17 February, 2016
Holy Week, the Seville Fair and the endless bullfighting afternoons notwithstanding, Seville has also kept up with the times and become a modern, cosmopolitan city. A stroll through its streets reveals a blend of tradition and the latest trends coexisting amid the flavour and colourfulness for which Seville is famed.
Whether or not you have been to Seville before, you ought to know that the Cathedral, Real Alcázar, Torre del Oro and Triana Quarter are must-see landmarks. But, today, Seville is far more than that. It is a major hub of artistic creation and a place where you can delight in the sight of avant-garde buildings and Indie venues – welcome to modern Seville!
Where To Look
To find the more groundbreaking Seville, your epicentre is the Plaza de la Encarnación, in the heart of the central Alfalfa quarter. There you will come across the Metropol Parasol, better known as Las Setas, designed by the Berlin architect, Jürgen Mayer. The structure raised heckles even before it was built on account of such a groundbreaking design being earmarked for the old, historic centre. The complex is made up of a market, restaurants, a viewpoint and the amazing Antiquarium, an archaeological museum where visitors can view the Roman subsoil of the city.
Continuing along our route, we come to fashion stores and bars with alternative decoration in the Alameda de Hércules and surrounding area. On the Calle Feria, for instance, enthusiasts of second-hand garments – designer apparel or otherwise – should make a point of visiting such stores as Ropero Sevilla and Crispa2 vintage. Or, if you are a 50s furniture and decoration devotee, you are sure to find the odd curio in Retrogrado (C/ San Luis 81). In the El Arenal quarter, taverns with a long-standing tradition rub shoulders with contemporary art galleries. So, don’t be surprised if you get served a chamomile tea with a fusion tapa in some trendy bar. When in Seville, the best thing is to just switch off and let the city lead you where it will.
Modernity, 178 Metres Up
The Pelli Tower, located near Las Setas de la Encarnación and between the Triana quarter and La Cartuja, is the other major indicator that Seville is at the forefront of modern trends. But this skyscraper was controversial, too, as, apart from La Giralda, the city has never had tall buildings and the tower’s construction drew the criticism that it severed the horizontality of the skyline. A stroll through this area will also bring you within sight of the buildings left behind from Expo 92, an era which spawned such noteworthy constructions as the New Airport Terminal, designed by Rafael Moneo, the Santa Justa Train Station, by Cruz y Ortiz, and the famous Alamillo Bridge, by Santiago Calatrava.
Eating and Sleeping
Seville has a huge gastronomic assortment but, if you want to try a reworking of traditional culinary classics, Yebra is the restaurant to go for. Without luxuries or frills, it is the sort of eatery that only locals frequent. Go in, rub shoulders with the people and enjoy! La Macarena is one of the most grass-roots districts in the city and you will soon feel at home.
And, for your sleepover, there is the Gran Meliá Colón, a revamped Seville classic featuring furniture by designers of the likes of Philippe Starck, Marcel Wanders and Edra. Then you have the Eme Catedral Hotel, a 16th-century building with cutting-edge fixtures and fittings where you can relax and luxuriate like a true king.
All that’s left is for you to pack your bags and book your flight to Seville.
Text by Aleix Palau for Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
Images by losmininos
17 February, 2016