Sightseeing Seville, Part II

Sightseeing Seville, Part II

This fifth article on Seville will end the Sightseeing by the modern part of Seville with Isla de la Cartuja and the follow-up of the visit further downtown already mentioned in my article The colours of Seville.

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In the sightseeing first part you have discovered the 1929 Ibero American Exhibition plus Avenida de la Palmera going on the rightfrom Torre de Oro hand side of this photo from . We now go left handside of this photo or upstream of the Guadalquivir river to  finish  Seville Sightseeing. On the left hand side the dome you see is the new opera house from Seville built in 1992 and called the Maestranza.

Atribuido a Alonso Sánchez Coello Museo de América de Madrid 1576-1600 Public Domain. La Sevilla del Siglo XVI

Atribuido a Alonso Sánchez Coello
Museo de América de Madrid 1576-1600 Public Domain. La Sevilla del Siglo XVI

Until the end of the 18th century, from Torre de Oro on the left, there was an arenal (sandy place) leading from the river bank up to the height of the cathedral and as far as the second bridge. It was used to load and unload ships.

101_0030This photo is a modern view from the ex arenal It has now been replaced by the centre and the Paseo de Cristobal Colón (the promenade of Christopher Columbus)

 

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In the middle of the avenue you get to the statue of Carmen and famous bull ring of Seville (to know more and to see photos, (please consult my article Seville, muse of four operas).

Pont du Carrousel in 1900, Paris. Public Domain

Pont du Carrousel in 1900, Paris. Public Domain

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The bridge Isabel II known as the Triana bridge was rebuilt by the engineers of the Eiffel group.

You might walk through itprovisionally  interrupting this sightseeing by a fast intrusion in the mythic Barrio de Triana, birth place of Flamenco.

You can also drive or take a cab. They are cheap in Seville. You can hail them if the green light indicates “free”.

By car, take the bridge and turn left down: there is a parking.

When I took the following photos in 2010 I was with a lady, Marie,  who was almost eighty.  I also had a reduced mobility but we got enough strength to walk around… This is part of the photos I could take.

 

 

 

This yellow building is an excellent fish restaurant with a gorgeous view and terrace.

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This is the upper view we have of the bridge from the parking place.

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Calle Betis along the river is a nice and romantic promenade from one bridge to the other. At sunset, it’s even better.

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This is one of the colourful houses you can view walking at the opposite strolling along the Paseo de Colón. The word “tertulia” is a sweet word used in andalusia. It means what you see there, people having a drink and a good time together, discussing.

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Ceramic tiles is a great tradition in Seville. Here the window of a wine and tapas bar Calle Betis with the reflexion of the other bank.

 

 

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These two photos show a Sevillan woman clad with one of the shawls she wears as a dress, back and front

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Not far from Calle Betis you can make other great architectural discoveries.

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or meet young men clad for a marriage ceremony!

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It is now time to further up our sightseeing tour on the opposite bank.  At entrance of the Triana bridge corresponding to end of Avenida de Colón, there  are iron structures. they were the former fish market also built by Gustave Eifel’s team. Just opposite is an impressive white building

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Straight on, in front of the next bridge, you ‘ll reach the third emblematic work of the Eiffel group: a former train station now converted into an interesting shopping mall you should visit from inside.

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It’s called Plaza de Arma. The whole structure of this former station is worth visiting as well as its upper gallery. Its charm provokes similar reactions to the vision of a Victorian station.

http://www.ccplazadearmas.com

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You can shop, refresh, you can even go to the cinema and if you don’t understand Spanish, on the parallel avenue called Cinco Avenidas , you can go to one of the two multi-cine bearing same name  offering films in Original Version

The opposite bridge could lead you to the fringe of Triana neighbourhood and on the leftto the Isla de la Cartuja. You should continue straight on. You will enter on Calle Torneo, seeing the island on the left along the many modern lamp posts marked by a number (an easy way to remember where you are if you park along the avenue).

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Installed in 1992 for the Expo, it is said that each lamp post cost one million Pesetas (6,000€). You can also walk along the bank. You drive till half of this avenue where you find the impressive roundabout of La Barqueta Bridge, your entrance to the island.The only bridge with such a shape. You can’t miss it. (photo below)

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However we won’t enter yet as I would like to mention two streets on the right. The first leads to the place you should not miss during your stay: the Alameda de Hercules

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It’s an immense promenade at the end of which you see these two columns: the columns of Hercules symbolising Gibraltar on the Spanish side, Mount Myr on the Moroccan side supposedly be the 12th work of Hercules. It’s a place you should visit on weekends if you wish to experience Seville by night!

