Seville – Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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When you have finally had your fill of tapas and want something more, aim for Abantal. This the only Michelin starred restaurant in Seville. It reigns supreme with contemporary, cutting edge Andalusian gastronomy. Expect smooth as silk service and designer decor. If you like your oysters served on roasted melon beneath a cloud of lemon air, this is definitely the place for you. There are only seven select tables, so book well ahead.
A Moorish masterpiece, the medieval Real Alcazár de Sevilla remains the city’s most famed and must visit sight. It is one of the oldest active royal palaces in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stunning architecture, heavenly gilded ceilings, exquisite tiled ceramics, intricate mudéjar plasterwork and the sound of water from gentle fountains entice visitors to wander around the pavilions, tranquil pools and courtyards to the wonderful formal gardens, featured as the famed Water Gardens of Dorne in Game of Thrones. It’s simply out of this world.
Recently reopened after a lavish restoration, the Galería del Grutesco is a sculpted walkway at the end of the gardens that many people miss. But the real magic is to be had in the summer evenings, when captivating performances of dance, music and theatre bring the history of the enchanting Alcazár palace to life.
Another of Seville’s breathtaking landmarks also happens to be the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain. It remains the third largest cathedral in the world. Seville Cathedral is truly jaw dropping in both sheer scale and spiritual majesty. The Pardoner’s door is the original entrance to the mosque that preceded the cathedral on this sacred site.
Be sure to climb the Giralda Bell Tower, which was formerly the mosque’s minaret, for fabulous views over Barrio Santa Cruz. Then meditate in the peaceful orange tree courtyard before setting out to discover the burial tomb of Christopher Columbus.
Off the Beaten Path
Convento de Santa Paula is one of Seville’s best kept secrets; a surprising, devout treasure nestling in the seldom visited barrio of San Luis. The limited opening hours (Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 1pm) are well worth a planned visit, as they offer a glimpse into the hidden world of this cloistered Hieronymite convent, housing richly acclaimed treasures within a 15th-century church and secret garden. Ask the rosy cheeked sisters to point out the paintings by Morales and José de Ribera.
And don’t forget to take home some convent made cookies or a jar of heavenly preserves.
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