the former mosque, that is the courtyard of the orange trees and the famous Giralda Tower.

Next to the Cathedral we find the amazing Alcazar, that was originally the muslim fortress built in the 10th century. Today it is the palace for the royal family when they visit Seville. It’s a group of different constructions from several times and it’s a pleasure to wander in the muslims palaces feeling you’re back to the Middle ages.

For the fans of Game of Thrones it is a must, because scenes from the fifth season were shot here.

THE FIRST TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD. SEVILLE XVI CENTURY

Magallanes y Elcano: La primera vuelta al mundo 1519-1522
View of Seville in the 16th century

We are celebrating the anniversary of this unique journey. 500 years ago in 1519 an expedition left Seville, it would make the first trip around the world. The brave expeditionaries returned in 1522 having shown for the first time empirically that the earth was round.

This is the history of their captains: Magellan and Elcano, but especially that of Seville in the 16th century, the richest and most cosmopolitan city in Europe, which received the products and wealthness of the New World and which has come to be compared to today’s New York.

SANTA CRUZ, THE FORMER JEWISH QUARTER

Seville Virtual Tours. Learn History and get to know the city of Seville with my tours on-line
Street in the former jewish quarter

The Santa Cruz neighborhood is one of the most charming places in Seville. We will virtually walk through its streets and squares but we will also tell the story of the Jews who lived in this neighborhood in the Middle Ages. The Sevillian Jewish quarter was one of the most important in Castile after that of Toledo and Córdoba.

Little remains, but the streets of Santa Cruz still keep the legends of the Sephardic who had to leave unjustly to never return in the year of 1492. We also explore San Bartolomé, less touristy but equally interesting and part of the old Sevillian Jewish quarter. And on the other side of the river the Castle of San Jorge in Triana, seat of the Holy Inquisition, which played an important role in this period in relation to the Jews. We will see all this in our virtual tour.


SEVILLE VIRTUAL TOURS: PRACTICAL INFORMATION AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a virtual tour? You will see on your screen a Power Point presentation with images, photos and videos recorded by me that I will comment live from the other side of the screen. We will also use Google Earth to experience the virtual visit even more real. At the end a time for questions and comments.

Do you want to see a sample? Click here:https://youtu.be/Kk-UFxsVZZ0

Who will make the visits? Marta, official tourist guide and graduate in History from the University of Seville. Toursevilla is my professional website.

How long does it last? The visit is approximately one hour, then a time for questions or comments.

What do I need? A computer or tablet with a good internet connection, the Zoom program, which is free. 15 minutes before the class you will receive an e-mail with a link, click and you are online.

How much is it? In regular tours each virtual visit is € 12 but as an offer if you book all four visits it is € 42. Consult for virtual tours for groups that have a better price.

Is this price per person? The price is per connection, that is, from a computer 2 people can comfortably follow the virtual visit. So you only pay one.

How do you pay? In advance, I will send you a link to your e-mail from a payment portal and you can pay comfortably with your card. 100% sure.

Can questions be asked during the presentation? To make everything more fluid we will save the questions for the end. You can ask me live with voice and also by chat.

What if I am not able to enter or Zoom fails? Technologies are sometimes not perfect and they can also be a bit confusing. In case you cannot enter due to a technical problem, I give you the option of coming another day, or if not, I will refund your money.

How many people will attend? A maximum of 20 people per visit. They are limited groups, so it will be more comfortable in the time for questions.

REGULAR TOURS AND TOURS “ON REQUEST”

For individual visitors there will be regular tours, one per week and the dates will be published soon.

But I also do private virtual tours on the date you want. Choose this option if you are a group already formed, from 8 people. Send me a message and I will give you a quote

If you are interested, contact me through the form on this website https://www.toursevilla.com/en/contact/ or at info@toursevilla.com

Marta Casals, creator of Toursevilla and official guide of Seville, speaks in Tourguide Talks of her city, profession and hobbies with Alvaro Garza, American and currently a guide in the city of Barcelona.

