Torre del Oro
The Torre del Oro (Spanish for Gold Tower) is a military watchtower built during the Almohad dynasty to control access to the city via the Guadalquivir river. The tower was built as part of the defensive works running from the Alcázar to the river. The tower may have received its name from the golden tiles which cover its dome and may have once adorned the rest of the tower. Constructed in the 13th century, it has twelve sides, and from its base a chain would be stretched, underwater, across the river to another fort on the opposite shore, thereby preventing enemy ships from traveling upstream to the port of Seville.
The Giralda Tower
The Giralda is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville, one of the largest churches in the world and an outstanding example of the Gothic and Baroque architectural styles. The tower first two thirds is a former Almohad minaret which, when built, was the tallest tower in the world at 97.5 m (320 ft). It was one of the most important symbols in the medieval city. The tower is constructed in several distinct parts from different cultures. The Giralda has no stairs; instead, 34 ramps are used to ascend the tower. The ramps were sufficiently wide for the muezzin to ride a horse to the top of the tower to recite the Adhan (call to prayer).
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España is the epitome of the Moorish Revival in Spanish architecture. In 1929 Seville hosted the Spanish-American Exhibition and numerous buildings were constructed for the exhibition in Maria Luisa Park, among them the Plaza. On the Park’s edge was built the current Plaza de España to showcase Spain’s industry and technology exhibits. The Plaza is a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over the moat by numerous beautiful bridges . In the centre is a large fountain. Today the plaza mainly consists of Government buildings, but the beauty remains.
Holy Week in Seville (Semana Santa) is one of the most important traditional events of the city. It is celebrated in the week leading up to Easter, one to two weeks before the city’s other great celebration, the Feria, and is amongst the largest religious events within Spain, internationally renowned for its drama. The week features the procession of pasos, floats of lifelike wooden sculptures of individual scenes of the events of the Passion, or images of the Virgin Mary showing restrained grief for the torture and killing of her son. Some of the sculptures are of great antiquity and are considered artistic masterpieces.
The Seville Spring Fair, in Spanish, Feria de abril de Sevilla, is held in the Andalusian capital of Seville, Spain. The fair begins two weeks after the Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week. The fair officially begins at midnight on Tuesday, and runs for six days, ending on the following Sunday. During past fairs, however, many activities have begun on the Saturday prior to the official opening. Each day the fiesta begins with the parade of carriages and riders, at midday, carrying Seville’s leading citizens which make their way to the bullring, the La Real Maestranza, where the bullfighters and breeders meet.
A wooden structure in La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville. It 150 by 70 metres (490 by 230 ft) and 26 metres (85 ft) high, making it the largest wooden structure in the world. It is locally known as Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnación’s mushrooms).