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Seville – A Fabulous Flamenco Life

June 11, 2011 by Chelsea Slone

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Considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the country, the charming town of Seville is one of the most beloved places to visit. All it takes is a walk through the narrow and beautiful cobblestone streets, a taste of the local sherry and delicious tapas, and a glipse at the exotic flamenco dancers to have the sudden urge to emerse yourself in the Spanish culture forever. Seville is filled to the brim with cultural experiences, but it’s not at the least lacking fascinating history with the likes of Christopher Columbus and more.

Flamenco, the popular music and dance found all around Spain has a huge presence in this southern city’s streets, theaters, and cafes. The famous dance originated in southern Spain during the 18th century and first found popularity among cafes around the city. As the people fell more and more in love with flamenco during the late 1800’s the street dancers turned the street entertainment into ticketed theater performances. It wasn’t until then that dancers became a public attraction to be visited from all around. Then in the 19th century, the romance of flamenco seized the middle class imagination of Europe. Composers began writing musicals and operas around the flamenco theme, and soon it became an essential part of any trip to Spain. It is said that young flamenco performers do not have the emotional maturity or soul for the dance. It is said around your thirties is when you can truly preform and many performers continue with flamenco to their fifties and beyond.

Our flamenco experience in a little theatre in Seville was wonderful. The cantes (songs) were in a fabulous opera style performance, and the baile (dance) was entertaining from the second it began to the second it ended. The various dancers preformed group numbers as well as solos and duets to show their amazing talent. The men’s solo performances were absolutely amazing. The quick pace in which the dancers feet move up and down and the rhythm seems unreal. It goes without doubt all the performers have true talent and skill to be able to preform the impressive flamenco cante and baile.

Our visit to the Seville Cathedral and the Alcazar was extremely fascinating with their historical presence of Christopher Columbus. The first place we visited was the gorgeous Cathedral which took over 100 years to build. The Cathedral in Seville is the largest in all of Spain and the third largest Cathedral in the entire world. However, if they were all measured by air volume this would be the largest in the world. The ceilings are amongst the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and the gothic architecture was done with incredible detail. The gorgeous choir was intriquiely built from the inside out. One of the most facinating aspects of this Cathedral is the presence of Christopher Columbus’ tomb, which is said to have traveled almost as much as he had during his lifetime. He died in Valladolid in 1506 and was buried there, the transferred to Seville to be buried by his eldest son, then both bodies moved to Santo Domingo because they claim that is what he would have wanted. When the French threatened Spain the 1795 the tomb was moved to Cuba for safekeeping, but after Cuba declared it’s independence from Spain the tomb was returned to Seville for good.

The Royal Alcazar was one of the most beautiful monuments in all of Seville. The gorgeous palace was constructed in 913 and due to it’s beauty it was chosen to be the home of several monarchs in the centuries that followed. Today it is the residence of His Royal Majesty Juan Carlos when he visits. The numerous rooms have a variety of different architectural styles from Islamic to Neoclassical. The amazing tile work and detailed ceilings were just incredible to see. Christopher Columbus historical presence was also found here, in the room where he in fact planned the journey that discovered America. An interesting and important painting in this room displays the ships used to discover America on canvas. The Royal Alcazar is not only known for the intricate architecture but also their extravagant gardens that we were lucky to see in full bloom during our visit.

Tyler and I fell in love with the charming city of Seville and it’s local vibe. Thus far it has been our favorite destination in Spain and we don’t want to leave, but we’ve heard just as wonderful things about our next stop, Granada. We’ll see you there.



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One thought on “Seville – A Fabulous Flamenco Life

  1. Thank you again for sharing such beautiful pictures and words about the wonderful times you are experiencing.  Mary Littrell

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