Seville lives and breathes history. The past is not relegated to some dusty history book but is alive. Seville was already a major trading center when occupied by Rome. During Spain’s apex of power, at the time of the Armada, it held a monopoly on trade with the Americas.
Its history lives, in the magnificent 14th century Alcazars Moorish architecture; in the Giralda a former 12th century minaret; in the Gothic style Cathedral the third largest church in Christendom; in the narrow medieval streets of the old Barrio Santa Cruz; in the extensive gardens of the Palace of San Telmo.
This is just a brief sampling of the intense beauty and culture to be experienced in this Iberian time capsule. At any turn one almost expects to come face to face with a Moorish warrior on horseback or a trio of conquistadors heading for the New World.
Seville’s coexistence with the past doesn’t stop with architecture. How about witnessing a medieval pageant unchanged since the 16th century?
Glimpse into the heart and soul of Spain. The festival of Semana Santa depicts the Passion of Christ, first created for a medieval audience. Huge wooden statues of saints are carried in a procession. At the head are the Nazarenos, men wearing long black medieval gowns with hoods, behind them Penitents, carrying crosses on their shoulders, followed by the Costaleros carrying the saints. These men are members of the Cofradia, an ancient brotherhood dedicated to keeping this ritual alive.