Alvaro is the author of a podcast website, with this he wants to introduce different tourist guides, in principle from Spanish cities and soon also outside our Spanish borders.

After interviews with guides from Barcelona and Girona, Alvaro brings us closer to the south of Spain, to the city of Seville, where he will meet Marta Casals.

We will know what are the hobbies of our guide apart from showing her city and the countries to which she have traveled. During the trips abroad a guide also takes the tourist position and it is very enriching because being on the other side gives a much more complete vision. Because we have traveled and hired guides in other parts of the world, when we return to our work, we will know what the public likes to hear, what it tires them, what it is fun for them.

Listen to “Ep. 4 Marta Casals talks about Sevilla and the rich history and culture in southern Spain.” on Spreaker.

In the podcast Marta tells us anecdotes from her city, the most popular stories for her audience, including the controversy over the tomb of Christopher Columbus in the Cathedral of Seville. We will know which are the popular festivals of Seville, the famous Holy Week, with its aesthetic processions and the history of the Nazarenos , with their pointed hats, in which many visitors from the USA seem to see the KKK mistakenly. Nothing of that. Marta denies it to us.

Not everything is history and art. Tapas and flamenco, two of the most representative elements of Andalusian culture also have a space in our podcast.

The main places you cannot miss in Seville: The Cathedral, the Reales Alcazares or the Plaza de España, but also the secret places for our guide can be heard in this podcast.

We will even have the opportunity to talk about Game of Thrones, the famous television series that has been partially shot in the Alcazar and in other locations in Seville.


Why a tour guide?

Get to know your guide. Marta Casals, official guide of Seville

A tour guide gives personality to your tours, it is not simply a sequence of facts or data, for that we have a book or a mobile application. The idea of our work is to contribute with a point of view, make a selection of places and historical moments and transmit the passion for our cities to visitors. In this lies the value of a guide, somehow they are like a friend who accompanies you for a few hours and shows you their favorite places. It is the what and it is also the how.

A good guide will make a visit of 3 or 4 hours fly by, so you want continue learning more. Likewise, this 45-minute podcast has gone by quickly. The good harmony and feeling between the interviewer and the interviewee have been noted. There has been time for historical information, for personal information, for a sense of humor and curiosities about Seville.

If you want to know a little more about Marta Casals, your guide in Seville, I invite you to spend a few minutes on this podcast. https://tourguidetalks.com/ep-4-sevilla-marta-casals/

If you plan to go to other cities, Alvaro’s podcast offers us the option of personally meeting other guides: https://tourguidetalks.com/

If you want to know more about the interesting work of Alvaro Garza, this is his website: https://uncommontourist.com/

The Roman city of Italica in Santiponce 8 km from Seville is proposed to obtain the category of World Heritage by Unesco in the year 2020. This would suppose a fourth monument / historical place of the city of Seville with this distinction after the Alcázar, the Cathedral and the Archive of Indies, all named Unesco World Heritage in 1987.

Italica has some ruins of the II century d. C exceptionally preserved, some mosaics that are counted among the best in Spain and an amphitheater, even in occasional use, that had once a capacity for 25,000 spectators. Also this city was historically the cradle of two of the greatest Roman emperors: Trajan and Hadrian.

Let’s get to know her a little better.

Origin of Italica

Roman city of Italica, A new UNESCO site?Italica was founded by General Scipio, a prestigious Roman military man in 206 BC, as a settlement for veteran soldiers already retired from the Second Punic War. But that first city of Italica lies under the current town of Santiponce. The ruins we can visit today are an
extension of the city during the time of the Emperor Hadrian in the second century AD, this area was owned by the nearby monastery of San Isidoro del Campo, because it belonged to their properties they were never urbanized, but on the other hand it was object of extensive
plundering and theft. From its abandonment in the 4th century to the 18th century (and officially until the beginning of the 20th century) a plan for the protection and assessment of its historical content was not carried out. This was thanks to the Sevillian archaeologist
Francisco de Bruna, but by then many of his marbles and mosaics had disappeared.

