San Telmo Palace, March 2017. What an absolutely gorgeous city Seville is! With its captivating cathedral, mind-boggling Alcázar Palace and astonishingly picturesque Plaza de España, I knew I’d need multiple Top 5 articles to do this place justice. This post puts the city’s three major sights to one side and focuses on my general wanderings over two perfectly sunny days. Architecturally Seville is a real wonder, with Renaissance, Gothic, Arabic and Baroque buildings all mixed together to stunning effect. One of the most impressive structures is San Telmo Palace, which was built in 1682 as an orphanage. Today it’s the presidential headquarters of the Andalucian government.
The Museum of Arts and Traditions, March 2017. This building is pretty special too, thanks in no small part to its location on the edge of Maria Luisa Park, just across from the pigeon-friendly Plaza de América. Located directly opposite The Archaeological Museum, the two are separated by a beautiful little garden with a large pond, wooden benches, wrought iron lampposts and traditional Andalusian flowerpots.
Plaza de Armas Bus Station, March 2017. As gorgeous as Andalusia undoubtedly is, its collection of province-wide bus stations has been a typically sad affair. Happily then, Seville bucks the trend with this colourful and edgy mural by Raul Ruiz from Granada, a street artist known as El Niño (The Kid).
Seville Tower, March 2017. Take a walk along the river Guadalquivir and it’s impossible to miss this cloud-piercing high-rise, Seville’s first ever skyscraper. Work on the structure began in 2008 and took over seven years to finish! Home to the headquarters of Banca Cívica, it stands in stark contrast to the classical architecture of the old town and has been the subject of much criticism. So much so, that at one point UNESCO considered putting Seville’s historical monuments on the threatened list because of the tower’s negative impact! The peculiar building to the right of the tower that looks a bit like a postmodern cruise ship is the Torre Triana, an Andalusian government administrative building.
Metropol Parasol, March 2017. By the time we reached the train station for our bus back to Malaga, my friend and I had covered an impressive 65 kilometres on foot over the two days. Last but not least was this opinion-dividing creation on Plaza de la Encarnación. Designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer, the entirely wooden structure is said to be the largest of its kind in the world! Made up of six mushroom-like parasols, this is another controversial sight, with many locals disgusted by its lengthy construction, high cost and unlikely location. Nevertheless, there seemed to be a great vibe as we passed through. There were street artists performing to the gathered masses, a gaggle of skateboarders on the upper level and a trio of girls napping on the entrance steps in the sun.