Things to Do in Seville - page 2
Hidden among the Santa Cruz neighborhood's maze of streets, you'll find – if you're looking carefully -- Aire de Sevilla. This spa-like oasis located in the heart of Seville captures the magic of an old-world hammam, allowing the visitor to journey into the past, and also to relax.
The building itself dates back to the 16th century, when it was constructed as a mansion by a viceroy from the Indies. Since then, the structure has been transformed into a hammam – the type of Arab bath once so common in Spain's south -- transporting you to another time with its tranquil pools, hypnotic music, and historical setting of brick-vaulted ceilings dimly lit by Moroccan-style lanterns. During your two-hour visit, you'll be able to alternate between Aire de Sevilla's pools, of which there are several. Wash away the day's heat and wallow in relaxation while taking dips in the cool-, warm- and hot-water baths.
If truly intimate, soul-grabbing flamenco is what you’re keen to experience while in Seville, then look no further than the Casa de la Guitarra. The cozy venue may be small in size and number of performers, but when it comes to spirit, talent, authenticity and value, it pretty much wins the prize every time.
Casa de la Guitarra was founded by flamenco guitarist great José Luis Postigo. With a passion for guitars, he not only opened this space to feature truly authentic flamenco but also to host a museum dedicated to his beloved instrument. The exhibit is the first of its kind in Spain, and displays some 60 antique guitars from the last three centuries. Meanwhile, the show, which is an hour long, features three performers - a guitarist, a singer, and dancer - and is all about the soul rather than any sort of tourist-geared spectacle.
Snuggled up against the Guadalqivir River’s east bank and set amidst some of Seville’s most storied streets, you’ll wander upon El Arenal. Its name (arena means sand in Spanish) tells the story of its past, when, during the 16th and 17th centuries, the sandy-banked neighborhood was used as Seville’s port, making it one of the most important port cities in the world. From its shore, boats set off west for the New World, or east for spices, and returned with grand treasures.
These days, the neighborhood, which sits within the city's historic quarter, is especially known for its residents' passion for bullfighting and also religion. Their faithfulness is evident in the abundance of Arenal brotherhoods, whose devotion can be seen during Holy Week each year, when Seville’s Catholicism comes to life in colorful processions that take over the city streets.
More Things to Do in Seville
The 17th-century village of Santiponce lies nine km (5.5 miles) north of Seville and is the site of one of Andalusia’s most important historical remains: the Roman city of Itálica near the banks of the Guadalquivir River. Founded in 206 BC when the Romans were busily empire-building across Europe, Itálica was the first – and largest – Roman settlement in southern Spain; it rose to be of considerable military significance within the Empire and was the birthplace of several emperors, including Hadrian, who built the infamous wall across northern England. The city fell into disrepair with the crumbling of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, and for many years it was plundered for stone used in the building of the lovely city of Seville.
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