Roman City

Today it remains of its ancient splendor a spectacular amphitheater in which could fit up to 25,000 spectators, the famous Colosseum in Rome had room for 50,000. In this way, this dimension made the amphitheater an exceptional place for a small provincial town like
Italica.

Here the gladiatorial games were celebrated while in the nearby theater the theatrical representations of tragedies and Greek and Roman comedies took place: Sophocles, Aristophanes or Juvenal.

We can also walk through its ample rich houses, many of them still paved with beautiful mosaics. Let’s not forget that the Italica we visit today was an urbanization for rich families. Each house occupied half a block. Most of them had two floors, a main courtyard or atrium and a back garden where there was a small altar for the home gods. The outer part of the houses was rented for Tabernae, that is, shops: bakeries, hardware stores …

In addition, the life in Italica counted on thermes (public baths), gymnasium (place so that the young people did sport, but that also were schools) and palestra (track of races).

And of course, temples to the different gods of the Roman pantheon and to the Emperor Trajan himself, considered as divine. In the same entrance of the amphitheater, Nemesis (goddess of warriors and Vengeance) and Celestis (goddess of Heaven) were worshiped in
small temples. An ex-voto or offering in the form of a footprint testifies to this.

italica

Who were Trajan and Hadriano

The first Roman emperor was Augustus in the early first century AD. Over the years the imperial Rome extended its borders from Hispania in the West to Britain in the north, from Mauritania and Numidia to the South to Dacia and Parthia to the East, Rome was the most
powerful empire ever known. The greatest extension was in the second century with the emperor Marcus Ulpius Trajan, born precisely in Italica. Trajan was emperor from 98 AD until 117 AD.

His successor Publius Elio Hadriano (was his nephew grandson) kept the borders and was considered one of the best rulers of Rome, traveled throughout the empire and enlarged his city of origin with temples, an aqueduct, statues and the most important amphitheater of the
Baetic province. Hadriano ruled from 117 AD until 138 AD. Its legacy is the city that we know today just 8 km from Seville.

Where we can see the best pieces of Italica

In the same Italica of course from the amphitheater to the theater, passing through some of the houses and buildings with beautiful mosaics such as the Planetarium or the one in the House of Birds.

In the Archaeological Museum of Seville (located in the Plaza de América in Seville). There are also mosaics, the best sculptures coming from Italica, including Diana (goddess of hunting), Mercury (god of commerce) and Venus (goddess of love). And especially the statue
of the emperor Trajan deified.

In the House of the Countess of Lebrija. In this Sevillian palace located in the central Calle Cuna we can see the floors and pavements that the Countess Doña Regla Manjon, great lover of Classical Antiquity, recovered from Itálica and Santiponce 100 years ago. For this reason it is considered the best paved palace in Europe.

italica

Italica Viva

Two thousand years later, in the 21st century, the Roman city continues to have a cultural use on a regular basis. There we were able to attend the International Festival of Dance of Italica and the Festival of Roman Theater that take place in a unique setting. They are not
ruins only, Italica is still alive.

In the Plaza de los Venerables, in the heart of the Santa Cruz neighborhood, we have now the opportunity to contemplate since last November 8th an interesting exhibition of two of the most famous artists of Seville. It is one exhibitions of the autumn that is part of the events of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Murillo (1617-2017).

The paintings come mainly from the Prado Museum, also from the National Gallery of London, private collections and the collection of Focus Abengoa that houses the exhibition.

Diego de Silva Velazquez and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, two illustrious Sevillians, have in common many features that this exhibition, organized by the Focus Abengoa Foundation, now show us.

