Seville, Spain: Cathedral, Archive of the Indies and Alcazar

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

Rio Guadalquivir

Torre del Oro

  The Torre del Oro has a less well known little sister, the Torre del Plata (Silver Tower)

The Cathedral

  The cathedral was built on the former site of the Great Mosque, is the third largest in the world, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and is just plain butt-ugly. 
The only thing that even remotely argues for not tearing this monstrosity down and replacing it with a Wal-Mart is the bell tower, the former minaret of the mosque. Looking at this and the Alcazar, one can only guess what was lost when the mosque was razed. Although we can't totally blame this on La Leyenda Negra: the mosque was badly damaged by an earthquake in the 14th Century.
The cathedral was built simply to enclose the largest possible area. Unlike other Gothic cathedrals which have soaring height, this one has all the external visual appeal of a FedEx warehouse.

Interior Views

  As hideous inside as outside, you can just look down the naves and hear "The Great Oz knows why you have come..." 

The Courtyard


Archive of the Indies

Not a whole lot to look at outside, but the wealth of historical information stored here is beyond reckoning. 

The Alcazar

Not quite as overwhelming as the Alhambra, but still good for a serious case of sensory overload.

Plaza de Espana

It's garish, gaudy, and glorious in its visual excess. Best known to movie goers, perhaps, as the Palace of Naboo from Attack of the Clones, but also the locale for scenes from Lawrence of Arabia (British Army Headquarters), and more recently, The Dictator.

If you visit Seville, do not turn up your nose at this place because some snooty guidebook disses the place, or it's 20th century. It is very much worth a visit.
  Left: Tile map of Seville
Not very old, it was built in 1928 for an exposition intended to revive ties between Spain and Latin America.
All the railings are richly decorated porcelain.  A few, alas, need repair.

Scenes in Seville

Below: surviving fragment of a Roman aqueduct.  
It gets hot in Seville, over 110 the day these pictures were taken, and street awnings like this provide welcome shade.
Portions of the city walls survive.
The Olympics are just too big for any one city, so some of the 1992 events (officially hosted by Barcelona) were held in Seville.
Plaza de Toros (bull ring)
Name dropper. The plaque commemorates the location being mentioned in a short story by Cervantes, Rinconete y Cortadillo, published in Novelas Ejemplares (1613)

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Created 21 December 2011, Last Update 24 December 2020