No me ha dejado: Sevilla
Sevilla (Seville) is the fourth largest city in Spain and the largest city of Andalusia. To have a proper tour of this city, I would suggest to arrange a week at Sevilla, as there are simply too many architecture worthy of visiting in Sevilla due to its rich history. The city also has three UNESCO world heritage sites which I only had time for two during my trip: the Alcázar palace complex (Real Alcázar de Sevilla)and the Seville Cathedral (Santa Iglesia Catedral Metropolitana de Sevilla).
According to legend, “no me ha dejado” is the sentence Alfonso X de Castilla gave Sevilla after he received assistance from the Real Alcázar de Sevilla, when he was nearly thrown out of rule by his son, Sancho IV de Castila. The sentence is then symbolized with NO8DO which appears in the flag of Sevilla. I found this story and symbol quite special that I would like to share them here in my article. Also, it brings me to my first destination, the Alcázar palace complex (Real Alcázar de Sevilla) (photo 1). Alcázar palace complex resembles that of Granada because they are both a mixture of Moorish and Renaissance style castle. We entered through Gate of the Lion (Puerta del León) (photo 2). Court of the Maidens (Patio de Doncellas) (photo 3) is the main courtyard of the Alcázar palace complex. The Garden of the Real Alcázar (photo 4) is also nearby and is famous for being the shooting spot for the Game of Thrones.
The garden is quite big and contains many fountains and sculptures. The ones I find especially nice are the Mercury Pond (Estanque de Mercurio), sculpture of Neptune, and a lively peacock.
Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede)(photo 1, 4) is a must visit in Sevilla. It is the world’s largest Gothic church and was listed as the UNESCO world heritage in 1987. The cathedral was originally a mosque and thus even until now, traces of Moorish architecture can still be observed. The cathedral is exquisite and magnificent, it is easily to get lost in the beauty of this church. One interesting thing is that Christopher Columbus's tomb (photo 5) is also inside this cathedral. It is a pity that when I visited, half of the cathedral was under construction. Luckily from the 104 m bell tower Giralda, we got a perfect panorama of the Cathedral (photo 2–3) as well as Sevilla. The tower was built in the 20th century and is also a UNESCO world heritage.
Besides Seville Cathedral, another tourist attraction that can’t be missed out is the Spain Square (Plaza de España). Even though many Spanish cities have their own Spain Square, the one in Seville is majestic, having not only a river, magnificent governmental office buildings, but also wall filled with mosaic tiles depicting each Spanish cities. We were so awestruck by this beautiful Spain Square that we visited once before sunset and once after for the night view.
Our last destination was the Metropol Parasol (Las Setas de la Encarnación). It is the world’s largest wooden structure (150m*70m*26m) designed by a German architect Jürgen Mayer and completed in 2011. This architecture is quite unique and modern. What’s more, it is a perfect place to chill on a hot summer day. The English translation of Las Setas is the mushroom, while the Mandarin translation for this architect is the metropolitan umbrella.