Seville (Sevilla) borders the banks of the Guadalquivir river and is one of the largest historical centres in Europe. It has the minaret of La Giralda, the cathedral (said to be one of the largest in the world), and the Alcazar Palace. Part of its treasure include Casa de Pilatos, Torre del Oro, the Town Hall, Archives of the Indies (where the historical records of much of the American continent are kept), a Fine Arts Museum, plus many convents, parish churches and palaces.
Seville was the host of two international exhibitions (1929 and 1992) and is the administrative capital of the Andalucia province.
For all its pomp of important monuments and fascinating history, Seville is universally known for being a happy city. While the Sevillians are known for their wit and sparkle, the city itself is striking for its vitality. It is the largest town in Southern Spain, the city of opera's Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro.
The Sevillians are great actors and put on an extraordinary performance at their annual Feria de Abril, a week-long party of drink, food and dance which takes place day and night in more than a thousand especially mounted tents. But above all it allows the men to parade on their fine horses and the women to dance in brilliantly coloured gypsy dresses.
Before that is Holy Week, (Semana Santa), a religious festival where hooded penitents march In long processions followed by huge baroque floats on which sit Images of the Virgin or Christ, surrounded by cheerful crowds. Both Spring events are well worth experiencing.
In Seville, you will want to visit the old city, with the Cathedral and the Giralda tower at its heart. Try climbing the steps inside the tower for a magnificent view of the City. Very close by are the royal Mudejar palace, known as the Alcazar with it's marvelous gardens and the Santa Cruz quarter, with it's cramped streets, flowered balconies, richly decorated facades, hidden patios, etc. Other sights not to be missed are, in the old city, the Casa de Pilatos, a large sixteenth-century mansion where Mudejar, Gothic and Renaissance styles blend harmoniously amidst exuberant patios and gardens and, crossing the Triana bridge over the wide Guadalquivir River, the lively popular quarter of Triana with charming narrow streets around the church of Santa Ana and traditional ceramic factories.