Goes Ashore in Europe:
to see & things to do
& Seville, Spain
over three thousand years ago, Cádiz is the oldest city in Spain.
Founded in 1100BC by Phoenician merchants, Carthaginians, Romans,
Visigoths, and Moors are just some of the people to call Cádiz
their home. Strategically located between the Mediterranean Sea and
Atlantic Ocean on the southwestern tip of Spain, Cádiz was the
preferred port of Spanish explorers and one of the wealthiest cities
in Europe. The same qualities, plus a vibrant nightlife, make Cádiz
one of the leading resort areas of today’s Costa del Sol.
historical area of town is a casual ten-minute walk from the pier.
Taxis are available but
negotiate the fare before accepting transportation.
in the Plaza de Mina, the Fine Arts and Archaeological Museum
contains one of Spain’s richest collections of Phoenician exhibits
and the works of Murillo, Ruben, van Eyck, and many others. Torre
Tavirna was originally a watchtower; however, it presently contains
exhibits of the city. The City History Museum is small but
interesting with a late 18th century detailed model of the city
crafted from wood and ivory.
18th century Church of Saint Cueva contains unusual underground
chapels and a domed ceiling with frescoes created by Goya. Church of
Santa Catalina is noted for the last work of Murillo, entitled
“Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine.” While painting the work in
1682, the artist fell from the scaffolding over the high altar and
died from his injuries.
a stroll on the seaside promenade, Alamada Marqués de Comillas and
stop at the baroque church at the end—Nuestra Señora del Carmen
where the inner courtyard has an altarpiece designed by El Greco.
twenty miles from Cádiz is captivating Jerez de la Frontera. A
quiet village, it is noted for its sherry and architecture—a
mixture of Gothic and Islamic styles known as Mudejar.
in Cádiz, the best way to visit Seville is by tour. With so
many architectural and artistic wonders, a tour might seem rushed
after the scenic eighty-mile ride but it’s worth seeing the
highlights of this charming, yet substantial city.
and sultry images associated with Andalusia come to life in romantic
Seville. The gypsies, orange trees, mantillas, and flower-filled
balconies are a reality. Even the tobacco factory where Carmen
rolled cigars on her thighs is real—even if she wasn’t. It was
in Seville that Ferdinand and Isabella welcomed Columbus upon his
return from America and the grand Cathedral claims to contain his
to the tranquil and lush Maria Luisa Park, the Plaza de España is
the elaborate pavilion built for the 1929 Iberoamerican Exposition.
A canal skirts the vast semi-circular esplanade and the building
surrounding it contains alcoves decorated with intricate Sevillian
tiles representing the fifty provinces of Spain.
Royal Alcázar has the distinction of being the oldest palace in
Europe still in use by a royal family. Begun in 712AD as a fortress
for the Moorish caliphs and reminiscent of the Alhambra, it has
evolved and expanded into a rich combination of Arabic and Christian
Gothic architecture, set off by exquisite gardens. It was at the Alcázar
that Ferdinand and Isabella received Columbus and King Juan Carlos
presently uses the palace during his visits to Seville.
de Santa Cruz was once the ghetto for Spanish Jews near the old
walls of the Alcázar. Overlooking the winding cobbled streets
balconies are decked with flowers and delightful little plazas
appear around many twists and turns.
Saint Maria Cathedral, the third largest Gothic cathedral in the
world, stands on the site of the 12th century Great Mosque, which
was incorporated into the building. The cathedral’s late-Gothic
sculptural adornments inside and out are considered some of the
world’s finest and the sun still shines through the Flemish
stained glass windows installed in the 15th and 16th centuries. The
original minaret was converted into the belfry known as the Giralda
and expanded to a height of over 100 meters—or approximately
twenty stories. Originally designed for riding up on horseback, a
climb to the top combines steps and inclined ramps and affords a
spectacular view of the city.
architectural highlights of Seville include the numerous pavilions
built for the 1929 Iberoamerican Exposition, the 18th century La
Maestranza Bullring, and dozens of exquisite churches. It’s far
too much to see in a day—Seville beckons the cruise passenger to
linger on a future land visit. Many walking tours begin and end in
the neighborhood of the Hotel Alfonso XIII where coaches park
nearby. A peek into the ornate lobby of the hotel, designed for the
1929 Iberoamerican Exposition, reveals a reproduction of a Spanish
palace, luxurious with pillars and coffered ceilings.
entire downtown area of Cádiz is good for shopping and Andalucian
ceramics and handicrafts are abundant and most are reasonably
priced. Shops are generally closed mid-day from 2:00 until 5:30 pm
so shopping should be an early day activity.
a tour of Seville’s sights and with little time, your best bets
for souvenirs such as paintings, watercolors, ceramics, and
Sevillian tiles are in the shops of Barrio de Santa Cruz. Vendors
tempt visitors with intricately embroidered linens and shawls in the
Plaza de España. As in any area of the world, care should be taken
to safeguard wallets and other valuables from the pickpockets who
thrive in the most popular tourist and shopping areas.
visitors to Cádiz prefer beach areas close to the resort hotels.
Check with your ship’s shore excursion desk about transportation
before heading off on your own to areas such as Playa de la Caleta.
Ports of Call