Cultural and spectacular Christmas 2015 in Seville

The Christmas season is always a good time to be in Andalucia, and especially Seville, with over 200 streets lit up merrily by colourful lights, Christmas trees in various designs bedecking  city centre, belenes (nativity scenes) in every available space, and lots more. Two of the main areas to visit traditionally are Avenida de la Constitucion, with pretty lights strung across it from the cathedral all the way up to Plaza Nueva, and where the Ayuntamiento's main façade is lit up and there's a big (real) Christmas tree.  In Puerta Jerez there's a conical "tree" of lights, lit up at night, which you can go inside. You can use four ice-skating rinks (Alameda, Plaza San Francisco and two in the Prado de San Sebastian - one of 1000m2, the largest open-air ice rink in Spain). From Saturday 19 December, the big attraction will be sound and light shows at three key points in the city: Palacio San Telmo, the Alameda de Hercules, and the Setas, officially called Metropol Parasol, which is the main focus of activity for the Christmas season. According to local estimates, up to 25,000 people are expected to gather here, and for this reason, starting from a couple of days before the shows start until after Reyes, 17 December - 7 January, the stretch of road which covers Plaza Encarnacion and Campana will be closed to traffic from 5pm to 11pm, apart from residents. The timetable for the light shows is as follows: LAS SETAS A 4D audio-visual multimedia show, synchronized with aerial acrobats and light displays. From 19 December. Monday to Thursday, Sunday: 7.30pm and 9pm Friday and Saturday: 7.30pm, 9pm, 10.30pm PALACIO DE SAN TELMO The main façade of this 17th century palace, located between the river and Hotel Alfonso XIII, will have a stunning 3D audio-visual spectacle with impressive images and optical illusions inspired by scenes from famous operas (Carmen, Don Juan and the Barber of Seville were all set in the city). From 21 December. Monday to Thursday, Sunday:  7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm and 9pm Friday and Saturday: 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm and 9pm, 9.30pm, 10pm. ALAMEDA DE HÉRCULES At the Alameda de Hércules you'll see a huge circular screen, like a giant mirror, onto which will be reflected an audio-visual show with various opera scenes. From 21 December. Monday to Thursday, Sunday:  7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm and 9pm Friday and Saturday: 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm and 9pm, 9.30pm, 10pm. These shows follow on from the Mapping (3D video laser projections) which has taken place for the last three years, projected onto the rear façade of the Ayuntamiento on Plaza San Francisco; much-loved by Sevillanos, both young and old, for being entertaining, high-tech and fun but also with strongly Seville-focused content, their demise was much lamented on social media. MARKETS AND MUSIC You can find markets in the Plaza Nueva, Prado de San Sebastian, Plaza Encarnacion (next to the Setas), Plaza San Francisco, which also has a traditional carousel, and the Alameda. These can be excellent places to find original Christmas presents, especially the Artisan Market in Plaza Nueva. Look out for ceramics, wooden children's toys handmade and printed paper, and jewellery. Next to the Cathedral is the Belen market, with every conceivable nativity figure - animals and people, food, buildings, geographical features and other accoutrements to build your own Bethlehem. In various locations around the city, such as by the riverside, Puerta Jerez and the Alameda there will be live music, dance and theatre performances. THE ALCAZAR In the Alcazar Palace you can enjoy special family activities such as animal-themed tours, which are free for both adults and children; these are available at 10.30am and 11.30am from 21 December to 3 January (except 25 December and 1 January), although some earlier slots are already booked out.  For more information and to book, click here. Children can also take their letters for the Reyes Magos to Al Mutamid, Isabel la Catolica and Carlos V, who will pass them on to the Three Kings, as well as telling stories about their own colourful lives which played such an important part in the history of the Alcazar, and of Seville. The venerable historical figures from the city's past can be visited in the Apeadero, which is accessed from the Patio de Banderas - you're not entering the main part of the Alcazar, so you don't have to buy a ticket. From 23 December - 4 January (except 25 December and 1 January), 11am-3pm. For more information on performance times, opening hours and other details, see the official Seville Christmas 2015 website, Alumbra Sevilla or you can download a PDF of activities here. [embed][/embed]
Blog published on 16 December 2015