Back to Sevilla

Trip Start May 15, 2008
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Trip End Jul 24, 2008


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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Andalusia,
Sunday, June 8, 2008

On Monday, June 9, I stopped by Sevilla's most complete set of Roman ruins (which, by the way, is hardly anything).  All that is left of what was the town's central temple, devoted to Hercules, are three columns.  A few centuries ago, three of the columns were moved to the Alameda de Hercules, and one was broken in the process, leaving only three columns left at the original site in the Barrio Santa Cruz.  After visiting there, I walked leisurely home through the Barrio Santa Cruz and the shopping district.  That afternoon, several of us went to sit and hang out by the river.
Tuesday, I went to the Alameda de Hercules to see the other two columns.  I've heard the square is a hub of Macarena (the area it's in) and is often very busy and has good nightlife.  When I was there, however, it was more-or-less empty and a disappointment.  The area of town had a lot of worn-looking buildings, reminding me more of Lisbon than the rest of Sevilla.  That day I also went to the Palacio de Lebrija, a private residence that's now a museum.  The Countess of Lebrija bought a large Renaissance Palacio in the nineteenth century.  In one of her other properties, near the Roman ruins at Italica, she found all sorts of Roman artifacts, statues, and mosaics.  She loved Roman civilization, so she had many of her findings moved to the Palacio (located a few blocks over from Campana).  Now a museum, the palace is magnificent.  Almost all of its floors are covered in original Roman mosaics and the walls are tiled beautifully.  The center patio is decorated in a mixed Roman-mujedar style with the Roman semi-circular arches but with Moorish ornamentation.  It was an interesting look back into the aristocratic lifestyle of the nineteenth century.
On Wednesday, I explored the area around the Iglesia (Church) de San Salvador more.  I walk through this area every day on the way between the Residencia and class, but I often don't think much about the history.  This area of Sevilla was the original medina, or center, of Muslim Sevilla.  It was where the zoco, or market, was located.  That's why the square behind the church, now the Plaza de Jesus de la Pasion, was named the Plaza de Pan (Bread).  All of the streets in this area used to be named for goods that were sold there in the Moorish days.  Some signs remain, however many squares and streets have been renamed.  What is today the Iglesia de San Salvador was the original mosque of the city, back in the eighth through tenth centuries when Cordoba was the capital of Al-Andalus (the More-controlled region of Spain).  Thus, the street today is still named Cordoba Street.  Anyways, I'd never noticed an old stone section on the side of Cordoba Street, a street I walk along every day to go to class.  It turns out that stone section is actually a tower, which was the minaret of the original mosque.  It is still standing, only not as noticeable because tall buildings push up to both its sides.  Some old Muslim influences were obvious from the basement and courtyard of the building as well.  This was also the first time that I went into the church, newly refurbished.
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