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Seville

Seville

Reviews of the prestigious hotels of Seville. Hotels in Seville come in all shapes and sizes. There are plenty of rooms all over the centre. High season is March and April. During Semana Santa and the April Feria you should book even for inexpensive hostals, preferably a year in advance. 

Seville is a marvel. It’s a city of various diverse (and wildly beautiful) neighbourhoods: the narrow alleyways of the Barrio de Santa Cruz are lined with glorious old palaces and stunning plazas… the Alfalfa, Triana, the Macarena and Santa Catalina, meanwhile, all teem with life.

According to legend, Sevilla was founded by Hercules and its origins are linked with the Tartessian civilisation. Called Hispalis under the Romans and Isbiliya by the Moors, the high point in its history was following the discovery of America in 1492, when wealth flooded in from the "New World". For all its important monuments and fascinating history, Sevilla is universally famous for being a joyous town.

Seville is often referred to as the 'Jewel of Andalucia' and it's easy to see why; be it for business or for pleasure the city has such a lot to offer with its rich and colourful mix of history and culture.

The Alcázar Réal (Royal Palace) of Seville is one of the city’s most enchanting, and most popular, historic monuments. Along with the Cathedral and Archive of the Indies, it is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage. The word alcázar actually means fortified palace, and this one is hidden behind castle walls on Plaza del Triunfo opposite the Cathedral.

Seville has a good selection of cinemas, if you are looking for English language films or "VO" (original version). Avenida 5 cines announces its "VO" films for the week, each Tuesday. The simultaneous Spanish subtitles are perfect for both English and Spanish language students.

Hotels in Seville come in all shapes and sizes. There are plenty of rooms all over the centre. High season is March and April. During Semana Santa and the April Feria you should book even for inexpensive hostals, preferably a year in advance. 

If you're visiting for more than a few days then you might be interested in getting to know the surrounding area as well. With world class destinations like Cordoba and Granada (the home of the Alhambra) just a short drive away, why not take the opportunity to visit their top attractions before heading home.

The Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo is housed in the magnificent 15th-century Monasterio Santa Maria de las Cuevas. Known as La Cartuja, this is located in the district of the same name, north of Triana and across the river from the city centre – look for the iconic, cone-shaped towers.

The grounds of the Alcázar are extensive and fascinating, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to wander around the whole palace and gardens - two to three hours minimum. These were the orchards of the palace in Moorish times, providing food for the royal court, as well as aesthetic value.

This was the main central courtyard of the Renaissance-era Alcazar, where Spanish nobles met to go hunting with the king. This was built over the residence of Moorish rulers. Ahead is Peter’s Palace, and to the right is the Renaissance period part of the Alcazar, altered from the original Gothic.

This section of the palace complex is reached through the Crossing Courtyard (see Moorish Alcazar), which is connected to the Patio de la Monteria (Hunting Courtyard) by a porticoed gallery, or from the Patio de las Doncellas.

This part of the Alcazar is the most famous, and is often shown in photos of the palace due to its astonishing visual impact, especially the Ambassador’s Hall with its mirrored gold domed ceiling, and the Patio of the Maidens with its beautiful stucco arches and sunken gardens.

In the 10th century, the seat of power in Andalucia for the ruling Ummayad caliphate was Cordoba. From the 11th century the region devolved into taifa states, of which Seville was one, ruled at first by Abderraman III. In 1147 the Almohad dynasty arrived, aiming to return the region to stricter adherence to Islam, and declared Seville as its capital.

You enter the Alcázar though the red Puerta del Leon (Lion’s Gate) situated at the corner of Calle Miguel de Mañara and Calle Santo Tomas. The exit is on Patio de Banderas, which leads back onto Plaza del Triunfo, and also into Barrio Santa Cruz via Calle Juderia.

Day visits
October to March: 9.30am - 6pm
April to September: 9.30am - 8pm

Night visits (see below)
March and October: every half hour from 7.30pm to 9pm
April to September: every half hour from 9pm to 10.30pm

In 1519 Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Seville with a fleet of five naos (carracks or carvel-built wooden sailing ships) to find the Molluca spice islands, in modern-day Indonesia. Three years later, only one of his naos returned, the Nao Victoria, captained by Juan Sebastian Elcano – Magellan had been killed in a conflict in the Philippines.