The charismatic city of Seville has a certain swagger that sets it apart from quainter Andalusian towns. It is a city with undeniable personality and a confidence that could only come from a place bathed in sunlight almost year-round. It boasts a fascinating history of Roman and Moorish invasions, followed by unparalleled Colonial prosperity, this mix of influences giving rise to Seville's cultural cornucopia of architecture, cuisine and the region's fiery dance, Flamenco. Tangled alley labyrinths, exquisite cathedrals and animated tapas bars line the Guadalquivir river which winds its way through the Andalusian capital as it wears its heart on its sleeve for visitors and sevillanos alike.
The Phoenicians arrived in this area first, establishing a number of trade colonies by the river. They taught the locals how to work with iron and created a new way of processing gold. The Romans came next and founded the town of Hispalis a few hundred years BC. Hispalis grew into a beautiful and prosperous city, but it never managed to emerge from the shadow of nearby Córdoba, until the Visigoths transformed Hispalis into a provincial seat and a centre of learning. In the 11th century, the Moors captured the city and re-named it Ishbiliya, but they too chose to make the grander city of Córdoba their capital. They even named it the Córdoba Caliphate.
After almost 400 years of civil war battles between Christians and Arabs, the Moors withdrew from their beloved Al-Andalus. Soon after, the inhabitants of Seville finally struck gold. When Christopher Columbus discovered a new continent in 1492, the exclusive trade rights were given not to Córdoba, but to Seville. The city quickly became the wealthiest and most cosmopolitan city in Europe, and retained that position for several hundred years. This eclectic mix of influences over the centuries have shaped the city we see today, and Seville's fascinating history is visible at every turn.Read More