Have you ever been to Seville? This beautiful town from the south of Spain truly is one of a kind, and it is one of the preferred destinations of many tourists. The south of Spain is famous for the siesta, the flamenco and the food, and also for how friendly the locals are, and Seville is no exception!
If you’re planning a trip to the south of Spain soon (and now is one of the best times to do so, as the heat in the summer is not easy to endure), take a good look at the following facts about Seville. They’re a good warm-up for the trip!
5 historical and legendary facts about Seville
Seville has an old history, and there are many interesting facts that live on in its monuments and its streets. Here you have a few historical (and sometimes legendary!) facts about Seville so you can brag a bit about your knowledge with your travel companions:
- The capital of an Empire: Seville was the last capital of the Almohad Caliphate, from 1163 to 1248.
- A changing river: One of the facts about Seville that you surely know is that the city is crossed by river Guadalquivir. But did you know that its riverbed was modified by the Visigoths? That explains why remains of ships were found in the land!
- The blood of the Alcázar: There are probably many dark stories in a building as old as the Alcázar of Seville, but there is a particularly interesting one that explains some blood stains that are in its marble floor. As it happens many times in history, the facts cannot be completely confirmed, as it is a story from the 14th century. King Peter I ‘the Cruel’ was married to Blanca de Borbón, but it is said that they only consummated their marriage twice. There are several versions of the story, but according to one of them, Blanca had an affaire with Don Fadrique, the king’s half-brother. The story says that, when the king found out, he summoned Don Fadrique and stabbed him to death right there in the Alcázar, which originated the blood stains.
- Triana, the origin of the city: We don’t know for sure if this one is a myth or the reality, but it is said that Seville originated in a small islet in a swamp area that was called Spal (which would give Seville its old name, Hispalis), which was created by Hercules himself (that’s the mythical part, of course). What we know for sure is that said islet is nowadays the beautiful neighbourhood of Triana.
5 cultural and fun facts about Seville
Besides history, there are so many interesting things about this beautiful city, like the following:
- Why so many oranges?: Valencia is famous for its orange trees, but one of the fun facts about Seville is that it is the city with the most orange trees in the world!
- The Giralda… Or the Giraldas!: The Giralda is the most important landmark of the city, but one of the facts about Seville that you probably don’t know is that this tower has several replicas around the world! Spanish cities Arbós and Badajoz have little Giraldas, and there is another one in Kansas city.
- A lizard in a church: Next to the Giralda, in the cathedral, you will find the Puerta del Lagarto or “lizard door”, together with other mementos like an elephant’s tusk. We don’t know for sure why they’re there, but the legend says that they were presents from a sultan to king Alfonso X, hoping he would get to marry the princess.
- The towers of Seville: One of the most famous monuments of Seville is the beautiful Torre del Oro (Gold Tower), which dates back from the 13th century. But did you know that there is a second tower called Torre de Plata (Silver Tower) and that there used to be a third one? It’s not there anymore, but it’s been named as Torre de Bronce (Bronze Tower) anyway. They all had the same purpose: surveying the traffic of the river.
- A cathedral with graffiti: Seville’s Cathedral appears to have several graffiti in one of its walls… But they’re not what they seem! They’re what could be considered “old graffiti”, as they were paintings done in ancient times by students who had just graduated. They’re were called vítores and weren’t much liked by the authorities either!
- Caña y tapa: This is not particular about Seville, as it is done in almost all Spain, but it sure is a fact worth knowing! In the bars of Seville, if you order a caña (a 250ml draft beer), you will get a tapa with it for free. And if you order a second one, you will get a different tapa. You can’t choose them, as most bars already have their “tapas order” set, but it doesn’t matter: It’s a great way to have a yummy dinner anyway!
What did you think about these facts about Seville? Were you surprised by any of them? The streets of this southern Spanish city sure have lots of interesting stories to tell, and you will too after spending a few days there. Don’t forget to enjoy the good weather, the friendly atmosphere… and the tapas!