The second street is Calle Becker you can easily recognise by an abandonned chimney with a Dark chamber  you can visit if you want to have a top panoramic view on Seville. It leads quickly to the Macarena church.

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There are three reasons to see this church. It houses the virgin Macarena (remember the name of this world famous song written by Sevillans); it enables you to understand what the Flamboyant Gothic or Spanish baroque architectural style means, and  it contains small but impressive treasures left by bullfighters who pray to the Virgin prior to the fight and then leave her some jewels if they are safe and sound after the fight.

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Following the church, you will see the remains of the defensive walls circling the old down town Seville. You will have room to park for five minutes, so better come by Taxi.

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To go back to the river, you must take the Avenue facing the church on the left.

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You will drive alongside another old Baroque building, the Andalusian Parliament and turn left at the river to take the Barqueta’s bridge.

Living in Carmona, I cannot resist telling you that for any E.R or chirurgical interventions and also for any birth, we all go to the nearby university hospital called “Virgen Macarena” (below)

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It’s a bit further up. From this hospital I walked to the river bank from which I’ll present you the Isla de la Cartuja. In front you have the two round shaped hotels built for the Expo and still open.

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On your right you have the harp shaped bridge showing the end of the area dedicated to Expo 92 and inaugurated that year called the Alamillo Bridge.

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On your left you can see the round shape of the Barqueta Bridge also built fo Expo 92, the one I told you to take to enter into the Cartuja Island

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Back on the barqueta bridge, you first see the entrance of the newly created theme park called Isla Mágica. Straight on cross another small bridge then you get onto Avenida Marie Curie. Stop there and park.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered a new continent thinking he had reached India by the West.

Columbus/Colomb/Colón taking possession. L. Prang & Co. Public Domain

Columbus/Colomb/Colón taking possession. L. Prang & Co. Public Domain

 

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Five hundred years later, in 1992, the Universal Exposition (Expo ’92) took place in Seville to celebrate, together with a hundred represented countries “the Age of discovery”. Almost 42 millions visitors visited the special area of 215 hectares – developed for so doing – La Isla de la Cartuja (CartujaIsland) – between April and October 1992.

The new airport, the fast train station, hotels, bridges and highway were built on this occasion are still there.

Twenty two years have elapsed and it is interesting to have a look on how this special Sevillan area has evolved.

The sphere drawing you attention in Avenida Marie Curie was the bio-climatic sphere and their fountains and basins have alleviated the sore feet of many visitors at that time, me included (see the photo below).

 

 

 

 

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The following view shows this avenida taken at time of the Expo 92.

Expo 92 Own work by Canaan

Expo 92 Own work by Canaan

Its evolution has been slow as most of the countries refused to pay for the maintenance of their pavilions and preferred to dismantle them. Not far from the sphere on this avenue you are stricken by an odd abandoned structure, symbol of what happened with this Exhibition. It was then Hungarian pavilion.

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The shape is beautiful. Its wooden architecture is the work of a great Hungarian architect: Imre Makovecz, master of the European organic architecture. It figured a Hungarian church with its seven towers and bronze bells. Below you see the entrance of the church giving of the Marie Curie avenue.

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It was restored in 2001 under the supervision of the architect Enrique Morales Méndez, and remained up to 2005 a museum dedicated to “live” energy. It was saved from demolition in 2006 thanks to the protest of citizens to be rightfully declared a building of tourist interest.

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This was the state of this pavilion last month. If you pass in front of this door and walk a few meters you get to avenue of Europe and to the central multi-coloured tower featuring the flags of the then twelve nations of the European Union.

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Today, it’s a quiet and serene location, a promenade, a garden where you can rest. On the photo below you can also see one of the  twelve massive white-coloured towers.

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It’s nice, modern and exotic and it is surrounded by modern office buildings. To be seen if attracted by modern architecture like this building of a transport company below. The Island actually evolved into a technological park full of futuristic office buildings.

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This building is on Calle Leonardo da Vinci perpendicular to avenue Marie Curie. We followed it with my daughter because I wanted to make a nice photo of the last building under construction on the Island, right at its opposite entrance commonly referred to as the Mapfre Tower. I took it from the main Entrance garden of Monasterio de la Cartuja (below). I have spoken at length of this fascinating Monastery in my article Green Seville.

