Sunday, May 11, 2014

Beautiful Seville

by Nicole Lindquist

In the name of showcasing the amazing sights (and sites!) that the world has to offer and perhaps to encourage the spread of the travel bug, we're developing a series of blog posts to highlight the places around the world that have sparked our creativity over the years and given rise to some of our favorite Allem Studio designs. For example, our Seville products, pictured below, were created to embody the spirit and aesthetic of their namesake city, the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia in Spain.

Both photos feature Allem Studio Seville Euro ShamsSeville Navy Pillow Cases, and the reversible Seville Duvet Cover.
The photo on the left also features our Seville QuiltRita Pillows, and Marilyn Lumbar Pillow.
The photo on the right also features our Marilyn Pillows and our Zoe Pillow.

There is no doubt that travel can be a highly rewarding experience, even just listening to the globetrotting adventures of others has the power to energize and motivate. There is so much beauty in the world that it's difficult not to be awed and inspired by all manner of natural and man-made wonders. And Seville is certainly not short on beautiful spaces to spend a little (or a lot!) of vacation time. In fact, this historic inland port city is home to three(!!!) UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Perhaps this is less surprising when one considers that the city is more than two millennia old and spent time under Roman and Muslim rule before coming under Spanish control, providing it with a rich cultural heritage and a unique mix of architectural influences.

With so much to see and do, a trip to Seville is sure not to disappoint. First on the list should be outings to the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Alcázar, the Archivo General de Indias, and the Seville Cathedral. The Alcázar was originally built as a fort when Seville was under Muslim rule, and, as such, it serves as an excellent example of Moorish architecture. It was subsequently turned into a royal palace and is still used (in part) by the royal family of Spain today. According to Wikipedia, this makes the Alcázar "the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe."

The Alcázar of Seville -  CC Image by Michal Osmenda

Moorish Architecture Inside the Alcázar - CC Image by Emmanuel Brunner

The Archivo General de Indias (in English, The General Archive of the Indies) is a great pit stop for any history buff. The building houses all of the documentation related to Spain's overseas empire, including Christopher Columbus' journal. The building itself was constructed in the late 16th century and provides an interesting example of Spanish Renaissance architecture.

The Archivo General de Indias - CC Image by Anual

The Seville Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, was built throughout the 15th century and completed in the early 16th century and is the largest cathedral and third-largest church in the world. This grand church houses the remains of Christopher Columbus and offers tourists the opportunity to climb to the top of its bell tower, the Giralda, for a fantastic view of the city.

The Seville Cathedral - photo courtesy of Jasmin Shergill

The Giralda - CC Image by Paul Hermans

Besides the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Seville offers plenty more to see. While the city can lay claim to one of the largest Old Towns in Europe giving visitors plenty of opportunity to steep themselves in its rich history, there are also more modern architectural wonders to behold, including the Metropol Parasol. This all-wooden structure was completed just three short years ago and houses, among other things, a museum, a market, a public plaza, and terraces that offer great views of the city. Its unique design is certainly something to behold.

The Metropol Parasol - CC Image by Rubendene

In addition to all of the sites to see, the fact that Seville was a primary center for the development of flamenco dancing and has multiple popular festivals including the Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the Feria de Abril (April Fair) should not be overlooked. Indeed, there is just as much to do in Seville as there is to see.

Women in Flamenco Dresses at the Feria de Abril - CC Image by Ed Tarwinski

"Bored" is not a word that will roll off the tongue of any visitor to this beautiful and fascinating city. Do you have your passport ready?

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