Saturday, February 7, 2015

My first week in Seville, Spain

When I first arrived in Seville, Spain, I was greeted with a dinner with my program directors and got to try some great Spanish food like Jamón ibérco and croquetas.

The first week, I went on a walking tour with my program director and was able to see a lot of popular monuments.
One of the key areas of the city, and basically the spot that I've been referencing to give directions, is the Cathedral of Seville. It is the largest gothic-style cathedral in the world. Its famous bell tower, La Giralda, is visible from so many places around the city and, to me, seems to be the most important landmark. It was once was a minaret when the cathedral was a mosque during Moorish control of the city. Its construction began in the 1100s, which is hard to wrap my head around! When climbing up it, there are ramps instead of stairs because someone used to have to ride a horse up there multiple times a day to call out the prayers from the top of the minaret.
La Giralda (bell tower)
Side view of the Cathedral of Seville
 I also saw Plaza Nueva, the city hall, a building where historical records are kept called Archivo de Indias, and "Las Setas" meaning "the mushrooms" which is a building but also modern art.
"Las Setas" which looks like mushrooms

City hall

Later the same day, I walked with the other student from my program to the Plaza de España which is AMAZING. It looks large from the outside but not extremely special. However once you are inside the area you can see a channel of water going around the perimeter, extremely intricate bridges and lamps, and the facade of the building itself is covered in hand-painted tiles, images, and sculptures which only get more and more impressive the closer you get to the building. There are two large towers at either end of the building.
One of the towers at Plaza de España

Plaza de España

Plaza de España

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