Diego Velázquez, the painter of the Court

Exposición Velázquez y Murillo en el Hospital de los Venerables

 

The eldest of them, Diego Velazquez was born in Seville in 1599, he began to work and painted his first works in this city, first like disciple of the painter Herrera the Elder, after with Francisco Pacheco, also painter and writer, of who soon would become son-in-law after marrying his daughter.

Nevertheless the career of Velazquez took an unexpected turn when he received in 1624 the call of the young king Felipe IV to go to Madrid to become the painter of the court. The rest of his career was done in the capital, so today only a few of the pictures of the brilliant painter are in Seville. Velazquez died in Madrid in 1660.

Bartolomé Murillo, the painter of the Immaculate

Exposición Velázquez y Murillo en el Hospital de los Venerables

Bartolome Esteban Murillo was also born in Seville but in 1617. Unlike Velazquez, he remained in this city until his death in 1681 and in his long life he worked for churches, convents, monasteries and for the famous Cathedral of Seville where even today there are some of his best works.

Both painters represent the baroque style and left to us the best works of the painting of seventeenth century.

The exhibition raises as a common thread the fact that the artists could get to know each other. There is no documentary evidence, but it is quite probable that Murillo knew the works of the first period of Velazquez, in those time in churches and schools in Seville. And also it’s quite possible that the mature Velazquez had news of the fame of a young Murillo, who in the middle of the seventeenth century became the best and most famous painter of the southern city.

The exhibition of the Hospital of Venerables bring us pictures of the two painters on the same themes. They represented scenes such as The Holy Family, the Immaculate Conception, the patrons of Seville Justa and Rufina or the endearing customs scenes that reflected the society of their time.

The study of light, the use of chiaroscuro, colors, themes .. similarities and differences between the two Sevillians, one from the Court of Madrid and another from the perspective of southern convents and monasteries.

A curiosity about Velazquez and Murillo

The graves of both artists in Madrid and Seville respectively are today missing.

Velazquez was buried in 1660, the year of his death, in the church of San Juan Bautista, in the Madrid of the Austrias, that was destroyed in time of Napoleon. Some remains of the crypt have been found in the Plaza de Ramales, where a column with a cross recalls the famous painter.

Something similar happened to Murillo. When the sevillian Church of Santa Cruz (in the present Square of Santa Cruz) in the time of the Napoleonic invasion was demolished, the remains of Murillo got lost. There is only one plaque on a facade of the plaza that reminds of the city’s best-known painter.

Where you can see the exhibition

Exposición Velázquez y Murillo en el Hospital de los Venerables

Foundation. In addition to being a beautiful example of the Baroque Seville arquitecture, it has an interesting cultural activity organizing conferences, courses, organ concerts and exhibitions such as this that we are lucky to see until late February.

Don’t miss

The magnificent baroque church, decorated with Valdes Leal frescoes and the best painters and sculptors of the 17th and 18th centuries. Mention aside it is the modern organ of baroque inspiration that is considered one of the best of this type in Europe and that is usually used in the season of concerts in the same church of the Venerables.

The recessed patio, an original aesthetic solution of the architect Leonardo de Figueroa and that also had the practical function of collecting much more water of rain than a well or normal cistern. Essential thing in a building dedicated to Hospital.

The Marques of Pickman an Englishman who came to live in Seville, saw a good deal on the recently abandoned Carthusian monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas. The English porcelain was so fashionable at that time and found its place in Seville in this monastery converted into a ceramics factory. This began in 1841 and lasted more than 100 years. Today we have in the Old Monastery various ceramic panels manufactured here and are especially remarquable the unmistakable baked earthenware ovens.

The Crafts in Seville ceramics date back to Roman empire, and Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, martyrs in Roman times and protective of the city, already manufactured ceramic in Triana, across the river Guadalquivir.

