To celebrate Chiara’s -one of my best friends- graduation, we decide to go to Seville.
At 4am we are up, and just one hour later we are ready at the airport: hot tea, croissant and let’s go to gate 21!
As soon as we take off, we fall asleep on those tiny Ryanair’s tables.
When we get there, the sky is grey and the clouds are all around.
Our bags’ wheels create an annoying cacophony all through the cobbled streets in Santa Cruz, but none cares.
We leave all our stuff in the Hostel and we decide to have lunch. It’s noon and even if almost every Sevillan is still sleeping, or at least having breakfast, we head strictly to the first 100 montaditos we meet: it’s a commercial business settled almost in every big city of Spain, and there you can choose among 100 sandwiches at a trifling price.
Not to talk about the beers…
Anyway, we just need that brief break to plan our next move and as soon as we finish, we head towards the Cathedral, our first destination.
The Cathedral is crowned by the Girlada, which though today serves as a bell tower, it used to be the main mosque‘s minaret. Those who designed the cathedral at the end of the XV sec said: “We are going to make a temple so big that those who will look at that finished will think we were mad”.
On one side of the Cathedral there is the “Patio of Los Naranjos” that corresponds to what was the old courtyard of ablutions and, on the other, the Church itself.
In the Cathedral there are some great art pieces such as the “Puerta del Perdon”, the choir stalls, Colombus’ mausoleum and the altarpiece composed of 45 panels made by many figures of the Old and New Testament.
We decide to get to the top of the Giralda – 70 meters- and then back again to Plaza del Triunfo: we sit there in front of the Immacolata monument, listening to the music played by a man on the street. At that moment, we are already feeling the magical atmosphere of this town, but we definitely get astonished as soon as we get into the Alcazar.
Each room is more beautiful than the former one, decorated by different shapes of azulejos, amazing tapestries or adorned with some fountain.
The silence lives in all this space and the only thing you can hear is the falling down of the water in the Mercury’s fountain and the birds singing.
A labyrinth, a well and a gazebo contribute to make the atmosphere even more suggestive.
I don’t know how much time we actually spent there: it seemed like an eternity or maybe just as time was never existed.
When we get out, we decide just to walk around, looking into all the shops that acclaim huge sales.
The next morning our first destination is the Pilatos’ House.
By the outside it seems just an ordinary building, not even big. However, it hides its internal beauty.
The structure, second in magnificence just to the Alcazares, was wanted by Pedro Enriqez, the Andalusia’ governor. Though the maximum promoter was his son, Don Fadrique, who had a trip in Holy Land and got inspired for the name of the building itself and some of the rooms inside of it.
The most amazing thing about this structure is the perfect harmony created by the admixture of styles deeply different one from the other; an example of this is the main patio: the arches and the walls are decorated with azulejos, the gallery’s balustrades gothic, the central fountain is renaissance and the statues and bust roman.
The Italian style can be found also in the inside rooms of the place, some of them still used in the special occasion. For example there is a paint by Tintoretto and some views of Naples and Piazza Navona.
Astonishing the gardens as well, in particular the Jardin Grande, closed by lodges by the Italian architecture Bevenuto Tortello.
Throughout a walk in Calle Sierpes, one of the most famous street, we leave at our back the Cathedral to reach Plaza de España: I remain enraptured, astonished by its majesty, colors, reflections – created by the light and the water’s vapor made by the beautiful fountain in the center. The square consists of a 200 meters semi-circle, at the end of which there are two beautiful towers.
A venetian canal is crossable trough bridges, decorated by the azulejos. The semi-circle is marked by many benches as the Spanish provinces are.
Beyond the Plaza there is the Parque de Marìa Luisa, Queen Isabel II’s sister, ideated by the architect Forestier in the tidy French style, but decorated with the Spanish taste with plants of cedras, magnolias, plantains, oranges and mandarins.
The time of our trip is almost done: we spend the last morning walking in the Macarana neighborhood, where we can find the Pillars of Hercules.
Seville itself is an artwork, mostly due to the harmony in the diversity that rises from the union of styles deeply different.
An appropriate celebration then, a true 110 with laude.