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Top Rated Attractions in Seville

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Royal Alcázar of Seville

One of Spain's most striking masterpieces of Moorish-Renaissance architecture, the uniqueness of the Alcázar of Seville lies in the harmonious confluence of its architectural styles, dominated by a set of rulers who contributed to distinct additions during their respective reigns. The palace originally started out as a fortress in the 10th Century, built at the behest of Seville's Cordoban governors. Upgraded to the stately position of a palace only around the 12th Century, the Alcázar of Seville owes its astonishing Mudéjar beauty to the Almohad Caliphate that took charge of the palace. An aesthetic string of Islamic elements were added during this time, manifested in vividly meshed tiles, delicate ornamental arches, arabesque designs, and intricate geometric patterns. At the dawn of the 13th Century, the Spanish Reconquista brought about a wave of Gothic and Renaissance elements that heralded the rule of Spain's Catholic Kings. While the palace is touched by years of history that swept through its walls, some corners command more respect than others. Some of the most impressive rooms in the Alcázar of Seville are the Patio de Banderas, with the Giralda Tower forming an arresting backdrop, the Patio de las Doncellas, and the Patio de la Montería. The Salón de los Embajadores (Ambassadors' Hall) is an especially ornate addition, while the exquisite beauty of the palace spills over into its fruit-laden orchards and landscaped gardens.

Plaza de España

A magnificent semi-circular square that has become a symbol of the city. Along with the adjacent building it was designed by Aníbal González for Seville's 1929 Ibero-American Expo in a style that has become known as Andalusian regionalist because it employed a mixture of architectural influences from the past including Renaissance and Gothic. The most outstanding feature is the overwhelming use of exposed red brick. The inner part of the square contains a series of glazed-tile depictions of historical scenes from every province in Spain. A canal runs around the perimeter of the square where you can hire a rowing boat or motor boat for a short pleasure trip.

Museo Del Baile Flamenco

Promoted by Cristina Hoyos, the flamenco dancer, Museo Del Baile Flamenco is a flamenco dance museum that is truly unique. The museum aims to educate all those who wish to learn more about Andalusian culture and learn flamenco dancing in a systematic way. This three floored 18th century building is an architectural wonder and has different sections for a sound and image room and high tech exhibit areas, archival photos and costume displays. Conferences and cultural events with artists are organized. So learn some fabulous flamenco moves this season and bring the spirit back in your life!

Barrio Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a very old, central neighborhood in Seville. It used to be the old Jewish area of town, known as the Judería. The streets here are all very narrow, winding and labyrinthine, providing ample shade from sultry Andalusian summers, and plenty of opportunities to explore. Santa Cruz is home to many picturesque little plazas, as well as easy access and views of many of the city's most beautiful and popular attractions.

Seville Cathedral

The Seville Cathedral which took almost 400 years to build, is one of Spain's largest churches, and one of the largest in the Christian world. Standing on the site of what was Seville's main mosque, one can still see elements of the Mudéjar style of art and late Gothic-style architecture. Work began in the early 15th Century, and by the time it was finished, it had five naves with a floor space measuring 116 meters x 76 meters (380 feet x 249 feet). There is an astounding number of fine paintings and sculptures inside, making a trip here a must when in Seville.

Parque de María Luisa

Sitting in the center of the city is a huge expanse of parkland planted with a wide variety of trees from all over the world. Maria Luisa Park is the perfect place to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon. It has been carefully laid out with lots of space to wander among the exotic plants and numerous areas where you can sit and rest. You can rent bicycles and even take a horse-drawn carriage ride. It's named after Princess María Luisa who donated some of the land and plants from her palace gardens to start the public park. Inside, you'll find examples of all styles of architecture in the buildings erected as pavilions for Seville's 1929 Ibero-American Expo. Join one of the free guided tours given by students of the tourism school on weekends.

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