I lived in Seville (in the South of Spain) eight years. I can assure you, Seville is one of the most beautiful cities around the world, but much more.
I was born in Madrid and my family is from the North of Spain. In my childhood I went to Seville two times, two weekends, and I knew ‘she’ was beautiful. I remembered specially her Arab monuments: Gold Tower (Torre del Oro), Arab palace (Alcazar), the tower and courtyard of the old mosque and now part of a fantastic Gothic Cathedral (Giralda and Patio de los Naranjos)… monuments which I mixed in my fantasy with her majestic river, the Guadalquivir, and tales of 1001 nights style. I liked her!
In 1991, I passed some important exams and I got a teaching position in Seville. To be honest, I didn’t feel happy with the moving. My family and friends were far of this city and I went to live to a place where I know nobody. Furthermore, Seville had bad communications with Madrid at that time (8 hours by bus, 6 or 7 by train).
I arrived at Seville and I saw a different place of that of my dreams. A luxurious Baroque city, full of intricate streets with Baroque palaces and churches, very similar to Rome. Busy, clogged with cars and full of bars and pubs. A discovering “free tapas” what means they give you, for free, a fantastic little appetizer with every wine or beer you take. That was good for a first day.
The second day, I wasn’t alone. I had friends! Yes, new friendly people to chat and to celebrate, because it’s impossible for a normal person to be alone in Seville. They are the most loving people of the world!
Seville is the capital of Andalusia, the most important city of the South of Spain and the third of the country. She has a population over 700.000 people and lived apparently of the tourism because she is visited to see her monuments, museums (she has a very important museum of Fine Arts and an archeological museum) and lifestyle. However, Seville is wealthy due to her lands. A flourishing agriculture since Roman times thanks to her weather and irrigation of the Guadalquivir river: oranges, lemons, peaches, vegetables, wheat, grapes… also animal husbandry. The traditional craft industry (pottery, leather, tiles…) also employ a lot of people and, of course, administration.
From 1991, their economy has improved. Now, they had good communications (you arrived at Madrid in 1 hour and half by train) and modern industries, fashion (I love Victorio & Luccino http://www.victorioylucchino.com/ ) and high-tech after the Universal Expo in 1992.
“The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain” Audrey Hepburn said in that famous film, My Fair Lady. This sentence has been translated into Spanish as “The rain in Seville is wonderful”. Of course, the first sentence is better for the film, but the second to describe that city where I arrived hungry and left hungry too the day I moved to Madrid again.
Another sentence: ‘Who has not seen Seville, it has not seen great.’
**By the way, do you know that Plaza de España is in Star wars film?