Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Two of my favourite places in Seville

Mr Robot and I spent our honeymoon in Seville back in 2001, and it's somewhere we've returned to every few years. It's changed a bit in that time, but not in a bad way. When more flights started coming to the city, we'd feared the city would become more touristy, and while some areas have, on the whole Seville has retained its personality.

One of my favourite places, and one which has benefited from tourism, is the Plaza de Espana in the Parque Maria Luisa. Built as the Spanish pavilion for the 1929 Spanish/American expo (dreadful timing for a trade-promoting exercise!) the tiles and ceramic bridges were in sore need of repair by 2001, but since then it's been beautifully restored. It's a real crowd-pleaser.

Traffic in front of the building appears to have been limited too, so there aren't coaches spoiling things now.
I don't think I'll ever get a satisfying shot of this semicircular structure, but that will never stop me trying. It really needs to be seen in motion - and millions of people have seen it on film, though they might not realise it, as it was used as Queen Amidala's palace in one of the Star Wars prequels. The filmmakers doubled it to turn it into a whole circle, though I like the way you can see the park beyond the ends of the real thing.

My other favourite place in Seville has also been used as a fantasy setting. If you've seen Game of Thrones, did you like the Water Gardens of Dorne? Those scenes are filmed at the Real Alcazar (Royal Fortress) in Seville. And the Royal Family does still use the palace.
The programme only uses the gardens, though you can walk round and admire the lower rooms of the palace too, many of which show the Moorish influence on Andalucian architecture.
One of the courtyard gardens has been restored to its earlier layout, but that's the only significant alteration we've noticed over the years.
After all, when somewhere is this gorgeous, why alter it? I think I actually prefer the Real Alcazar to the Alhambra in Granada as it's more peaceful - the trick is to go at about 4pm, after all the tour groups have gone.
Here I am, in the filming location!
So lovely...

18 comments :

  1. What a gorgeous place! I've wanted to visit Andalusia for years, ever since I first read The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay. I don't know if you've read the book, it's set in a fantasy version of Andalusia, very picturesquely written and moving of course, like all his books. Hopefully our next vacation will be the one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, no, I haven't! I've read one of his set in a fantasy version of China and enjoyed it very much.

      I love Andalucia. There's something so captivating about it all.

      Delete
  2. Lovely pics! We didn't make it to the Real Alcazar - oh well, we just have to go back to Seville soon!! Is that dress a TU one? Or a vintage original? X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well spotted, it's a TU one. Got it cheap, and it's one of those garments that I never think of as a favourite but wear loads anyway. I didn't take any vintage as I didn't want it getting bashed about/plastered with sweat/mangled by the hotel laundry.

      Go to the Alcazar in the afternoon - in the morning it's absolutely heaving with tour groups, but by 4pm or so it's much quieter and you can enjoy the place in relative peace. Plus you don't have to queue for ages to get in.

      Delete
  3. It's like being there, with you!
    Mim,
    I must say: thank you for this post, a feast of images, a strong sunshine, the architecture, art.. you in a lovely dress! Overall, I think I like Spain, seen though your eyes. :D

    My best to Mr. Robot. I hope he's doing great, as a Male Leader of your lovely group. :)

    M.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pete did great! All three of us got on brilliantly.

      Spain is a lovely place, it's so sad that all most people think of is tacky beach resorts. The historic cities are fantastic.

      Delete
  4. You've captured Seville perfectly, your love for the place radiates and talking of radiant, how fabulous do you look? xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not radiant, it's buckets of sweat ;-) 44 degrees, ay caramba!

      Delete
  5. What a wonderful city Seville is. That Plaza is just fantastic, and how good that traffic seems to be limited. I've lost count of all the photos that were spoiled, or which I simply didn't take, because of the traffic. You're looking great in that dress combined with the sturdy boots, which makes me rethink my holiday wardrobe. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was in my late teens/20s in the 1990s, so I'm still convinced that clumpy boots go with everything. We do serious amounts of walking on holiday, so I like to have comfy feet. I took nicer shoes for evenings.

      Delete
  6. Another beautiful place in Spain! I don't know if I will get to see it when I go to Spain as I'm going with grandchildren aged 11 and 6 and I don't think sightseeing is their thing...another time maybe!

    You're certainly whetting my appetite to see more of Spain, though. We're going to stay in Comares, which is in Andalucia, too.

    xx

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm not sure those places would appeal to younger children!

      I've never been to Comares. I so want to see more of Spain. As much as I've seen, there's always another place to visit. Ubeda/Baeza (two Renaissance towns close to each other), Jerez, Cadiz and Haro are all currently quite high on my list, and I've never been to the east of the country either.

      Delete
  7. What a gorgeous place. I love the Moorish-influenced architecture. Please keep up the posts/photos. I am holidaying vicariously in my head though your blog! Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Granada has the best Moorish-influenced architecture, of course. I love it too. There's a little market in Granada that has the mudejar plasterwork on the walls, and I always find myself thinking, "Well, someone's doing this stuff... I wonder if I could get it for my house?"

      Delete
  8. beautiful place I got married in 2001 too so cool you went back

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every time I go back I wish I could stay! It's a super place. Weird that so many big films/TV programmes have been made there in the years since.

      Delete
  9. We went to Andalucia 2 or 3 years ago and I loved it, in fact I'd happily go and live there for a while to learn Spanish (little daydream). I love those old Moorish houses with the courtyards and fountains. You look great in your holiday wardrobe. I thought for sure that was one of your new 60s dresses! Xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. So very gorgeous! The rich blues of those Mediterranean skies are mesmerizing. Thank you for sharing some of the highlights of your lovely holiday wish us, dear Mim.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete