Seville had lots to offer and enjoy, but only if you could find your way around! Every corner had tourists with paper and digital maps trying to figure out how to get to where they wanted to go. Yes, it’s a medieval city with winding and tight streets not made for cars, however, signs would be helpful.
There were amazing things to see there, which made it a worthwhile destination. The Cathedral contains the tomb of Christopher Columbus (although there is controversy as to exactly where he is buried). It is both the largest Gothic cathedral, in fact, the largest cathedral in the world. There are 36 ramps to get to the top of the bell tower. Those hardy enough to make it to the top are rewarded by a beautiful view of the city, including a Calatrava designed bridge in the distance.
The Metropol Parasol, nicknamed “the mushroom,” is a wooden structure located in the old town, which claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. It looks like a giant laser-cutting project. People are able to take an elevator to the top and walk on a path through it, ending the tour with a drink and a view.
The main reason for the visit to Seville was The Alcazar, a palace for royalty built in the 1360s by Moorish craftsmen. Not as spectacular as the Alhambra, it was still worth the visit. There was a good deal of majolica tiles and a lovely exhibition of Spanish ceramics. Unfortunately, a good third of the complex was closed to the public so that the Game of Thrones could use it for filming. So much for culture and history….
Another highlight was the large Maria Luisa Park with a great deal of majolica tile work including one mural for each province of Spain as well as tiles as architectural details. There were three bridges made of ceramics….heaven!
For the one last day in Madrid we took advantage of a lovely fall day to go to Retiro Park, the largest and most popular one in a city dotted with green spaces. The contemporary wing of the Reina Sophia Museum is located there and one of my favorite artists, Kerry James Marshall, had a huge show in the beautiful space. It was wonderful to end the visit to Spain on a contemporary note, when so much of what I saw was of historical importance.
I am back home now and it will take me some time to process all the amazing things I saw and experienced in the last six weeks, a task I will thoroughly enjoy.