Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Seville
Sevilla, Spain's fourth-largest city, chief town of its province and capital of Andalusia, lies in a fertile plain on the left bank of the Río Guadalquivir. With the abundance of art and architecture which it has inherited from many centuries of history and the lively and bustling activity of a southern Mediterranean town which is also a port, Seville fully justifies the old saying, "Quien no ha visto Sevilla, no ha visto maravilla" ("If you have not seen Seville you have missed a marvel").
Seville was the birthplace of two famous painters, Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-82). Many commemorative tablets in the streets of the town recall scenes from the works of Cervantes. Seville is also famous as the setting of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and "Marriage of Figaro" and of Bizet's "Carmen"; and a number of streets claim the honor of having Figaro's barber shop in Rossini's "Barber of Seville".
Seville is also an important industrial town (foodstuffs, textiles, metal-processing).
Seville has one of the hottest climates in mainland Europe (up to 48°C/118°F). Accordingly the houses usually have patios, decked with flowers and a plashing fountain, often tantalisingly glimpsed from the street, which provide a cool retreat in the heat of summer.
When the Romans arrived here about 205 B.C. they found a town which they named Hispalis, perhaps an Iberian or Phoenician foundation. In the time of Caesar it became an important port under the name of Colonia Julia Romula. In the fifth century A.D. it was successively the capital of the Vandals (411) and the Visigoths (441). In 712 the Moors captured the town, which they called Ihbiliya. Subsequently it was ruled by the Umayyads (from 913), the Almoravids (from 1091) and the Almohads (from 1147). Under Yusuf Abu Yakub (1163-84) and Yakub ibn Yusuf (1184-98) many splendid buildings were erected in Seville, and for a time the city exceeded even Córdoba in population. In 1248 Ferdinand III of Castile recaptured the town and made it his residence. The king most popular in Seville - in spite of his name - was Pedro the Cruel (1350- 69). On his return from his first voyage to the New World, on March 31st 1493, Columbus was given a ceremonial reception in Seville. Amerigo Vespucci planned his voyage to America in the town, and Magellan sailed from here on his circumnavigation of the globe. Thereafter Seville gained a monopoly of overseas trade and became Spain's principal port. Later the town's importance declined, but its prosperity revived following the regulation of the Guadalquivir, which brought seagoing trade back to Seville.