Last day in Seville

Plaza Mayor, Seville

Plaza Mayor, Seville

Our final day in Seville. Sad to be leaving, but excited about the next leg of the journey. For our morning sightseeing venture, we walked to the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza – the bullring museum. Admittedly, I was a little torn about visiting this one, but I am interested in this part of the Spanish culture, and since I had no intention of actually going to a bullfight, I thought it would be a good way to gather information without having to experience it. In fact, the only place in Spain where there is a ban on bullfighting is Catalonia – a referendum was held in July 2010 – and as a result the Barcelona bullring has been turned into a very unique looking shopping centre.

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The Seville Real Maestranza was built in 1761 and is the oldest bullring in the world (although started in 1761, it wasn’t completed until 1881), and is unusual in that it is oval shaped rather than round. Not sure what affect that has on the actual event, but it’s a detail shared by the guide at the museum. On display were some impressive costumes from famous matadors, including one who hit the professional circuit at only 14 years of age (although the clothing looked like it would fit a 9 year old of today!).

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From the bullring we headed to the Museo des Bellas Artes, one of the less popular (and cheaper!) art galleries on our travels. It contains mainly Spanish work from the Medieval period to early 20th Century. Not being huge fans of Medieval religious work, it didn’t take us long to check it out and be ready to move on, although we did pause a little longer at the more recent works. There were local artists displaying their work in the plaza outside the museum. There was the usual vast range of abilities and styles, but there was one guy’s work that intrigued me, and one piece in particular, but I wanted to mull things over while having lunch. We talked ourselves into going back and having another look (and it was a fair walk away from the restaurant), but they were all packed up and wouldn’t be returning for another 4 days. Oh well…wasn’t meant to be.

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Our afternoon diversion was Casa de Pilatos – the most impressive privately owned mansion in Seville. Very like the Alcázar, but on a much smaller scale. It dates from the 15th Century, and is a beautiful mix of the Mudéjar-Gothic, Renaissance and Romantic styles, and still serves as the residence of the Duke of Medinaceli. Could quite fancy seeing myself in a residence like this, actually.

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We have really embraced the tradition of the afternoon siesta. After our visit to the mansion, we went back to the hotel, napped, had wine, went for yet another walk, and had yet more to eat at Vineria San Telmo in Santa Cruz. This tapas bar was literally only a couple of doors down from the rubbish place we ate at last night! So disappointed to not have realised!! We had the most wonderful broccoli couscous and a creamy bulgar wheat with wild mushroom and truffle oil – basically a bulgar wheat risotto. Fusion tapas…and we loved it! They had a huge range of wine choices, too – about 10 options alone of red by the glass. We left there at about 9pm – at the time when ‘early eaters’ were emerging looking for a place for dinner. Loving the siesta tradition is one thing, but we have yet to embrace the 10pm dinner sitting!

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As there was still plenty of light in the sky, we headed towards the huge public gardens and found the most amazing building – Plaza de España, located in the Parque de Maria Luisa. It was built in 1928 for the 1929 Spanish/America World Fair – and it really is enormous, and very impressive. It’s a mixture of Art Deco and ‘mock Mudéjar’ styles. By the walls of the curving building are many tiled alcoves representing the different provinces of Spain. This place had not been on our ‘list’, but it was a delightful surprise, and we wandered and admired and took photos until the light faded.

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Our last day in Seville ended with a leisurely stroll back to our hotel, followed by a long soak in the tub in the hope to ease the toll on our bodies after a good many kilometres of walking. The Hotel Palacio de Villapanés was a luxurious haven from our daily adventures, and I cannot wait for a return visit!

We stayed at Hotel Palacio de Villapanés in Seville

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About bontaks

Nic is the the 'Bon' part of 'Bontaks.' Together we are Nic and John - two travel-addicted teachers who enjoy every opportunity to go places, meet people and experience life.

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