Seville of all the Andalucian city breaks is most certainly the liveliest! Capital of authonomous Andalucia, Seville's huge cluster of Arab, Roman and other historic monuments and historic sights (including one of the world's largest cathedrals) in its old town now has World Heritage status. Seville is a city with many unique angles all packaged into one - an Andalucian business centre, a centre for the arts particularly theatre and cinema, a superb choice of luxury and budget Seville city centre hotels and apartments and an excellent choice of tourist attractions including theme parks and waterpark. Add to this a riotous nightlife of discos, tapas bars, clubs and restaurants, a festival scene to beat all, a historic Plaza de Toros (Seville has long been an Andalucian centre for both bullfighting and flamenco) and the stunning Sierra Norte Nature Park just on Seville's doorstep. Seville's transport links are impressive, with direct fast train links now to Madrid and Andalucia centres such as Granada, Cordoba and Malaga. Seville Airport sits just 10km to the northwest of the city centre, with direct flight services from London Gatwick, London Stanstead and Liverpool UK airports.
Seville Regional Tourist Information Office, Avenida de la Constitucion, 21 B-41001 Seville. Tel. 0034 954221404. See also Seville Tourist Office on Plaza del Triunfo, 1-41004 Seville. Tel. 00 34 954501001. Seville Tourist information points are dotted all around the city including offices at Plaza del Triunfo, Avda de la Constitucion, at Seville Airport and at Paseo de las Delicias. For a full list of tourist office points in Seville see the Seville Tourist webguides right.
Seville was founded initially by the Romans, but became key Islamic Muslim centre from 711 to 1248. Its real boom period was during Spain's 16th and 17th century Discovery extravaganza, when Seville, on the banks of the River Guadalquivir was a strategic trade link with the Americas and main port centre.
During this rich Discovery period numerous palaces, churches and Seville's mammoth elaborate cathedral were constructed. The City's centre sits either side of the Guadalquivir, with main monuments and historic sites including Seville Cathedral and Alcazar sit on the eastern side of the river. Seville's main central district - El Centro sits just north of the oldtown hub of monuments and historic oldtown. Find a huge choice of Seville accommodation listings here on Iknow Spain both around Seville's old quarter near the Cathedral, Alcazar and the popular bustling Barrio de Santa Cruz and Plaza San Sebastian.
Seville's main monuments - the Cathedral, Alcazar and the Giralda sit east of Avenida de la Constitution. Seville's metro system is still under construction, however Seville Metro Line 1, with a choice of metro stops within the city centre, looks set to open soon (see Seville Metro weblink right for forthcoming news). Two particular events in Seville's history have brought a real boost to the city's heritage and architecture. The first was the World Fair held in the city in 1929, and more recently the second was Expo 92 which brought huge numbers of new visitors to Seville.
Seville's cathedral ranks as one of the world's biggest. Not to be missed is the cathedral's vast interior with its huge stained glass and display of 17th century art. Christopher Columbus' tomb is situated near the southern door with elaborate Columbus monument atop dating from 1902. Particular highlights include the original mosque's minaret - La Giralda. Mostly huge Gothic pillars and vaults, Seville Cathedral's construction ended in 1507, but later Renaissance detail was added when the central dome collapsed. Seville has a huge number of ornate churches, listed in full on the Seville tourist webguide.
Seville's Alcazar still serves as part-time residence for the Royal Family, although its history stretches back to its original founding as Arab fort in 913. Since then Seville's Alcazar has been added to and reworked over the centuries, consquently now revealing a myriad of styles.
The Alcazar sits just south of Seville's Cathedral. The western part of the Alcazar was the main palace of the 11th century Muslim taifa leaders with other palaces added later including the Mudejar Palacio de Don Pedro from 1364 to 1366.
Catholic Monarchs Isabel and Fernando set up their own court here during the 1480s with their eye on the conquest of Granada. A selection of palaces then from different periods sit within Seville's Alcazar complex. (see Seville Alcazar webguide and virtual tour right for details).