Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Espana - Seville - Wednesday November 15, 2006

The Marbella to Seville trip was our longest yet taking about three hours to complete each way. As we did the prior day in Ronda we made our way to a parking garage in the part of the city we wanted to be in and then walked. It was a lot of walking but we managed to see the two primary sites on our list; the Plaza de Espana and the Seville Cathedral & La Giralda. Along the way we managed to get next to the "Rio Guadalquivir" that cuts through Seville and is lined with parks and homes, had lunch next to the bull fighting ring and went on a tour bus ride (top deck) around a good portion of the downtown area.

The Plaza de Espana is a spectacular semi-circular plaza built as the center piece of a 1929 exposition. There are numerous sections embedded into the semi-circle depicting historic moments and heraldic symbols from the 40 regions of Spain. Most surfaces are completely covered with beautiful glzed tiles. It has a spectactular fountain in the center and a boating canal that follows the arc of the structure.

The Seville Cathedral is the largest church by volume (they have a Guiness Boook of Records certificate handy to attest :-) in all of Christiandom. It was built to replace the Almohad mosque over 500 years ago, starting in 1401 and completed 100 years later. It measures 415 feet by 270 feet and is 140 feet high. La Giralda is the grand tower adjacent to the church. It was built between 1172 and 1195 and is the symbol of Seville. La Giralda has 35 ramps, instead of stairs, that make the climb easier as well as allowing a man on horse back to make the climb. The top of La Giralda allows for good roof top views of the Cathedral and surrounding areas.

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