Ceramic was essential in Islamic times for the decoration of palaces and houses. Tiles, tile basin edge … later in Christian times also the tiles were influenced by moorish handicraft but with new Renaissance models and technic. The Italian Niculoso Pisano resident in Triana quarter revolutionized the ceramic art and introduced the painting on flat tile. Some masterpieces of this artist are the Oratory of Isabel the Catholic in the Cuarto Real Alto of Alcázar and the Gate of the Monastery of Santa Paula.

Many years the production center were small and medium workshops at Triana district. But Pickman gave new impetus to the craft and became real industry in the nineteenth century in Seville.

El Monasterio Santa María de las Cuevas


The old monastery

But the monastery already had within its walls a long history before Pickman. It had been founded at the start of the fourteenth century as one of the most important monastic centers of the new Christian Seville. Large extent on the outskirts of Sevilla and looking at the region of Aljarafe was chosen by noble families such as the Riberas for their burials. Christopher Columbus himself stayed here and promoting their friendship with the monks prepared a part of his expedition to the New World. Years after his death his ashes rested in this place for 30 years before leaving for the island of La Española (Dominican Republic) in the Americas. A statue erected by the widow of Pickman remembers the discoverer.

Later in the seventeenth century Francisco de Zurbaran the best painter of monks in the Catholic Spain, full of palaces and convents, left us portraits of the sober and silent Carthusian. This collection of three paintings is now in the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville.

Like so many other convents was the subject of the confiscation and closure in the nineteenth century. That was when Pickman entered the scene and ceramics arrived in the Monastery.

But the history of Santa Maria de las Cuevas continued when the recent and legendary EXPO 92 ‘hosted here the Royal Pavilion.

After 1992, The Cartuja factory dependencies were transfer to another place and the monastery became the Contemporary Art Center after a comprehensive restoration in 1997, retaining function today.

So today we have in this original place an old monastery, a former ceramics factory and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo that programmes temporary exhibitions and concerts.


The charm of the monastery

The monastery is surrounded by the garden of the monks, beautiful full of orange trees and other native plants, it’s perfect to get lost and find tranquility just steps from the center of Seville.

I like the mix of Moorish cloisters with ceramic panels from the nineteenth century made by Pickman. The Renaissance tombs of the Ribera next to contemporary art. I love strolling among ceramic furnaces scattered through the gardens competing in height that give the ancient monastery an unmistakable silhouette.

I like to approach the tree called “Beautiful Shade”, Ombu or Phitolaca Dioecius that, according to tradition, was planted by the son of Christopher Columbus more than 500 years ago.

Also I like cycling through orchards and centenaries orange trees and be amazed with the modern recreation of the giant Alice in Wonderland.

I like the quiet air outside the tumult of the city that should be the same for Carthusian monks centuries ago. And I like to remember the mythical EXPO ’92 that left us a substantial footprint in all Sevillians of more than 35 years.

In the middle of the desert heat in the summer in Seville, the Barrio de Triana provides us an oasis at the end of July. And it is in the pottery-maker neighbourhood of Triana. That period that takes place each summer the trianeros call it “señalaítos days” on Velá Santa Ana. In this edition of the Velá it will be held from 21 to 26 July, having its epicenter in the Square Altozano, Betis street and San Jacinto street.

If we go back to the historical context of this festival, the Vela de Santiago and Santa Ana (that’s his full name) has its origin in a procession that was held in the parish of Santa Ana in the late thirteenth century.

This holiday, so ingrained in the Triana district, has a large impact on the city, not only for being one of the events of the summer, but for having maintain the flavor of the traditions that developed in it for centuries, so it is a reference in all parties and block parties that take place in Seville and surroundings.

Within these acts and traditions maintained over time, the opening takes place in the courtyard of the Hotel Triana. This patio is decorated typically creating an environment of considerable beauty.

The Velá (the Fair)

The most striking thing is the environment that created between Calle Betis and Isabel II bridge. El Puente de Triana shows lanterns and flags that provide the historical and special colorful bridge at nightfall. A typical Triana picture by adding the ephemeral tents that are mounted in the Calle Betis next to the bridge. These tents have a similar structure and aesthetics to the stalls of the Feria de Abril in Seville but it is reduced the space and it is free entry.