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It will be the highest building ever built in Seville. On the right hand side you can see former Canadian Pavillon where I briefly worked during the expo. The Government of Canada donated the Canadian Pavilion for use as a new trade school.

My daughter took this opportunity to remind me to see one of the most visited pavilion of Expo 92, that of Morocco. To do so it’s better to go back to the street parallel to the river where you can still view the live model of the Ariane rocket offered by France in 1992 (photo below) because it had transported the Spanish communication satellite Hispasat.

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In my Article Green Seville, I had suggested that you could visit the Jardine de Americas, then the Cartuja monastery. If you walk till the end of the walls of the monastery, slightly left, you won’t miss it! It was the King Hassan II from Morocco who spent 21 millions Euro to have this marvel built by the French architect Michel Pinseau. It’s modern and traditional at the same time.  It was renamed since March 1999 the Pavilion of the Three Mediterranean cultures.

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Please have a look at its three dimensional inner part: a marvel given that summer, its roof can open http://www.tresculturas.org/visitavirtual/360/index.html. If you wish to know more regarding activities held there according to your visit days, please consult http://www.tresculturas.org/.

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Even though next photo might seem inappropriate, it is the nursery school for the people working all around, meaning that in 2.104 the bet to turn this place into a technological park is being won!

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The Columbus Egg

Photo from 1996, Zona Norte Isla de la Cartuja

Photo from 1996, Zona Norte Isla de la Cartuja

 

If you look well down the aerial picture of the whole location taken in 1996, after the broad AlamilloPark right after the bridge you can see the Egg but not the San Jeronimo’s park built later. The flat white area you see was the construction ground of the Olympic stadium.

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El Huevo of Colón (Columbus’ egg). For those curious about the strange enormous bronze egg shell in the middle of which Columbus extends his arms towards America, it is worth a closer look.

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Manufactured and presented by Russia in 1995 after the Expo92, its height is surprising.

Popular opinion attributes the history of Columbus’ egg to an argument to convince traders to persuade Queen Elizabeth 1st  of Spain to finance the enterprise. Doubting a Western route to the Indies, Columbus said it would be as easy as making an egg stand up straight. He then crushed the top of a boiled egg.

Drive along the river on the left from the Torre de Oro and turn to the harp shaped AlamilloBridge and then exit at the “airport, Cordoba, Olympic Stadium” sign. On the right after the stadium you will see the high antenna of RTE (Spanish Radio and Television networks)… Turn and park there. Then walk to the left following the patch under the raised highway and you will reach the park’s small gate. The sight of the egg will guide you.

By bike you can just enter the Parque Jeronimo go till the end after having looked at the entrance map first.

 

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Down town again . Shopping is not my cup of tea. It’s not the case of my daughter’s friends. The following photos belong to a Parisian called Isabelle Vallot and dates back to March 2013.

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Here is Isabelle !

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I would have felt frustrated if I didn’t mention the extension of modern Seville throughout the walled part. In My Article, the Colours of Seville, I mentioned Avenida de la Constitución ending to the Town Hall. If you cross the square ahead you enter into the modern commercial part, Calle Sierpes being by far the most attractive and visited shopping street!.

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A typical Sevillan  brunch with delicious “pata Negra” ham and olives, naturally! with original and attractive entrance to a cafe .

Below “the” place to visit at the end of your shopping: La Campana coffee shop, pastry and tea house.

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Isabelle too liked ceramic tiles, small shadowy streets with wrought iron windows and  sun shades.

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She also liked the poster announcing the famous Holy week and the vivid colours of a clothe shop.

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Here is a classical view into a Sevillan patio

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We will conclude this sightseeing by the last and m0dern architectural wonder at a walking distance from Calle Sierpes. It is called Metropol Parasol, yet the Sevillans refer to it as The Setas as the six parasols are in the form of a giant mushroom.

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Designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann it is a place to visit on weekends if you wish to have a drink with the urban crowd and youth and also because the elevator will give you another opportunity to contemplate the city by night as it is open till midnight.

Photo of Marc Lefranc

Photo of Marc Lefranc

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It is also emblematic of Seville as its underground level (level 0) houses the Antiquarium, where Roman and Moorish remains discovered on site are displayed in a museum designed by the Sevillan architect Felipe Palomino González. Ancient and modern are always living together in Sevilla la Bella!