Situated along the Rio de Guadalquivir, Seville is the fourth largest city of Spain. The city served as an important River port to the Atlantic during the Hispanic conquest of the Americas and the Philippines and therefore was quite important in establishing the Spanish trans-oceanic trade to other countries. The image below is seen from the Torre Del Oro which is a prominent landmark along the shore of the river.
The Torre Del Oro (Tower of Gold) is a twelve sided or decagon in shape structure that served as a military watchtower. It was constructed during the reign of the Almohad Caliphate in the 13th century to control access to the Rio Guadalquiver.
The area where I was staying in Seville was bounded by several narrow ancient streets. Most of them would bring an intenerant towards the Catedral de Santa Maria De La Sede, the Alcazar de Seville and the La Lonja which houses the Archivos General De Indias. I encounter tourists everyday who are seemingly lost in these narrow but interesting streets.
Not far from the busy section of the above three landmarks of Seville is the Hotel Alfonso XIII. The hotel was built sometime between 1916 to 1928 in the Neo-Mudejar style of architecture for the Iberio-American Exposition of 1929. The Architecture and the rich decorative embellishments were of arches, columns, fine carpets, ceramic tiles could only be described as opulent and luxurious. A side entrance to the Hotel Alfonso XIII.
Going on foot has the advantage of seeing interesting landmarks of the city such as the following statues that seemed to have been inspired from marble statues of Roman goddesses.
One of the buildings that caught my eye was rather unobtrusive and unidentified as it was tucked behind abundant foliage of massive trees but it was nevertheless impressive and features a beautiful medallion. The building as shown in the images below was a wonderful find when on foot as I was on my way to Plaza Espana.
One of the offerings of the area of Plaza Espana is a ride on a horse drawn carriage that can make one feel like royalty. This carriage covers a relaxing ride along Plaza Espana and to the Catedral de Seville.
Plaza Espana was also built for the Iberio-American Exposition in 1929. The architecture of the building is a mixture of Art Deco and Neo-Mudejar style. The building is a semi-circle connected by bridges that are claimed to represent the four kingdoms of Spain in the ancient times. A moat runs within the periphery of the wide plaza where people can propel their own boats.
The area near the Catedral de Seville and the Alcazar boasts of some buildings with outstanding architecture that had employed several decorative elements that set them aside from other buildings in Spain. The following images are prime examples:
The Archivo General de Indias are the archival records of the history of Spanish empire’s presence in the Americas and the Philippines in ancient times. It is housed in the Casa Lonja de Mercaderes near the Catedral De Seville. The building is an example of Renaissance Architecture and its origins dates back to the year 1572.
Pictured above is a bust of Hernan Cortes, a Spanish conquistador and renowned explorer of his time. He defeated the Aztec empire and claimed Mexico for the Kingdom of Castille.
Above is a reproduction of an ancient map which shows a section that represents Manila, Philippines during the spanish presence in the said country.
Above is a painting of Fernando Magallanes, a Portuguese explorer who was commisioned by King Charles V for an expedition to the East Indies. Magallanes reached the Philippines in 1521 and cultivated friendships with the ruling Tribe of one of the islands and had them Christianized. He was slain by another chieftain who rejected his proposal to have him baptized and to submit to the king of Spain.