Seville (Spanish: Sevilla) is the fourth biggest city in Spain, with more than 700,000 inhabitants. The city is located in the south of Spain in the region of Andalucía, of which it is the capital and where you can find the seat of the government and parliament of the regional government. Seville is on the plain of the Guadalquivir River which crosses the city from North to South. The river can be navigated from Seville all the way to its outlet near Sanlúcar de Barrameda, on the Atlantic coast. In the past the port of Seville played an important role in commerce between Spain and the Americas and it remains today one of the most active river ports of the Iberian peninsula.
Each of your senses will be activated as you walk through the romantic streets of Seville. The colours, sounds, emotions, feelings, smiles, and aromas you will encounter will be sure to make your visit an unforgettable experience. It really is a privilege to have the opportunity of encountering the history of the city, its customs, legends and its thousand-year-old traditions, artistic expression and display of culture.
Situated on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, Seville has a rich Moorish heritage, and used to be a prosperous port that carried out trade with the Americas.
The streets and squares in the historic quarter of the capital of Andalucía are full of life. They are home to many buildings that are World Heritage sites, and you can find traditional culture in areas such Triana and La Macarena.
Seville is a prominent business and service centre in the south of Spain and has many hotels distributed all over the city which enable visitors to discover endless attractions. Museums and art centres, theme parks, cinemas, theatres and clubs are some of the many leisure options that a great city like Seville holds. Without forgetting, of course, the numerous terraces, inns and bars where visitors can have a taste of one of the most deeply-rooted and tasty traditions in the city: "Going out for tapas".
The Tartessians were the original founders of Hispalis. Next to this settlement, in 207 B.C., the Romans built Itálica. It was the centre of their Western Mediterranean dominions for seven centuries until the Roman empire was overrun by Northern barbarians at the beginning of the 10th century. The long Moorish occupation of the Iberian peninsula, from 711 A.D. to 1248 A.D., left indelible traces in Seville as in all of Al-Andalus. La Giralda, the tower of an important mosque, is the most well-known of the remaining Islamic monuments. In 1492 Seville played an important role in the discovery and conquest of America. The 17th century was a period of artistic splendour in Seville. Painters such as Velázquez, Murillo and Valdés Leal, and sculptors like Martínez Montañés were born in Seville and left behind important works. The city also assumed an important role in world literature and was the birthplace of the myth of Don Juan. On two occasions in the 20th century Seville has been in the spotlight of the world's attention. In 1929, it hosted the Latin American Exhibition, which left important urban improvements in the city. More recently, Expo 92 reinforced the image of Seville as a modern and dynamic city.
Don't miss out on tapas. Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or warm (such as chopitos, which are battered, fried baby squid).
The city is credited with the invention and has more than a thousand bars where the choice of food, is virtually unlimited, from seafood to ham and sausage and from vegetable to cheese. The people of Seville actually make a meal of them, hopping from bar to bar and trying one dish at a time. The serving of tapas is designed to encourage conversation because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is set before them.
Very hot summers: Hot sun almost every day from June to September. Virtually no rain. July and August almost too hot. Daily highs up to 40°C and nightly lows of 18°C. In the summer it is short sleeve weather all the time, evenings included.
Mild winters: Mixture of beautiful clear, sunny winter days with overcast but warm days. Evenings noticeably cooler. Daily highs about 20°C and nightly lows rarely below 10°C.
Climate data for Seville:
|Ave. high °C (°F)||15.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||10.6
|Ave. low °C (°F)||5.2
Seville is one of Spain's major cities and is also the capital of the Andalucía region. With an enormous amount to offer both the tourist and business traveller, Seville is a friendly and captivating place to visit. The busy city centre is well pedestrianised and many of the best attractions are within easy walking distance.
The historic centre of Seville is located on the left-hand side of the river in a spot previously protected by the Almohade wall (of which some ruins remain today). It contains some of the most famous neighborhoods of the city such as Santa Cruz, San Bartolomé, San Vicente, San Lorenzo and El Arenal. On the right-hand side of the river stands the Arrabal suburb. These are the most interesting areas for the traveller to visit.
The rest of the city is built around a series of expansion projects, the most important being that carried out for the Latin American Exhibition of 1929, built along the southern stretch of the Guadalquivir River. In 1992, near the Cartuja Monastery, a new area was developed to the west of the city where Expo 92 was held.
Straddling the Guadalquivir River, central Seville comprises an abundance of twisting streets and narrow lanes, adding much character to the city. Most public squares feel rather small and intimate, although the Plaza Nueva is quite a size and stands next to the Plaza de San Francisco, while the Avenida de la Constitucion is a prominent and very straight thoroughfare and home to the city's main tourist information centre. Further regional tourism offices in Seville are to be found on the Plaza del Triunfo, at the Santa Justa train station and also at the San Pablo Airport.
Seville city centre is an interesting maze of old, winding streets and there are also a couple of large avenues, which divide the city into separate areas. With a subtropical climate and an average on more than 300 days sunshine, the coastline nearby has many wonderful beaches and has become a very popular place to relax, particularly in and around the Costa del Sol.
The large River Guadalquivir lies on the western side of the city centre and this beautiful expanse of water provides the perfect place for a romantic stroll, and there are also scenic boat trips that start from the Torre del Oro. Across the River Guadalquivir are various churches, monuments and neighbourhoods, all waiting to be discovered. This area features more than its fair share of Seville apartments, hostales and pensiones.
Seville has a large number of tourist attractions and some of the most visited include the Parque Maria Luisa - a vast parkland in the centre, the Plaza de España - a semicircular plaza that formed the centrepiece at the city's famous 1929 Exposition, Seville Cathedral, the Giralda Tower, the Plaza de La Encarnación, the Alcázar fortress-palace and countless further major monuments.
There are many important museums in Seville, providing interesting information about this city, such as the Museo de Bellas Artes - one of the finest museums in Andalucía, with a truly splendid ceiling. Those planning to indulge themselves in a spot of Spanish art appreciation should head to the Hospital de los Venerables, which boasts a large collection of paintings, in the Santa Cruz area of this city.
The main regions of Seville include El Arenal, situated on the western side of the city, which was once home to the port. El Arenal is home to a large bullring - the majestic Plaza de Toros de la Maestranzas, the Moorish Torre del Oro - a 13th-century tower built to protect the port of Seville, the Teatro de la Maestranza - a modern theatre and opera house, and many excellent restaurants. The region of Santa Cruz is located on the eastern side of the city centre. Santa Cruz is probably the most picturesque part of Seville and the busy Calle de las Sierpres is amongst the city's principal shopping streets.
The cathedral and the bell tower La Giralda are situated in the Santa Cruz area. La Giralda is open to the public and the top of the tall tower provides spectacular panoramic views of Seville's spreading cityscape. The region of La Macarena is to the north and presents an interesting mix of Baroque and Mudejar churches, traditional tapas bars and the Calle de la Feria - a small, lively shopping street full of small shops.
Country: Spain / España
Status: Capital of the Region of Andalucía
Population: 700 thousand in the city, 47 million in Spain
Language: Castilian Spanish
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time zone: 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +1)
Country dialling code: +34
Telephone area code: 95
Electricity: 220 volts, 50 Hz - round two-pin plugs are used