If you don’t know what to see in Seville, capital of Andalusia, this is your post. Seville is a huge city with an infinite number of monuments, museums, squares, etc. In this article we show you the 10 best rated places in Seville. They are not the most visited, but they are the ones that receive the best reviews from its visitors.
Seville is the epicentre of culture in western Andalusia and is brimming with art and flamenco. The historic centre is the most visited, but there are also other neighbourhoods such as La Macarena, Los Remedios or Triana that best reflect the idiosyncrasy of the Sevillian people. A stroll along the banks of the Guadalquivir is also a must.
What you will find here
Plaza de España (Square of Spain)
This enormous square was designed within the Parque de María Luisa. Aníbal González, its architect, built it between 1914 and 1929. It was the main building for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929. On the ground floor, its arch houses the provinces of Spain and opens up to the rest of the exhibition. This entire area outside the city walls was designed at the same time and within the framework of the exhibition. Although it was already internationally known, the cinema has made it even more popular. It was the setting for the mythical Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
As a curiosity we will tell you that the first intention was to use the building as the headquarters of the University. In the end it ended up being the headquarters of the local government.
Cathedral of Seville
For about 150 years the new Mosque of the Almohad period fulfilled the function of Cathedral. In 1434 construction began on the new Gothic cathedral, which was to be the largest in the world. The UNESCO declared this holy place, together with the Reales Alcázares and the Archive of the Indies as World Heritage Site.
It was partially adapted to the plan of the mosque, as the courtyard was reused and the minaret was preserved. The cathedral is a veritable catalogue of stones. It was built with material from 20 different quarries, mostly from Cadiz and Seville. Inside are the deadly remains of Christopher Columbus and of some kings of Castile such as Peter I the Cruel, Ferdinand III the Saint and Alfonso X the Wise. If you want to know more about the Cathedral of Seville, we recommend you to visit our guide of the Cathedral, you can even download it in pdf format.
It was originally the alminar of the new Great Mosque of Seville. It was built by the Almohads at the end of the 12th century along the lines of another Moroccan one, that of the Kutubiya Mosque in Marrakesh. The ascent is via a ramp that revolves around the central pillar of the tower. At almost 100 metres high, it was for many years the highest tower in the city. From the top of the minaret the faithful were called to prayer.
In the 16th century, a new top was added. A bell tower, a clock, several temples and the Giraldillo were added. The latter, which gives its name to the bell tower, is a velvet that represents the victory of the Christian faith. Of course it is a must on any guided tour of Seville.
Iglesia Colegial del Salvador
It is the largest temple of Seville after the Cathedral. It was built on the site of the primitive Great Mosque of Isbilya built in the 9th century. The ablutions courtyard and the base of the bell tower date from this period. El Salvador was completed in the 18th century in a baroque style. The interior is overwhelming, the gold leaf of the numerous altarpieces floods the vision of anyone who enters.
One of Seville’s most famous processions, “La Lotera“, starts from here. The Virgen del Rocío is carried in procession and its departure coincides with the celebration of the Christmas lottery draw.
Building La Adriática
This unique building owes its name to the insurance company that built it. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century and is striking for the way it adapts to a triangular site. Although it may be reminiscent of the neo-Mudejar style, it should be framed within eclecticism. It combines Islamic and Plateresque influences, styles used in Andalusian regionalism at this time.
For a time the building was in ruins, with its balconies propped up and its dome collapsed. In front of it stood an octagonal advertising support called the Lighthouse, 35 metres high and equipped with electric lights, an icon of the city at the time.
Museum of Fine Arts of Seville
It is a Museum with a lot of history. Its headquarters was previously Convento de la Merced Descalza, but with the disentailment of Mendizabal it became State property. In the mid-19th century the Museum of Fine Arts was inaugurated. Since then it has housed a spectacular collection of national and international artists such as Velázquez, Murillo, Zurbarán and Valdés Leal. It is considered the second largest art gallery in Spain after the Prado Museum.
At the gates is the Plaza del Museo with the Monument to Murillo. The square and the sculpture were designed in the 19th century and this place offers pleasant shade for a break.
An extensive building complex, of all styles and periods and with all atmospheres. This heterogeneous Sevillian palace has its origins in a 10th-century Caliphate citadel. It was later extended with Almohad, Mudejar and Gothic palaces. Lately it has become very fashionable, as it was chosen as the location for filming Game of Thrones. In the series this place represents Dorne, the southern kingdom of mild temperatures and lush vegetation.
Don’t be fooled by the Palace of Peter I, it is a Christian palace. This monarch commissioned the Nasrid sultan of Granada to build a palace similar to those of the Alhambra. If you are thinking of visiting the Reales Alcázares you have to know this guided tour of the great monuments of Seville.
JUST A FEW WORDS ABOUT
To remind you that in Seville, we have some very special guided tours. Click on the banner to know about them.
Palace of the Countess of Lebrija
This palace is one of those curious museums that we could call of varieties. Its collections range from Roman mosaics to Renaissance works by Van Dyck or Bruegel the Elder. Its walls are covered with tiles, Andalusian arches and various architectural decorations. Amphorae, statues, capitals and showcases with ivories, bronzes and ceramics are displayed in its rooms.
The origin of an important collection lies with Dª Regla Manjón, the Countess of Lebrija. This lady had a special sensitivity for archaeological and artistic heritage. Over the years she acquired objects that gradually swelled her collection. As well as being a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid, from 1922 she was a member of the Commission of Historical and Artistic Monuments of the Province of Seville. She was ahead of her time.
Visiting the Palacio de las Dueñas is not just another noble house. This home of the House of Alba has been the residence of great international personalities. For years it was divided into smaller houses and, in one of them, the great Spanish poet Antonio Machado was born.
Strolling through its courtyards and gardens is a real pleasure for the senses. They maintain the essence of Andalusian courtyards with gardens and a strong presence of water. The Palacio de las Dueñas also conserves an important art collection. It is notable for the works of Sorolla, Zuloaga, Julio Romero de Torres, Luca Giordano, Mariano Benlliure and Federico de Madrazo.
House of Pilate
This Sevillian palace combines the Renaissance and Mudejar styles. On entering its courtyard you might think that you are in a building of Muslim origin, but nothing could be further from the truth. The arches and plasterwork are organised in Renaissance style. The colourful tiling is combined with busts of Roman and Spanish emperors.
Mudejar-style buildings abound in Seville. From the conquest of the city in 1258 until the beginning of the 17th century, Seville was home to an important community, first Mudejar (Muslims who kept their religion after the conquest) and then Moorish (so called after the forced conversions at the beginning of the 16th century). With the Renaissance, the Italian influence became increasingly strong, which is why this noble dwelling straddles two worlds. We visit this place in “The other Seville“.
MAP OF WHAT TO SEE IN SEVILLE
On the map we show you the location of the places to see in Seville described in this post.
And our video of Seville