is situated 14 Km outside of Seville city. There is a bus connection to the city centre leaving from outside the Arrivals Terminal, which is operated by Tussam, line Aeropuerto; the journey time is 30 minutes and tickets cost €2.40. Timetables and additional information can be found on www.tussam.es
Cathedral and GiraldaThe cathedral was built over the main Almohade mosque in Sevilla.
Standing before the majestic sight of its architectural mass, the visitor can understand the Chapter of Canons when they stated in 1401 that they planned to build a Cathedral "...so large that those who see it finished will consider us mad". Time has proven them right, as this Gothic church is the largest in dimension in Spain, and the third-largest in Christendom, after St. Peter's in Rome and St. Paul's in London. The Patio de los Naranjos (Courtyard of the Orange Trees) and the truly outstanding Giralda, symbol of the city par excellence, are the only lasting remains of the Moslem mosque. "Giralda" is the Christianized form of the name meaning "rose of the winds". The bell tower, erected by Hernán Ruiz II in 1568, is set upon its graceful Almohade brick base.
With regards to the collection of sculptures found within the Cathedral walls, their quantity and quality are such that it can be considered a real synthesis of the Sevillian school of religious imagery. Special mention must be made of the Gothic carving of the Patron Saint of Sevilla, La Virgen de los Reyes (Our Lady of Kings), and of the splendid main altarpiece, which represents the largest of its kind in the Christian world, having taken over eighty years to complete (1480-1560).
Works by Montañés, like the Apollonian Christ of the Chalices or the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, known by the nickname of "the Little Blind Woman", together with other outstanding effigies by Juan de Mesa and Alonso Cano, constitute veritable masterpieces of Sevillian sculpture.
It is equally important to mention the innumerable canvases found inside the Cathedral, forming the second-largest collection of paintings in the city, after the Museum of Fine Arts. Art lovers will delight in paintings by Murillo, Zurbarán, Goya and so many other prestigious Spanish and foreign artists. By the same token, don't forget to see the fresco "Our Lady of la Antigua", so linked to Americanism, with a clear influence of the Trecento school of Sienna.
The Barrio of Santa CruzLeaving the Royal Fortresses, the elbowed street Judería (Jewry Street) leads straight into the magical, legendary district of Santa Cruz.
Callejón del Agua (Water Alley) runs parallel to the gardens of the Fortress and opens out onto the Plaza de Alfaro (Alfaro Square), which has a way out leading to the Jardines de Murillo (Murillo Gardens).
Next to Plaza de Alfaro is the square that lends its name to the district, Plaza de Santa Cruz (Holy Cross Square). In the centre of this square stands a graceful iron cross, called the Cruz de la Cerrajería (Ironwork Cross).
The street named after Mateos Gago is an important hub for tourism, with souvenir shops, restaurants and one of the best views of the Giralda.
Alcazares - Royal FortressYou must enter the Reales Alcázares (Royal Fortresses) through the Gate of León in the Plaza del Triunfo (Triumph Square).
Since the reconquest of Sevilla in 1248 by Fernando III, the Pious, the history of the Royal Fortresses has been linked to that of the Castillian monarchs.
Pedro I, called "the Just" by some and "the Cruel" by others, left the definitve mark on the former Moslem fortress by converting it into a sumptuous Mudejar palace.
During the 16th century it underwent further reforms. The magnificent gardens, with such suggestive names as the Garden of the Grotesque, of the Dance or of the Labyrinth, were embellished with new architectural structures and statues.
The patios de las Muñecas y de las Doncellas (courtyards of the Dolls and of the Damsels), along with the Ambassadors' Room, transport the visitor to the world of the Arabian Nights, replete with enchantment and ornamental splendour.
Leave the Royal Fortresses at the horse block, which leads into the Patio de las Banderas (Courtyard of the Flags). The elbowed street Judería (Jewry Street) starts here, leading straight into the magical, legendary district of Santa Cruz.
TapeoAlthough there are excellent restaurants in Seville offering all types of Andalusian specialties as well as national and international cuisine, Sevillian gastronomy's true identity lies in tapeo (snacking in bars) or dishes of hors d'oeuvres. Its tradition in the city and throughout the province and consists of going out with friends to "tapear" at midday while having a beer or at around dinner time.
Although tapas exist in all of Spain, Sevillian traits are most particular due to the ritual and cultural character that go in hand.
The most common theory about the origins of the tapa is that it derived from a custom of covering (tapando) the wine glass with a piece of bread and pork, this way serving both at the same time.
In order to really get to know authentic Sevillian cuisine, one must try the ample and varied assortment of tapas offered in bars and taverns. Although even small grocery shops may serve pork tapas when they don't even offer cooked food. This is also true in certain kiosks and old taverns that sell picadillos (minced meat) or aliños (various seasoned meats), ensaladillas (version of Russian potato salad), papas aliñás (seasoned potatoes), tortilla de patatas (Spanish potato omelet) and lomo mechado (loin strips).
Feria de Abril in SevillaAlthough it may appear odd to the visitor, due to the pride of the Sevillians, the Feria de Abril (Seville Fair) is not an invention of the people of Seville. Don José Maria Ybarra, first Count of Ybarra and Narciso Bonaplata, during the term of Mayor of Seville, Count Montelirio, were the architects of such a grand event.
It was originally a livestock Fair. The traders set up canvas tents which served as shelter for the businessman. Other small businesses, such as stalls that served food, drink, sold trinkets and sweets, etc. soon sprung up around these traders. Movement from buyers and sellers also brought different forms of entertainment: traveling theater groups, fairground music, etc.
In view of such a festive display, the townspeople not interested in trading would gather around the grounds and organize dancing under the canopied stands. This led to the decorating of these tents.
The Feria is now confronted with a new challenge. Due to the great demand for licenses for more tents (casetas), along with claims of neighboring land from the Ministry of Defense, opens a new debate on transferring the site. There is talk of a possible new location (Charco de la Pava area), along the Guadalquivir River, the Expo '92 landsite.