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Segue in Sevilla

“The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it.”

Christopher Columbus

In our travels—especially hikes across the country to Santiago de Compostela, we’ve spent many months in Spain, but have yet to explore the fourth largest town and a former capital. It was time to change that, even if was only for three full days.

Sevilla (Seville in English) is very walkable. We rented an Airbnb in what is called the “SoHo” of the town. We’re fortunate we reserved it many months ago as what we would classify as the Super Bowl of Spanish Soccer takes place tonight. Bilbao faces off against Mallorca at 10:00 PM (NOT a typo) in a sold out stadium with a capacity of 60,000. The streets have been filled the last two days with Bilbao and Mallorca fans singing, waving flags, eating, and drinking. Lots of families decked out in team garb, very few “hooligans.”

Our first day in Sevilla we took an eye opening tour of the Cathedral of Seville. Frankly, we’ve been through so many amazing churches and cathedrals that it is a bit hard to surprise us, but this one was a guided rooftop tour. Usually we get to admire the vaulted ceilings from below, but in this case we also got to see the dome shape from the top and learned a few interesting things. For example:

  • In the center of each vaulted ceiling is a hole. Before electricity, oil lamps were hung below that center hole. Illumination was also provided by hundreds of candles around the church.
  • That center hole and at least one in each corner of each vault has a hole from which the smoke could escape. The holes were capped when needed with a mushroom shaped stone to keep out the rain.
  • The cathedral hosted hundreds of masses each day (again, NOT a typo) using the main alter in the center as well as the many side chapels. This is one of the reasons for the many side chapels in cathedrals—masses would be taking place simultaneously.

The Cathedral in Seville is the third largest in Europe, and is built on what was originally a moorish mosque. It is also the final resting place of Christopher Columbus, in one of the strangest tombs we’ve seen; see his casket below borne by four supersized figures. The notable explorer traveled as much in death as in life. He was at one time interred in the Dominican Republic (which claims to still have his bones) as well as Cuba before returning to Seville. If you ever have a chance to take a rooftop guided tour of a cathedral in Sevilla, or any other place, we highly recommend it.

In our three full days here we also managed to explore the “Setas de Sevilla” which is the largest wooden structure in the world. I call it the Wooden Waffle. We also walked through the Parque Maria Luisa where the Plaza de Espana will celebrate its 100th anniversary in just five years. The place as built for a 1929 exposition.

Alas, tomorrow our main destination will be the bus station where we take a three hour ride to our next stay on this journey. But, we can imagine coming back for a longer stay to explore this friendly and taste many more tapas.

12 thoughts on “Segue in Sevilla”

  1. We visited Seville for a few days last spring before starting the Camino and loved it. Didn’t take advantage of the rooftop cathedral tour in Seville but thoroughly enjoyed the rooftop of the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Highly recommend if you haven’t already done it.

    1. We haven’t done the rooftop tour in Santiago. Will put it on the shortlist for our arrival in May.

  2. Les and Wanda Wood

    Great to hear that y’all are traveling again. Your adventures are always interesting. Be safe and take care.

    1. It’s been pretty safe so far—other than the macaque who cornered me on a landing and gave me the stink eye 🙂

  3. Thank you for the guided tour. I always enjoy your adventures. Look forward to the next stop….

  4. We loved Seville — but I’m wondering how we managed to miss the wooden waffle! Enjoy!

    1. It was finished in 2011 so is relatively new. Next trip be sure to check it out. We heard it is very cool at night but we only did the day trip.

  5. I remember at Saint Aloysius they had a number of altars behind the altar because there were so many priests there that had to do masses. It heard here is some deal about they have to do a mass every day is my understanding

  6. I hope you get a chance to stop in Evora on your way to Lisbon. It’s also a fascinating city!

    1. Looks interesting, but on this trip we’re hiking north from Lisbon and Evora is inland. BTW…in some respects the big game was like the National Championship but in this case, the good guys (Bilbao) won.

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