Meanwhile, San Jacinto Street looks completely dressed and artistic lighting . Many activities are organized, especially since in recent years this central street has been pedestrianized. At the junction of this road with calle Betis is the Plaza of the Altozano, in which a large scenario serves as an attraction for all present performances quite varied and satisfied young and old.

As with all festivals in Sevilla, cuisine enjoys a prominent role within the Vela de Santa Ana, being one of the main attractions the grilled sardines on the backs of the tents, a pleasure to taste them with views of the bridge and classic festive Seville.

La Velá Santa Ana 2014

Of the most striking activities in the Velá definitely is the “Cockaigne”. An ancient game that involves trying to catch a flag located at end of a greased wooden pole, placed horizontally on a barge by the bank of the Guadalquivir. Young trianeros make a display of skill on the pole for the award also taking a dip you will definitely compensate for the high temperatures that summer living in Seville.

The religious sphere

In the religious sphere, the most relevant events cluster around 25 and July 26 (Days of Santiago and Santa Ana, respectively) and always in the popularly known as Triana Cathedral: The parish of Santa Ana wreaths she succeed, liturgical worship as rosaries, levees and some special moments of beauty. In the night of 25 to 26 there is a concert of Band of bugles and drums of the Three Falls of Triana, this year they have received one of the most impportan awards of its type. They play some short musical pieces called “Joys of Santa Ana “from the bell tower of the ancient parish accompanied by luminaries.

Since July 26, Triana say good-bye to his Velá Santa Ana with a firework display at midnight from the Puente de Triana. A week worth living by both: Sevillian opting for the city instead of the nearby beaches, and tourists to be decided by the Guadalquivir City as a holiday destination in summer.

La Velá Santa Ana 2014

Special interest was the Visigothic excavation as it was assumed here ther was once the basilica of St. Vincent’s where St. Isidore of Seville was buried. However this hasn’t been found but yes the presence of more numerous human remains from graves. Also from different periods were found pottery, coins, religious objects as reliquaries, tombs bones …
In 2014 after the end of the archaeological excavations, a crypt will teach us the historical remains found here.The courtyard of flags will keep their original appearance since the crypt will be underground. Also an interpretive center in the house No. 15 will open.
From ancient Roman Hispalis to Sevilla through the Islamic Isbilya the Patio de Banderas reveals its secrets.

La statue en question était un cadeau de la Hispanic Society of America à l’occasion de l’Exposition de 1929. Cette fondation culturelle a été fondé par Archer Huntington et son épouse Mrs.Huntington était l’artiste chargé de faire la sculpture.

Ce n’est pas la seule sculpture Cid , nous découvrons les mêmes dans différentes parties du monde : New York , Buenos Aires, Valencia , San Diego et San Francisco.

La présence du Cid à Séville est documentée à la fin du XIe siècle . La Isbilya (Seville) musulmans gouverné par le roi Al- Mutamid a reçu le Ambassade chrétienne de Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar , chevalier Christian , mieux connu comme El Cid .

Il est l’un des lieux les plus emblématiques de Séville, entre la Place d’Espagne et de la Manufacture de Tabac . N’oubliez pas de visiter.

Under the name of Nur ( light in Arabic ) there are more than 150 objects of Islamic culture from the ninth century to the twentieth century.

Spain was for centuries bridge between East and West . Talent, craft and science together in a rich civilization.

The hospital of Venerables was from Baroque a retirement house for elderly priests and boasts an stunning architecture in his church.The building is articulated through a beautiful interior patio .

For the past few years has the Velazquez Center , a collection of Baroque painting about 3 paintings of this painter from Seville.

Apart from diving into the seventeenth century, the Foundation Focus Abengoa revitalizes the culture of this city today with this essential exhibition..