I wandered around Seville humming snatches of Carmen to myself and marvelling at the profusion of the color yellow. Yellow traffic barricades, yellow domed rooftops, yellow horse carridge wheels, yellow concrete walls. And blindingly yellow sunshine. The wall of my room in the hostel had been decorated with a pair of straw sunhats and I cadged one for the duration of my stay, occasionally tying in on with a scarf to fight the gusting breezes. I couldn’t quite bring myself to tour the bullfighting ring but otherwise reveled in soaking up the atmosphere of this capital city of the region.
The architectural and historical heart of the city is the palace of el Alcazar, home first to the Almohades (moorish leadership) and later to the Christian rulers after the reconquest. To my mind their Gothic and Renaissance additions to the palace don’t come close to the delicacy and beauty of the previous Moorish architecture. The painted tilework seems childish by comparison to the geometric precision of the original and the inlayed woodwork can’t compete with the delicacy of the wood and stone carving in the upper portions of the earlier construction. As you can see by my photographs I hardly bothered with the newer sections.
The city is hardly all history, however, this public plaza is probably the most famous and certainly my favorite of the new interventions on the city. The striking Metropol Parasol was designed by Jurgen Mayer H. Architects and is currently the world’s largest wooden structure. Its beautiful and eye-catching and a very functional public space occupied by perambulating families, teens on skateboards, and sketching architecture aficionados.