Seville has a complete transportation network, both outside and within the city.
The province of Seville cannot be summarised in a single style or quality. The variety of its tourist resources, with its monumental towns and its gastronomic wealth, the warmth of the people, famous for their hospitality and friendliness to visitors, the tranquil, relaxing scenery, the haciendas, farmsteads, plazas and narrow streets in the towns, all make this a province where the visitor can find out something more of that intimate, unhurried Andalusian soul.
The fountains and the gardens of monastery cloisters, some of which have been converted into magnificent hotel accommodation, the stables in the farmsteads where visitors can enjoy unequalled horse-riding, the rooms and salons of a proud past that have been conserved, recovered, and blended with modernity; these are just some of the weighty reasons to become immersed in this welcoming land.
Find more information on Prodetur (Sevilla Province Tourism website) by clicking here.
Located at the extreme north of the Aljarafe ridge, the Valencina de la Concepción archaeological site is one of the most important groups of dolmens in Europe, dating back to the Copper and Early Bronze Ages. Among these funeral monuments, the dolmens of La Pastora, Matarrubilla and Ontiveros are outstanding. The first two can be visited via a prior visit to the Museum.
LA PASTORA DOLMEN
Discovered in 1860, it is a tomb consisting of a long corridor of over 46 metres in length, divided into three stretches with a circular tholos, or burial chamber, at the end. The roof and floor are made with large slabs of stone while the walls are of slate.
This dolmen, discovered in 1917, has stone walls with layers of kneaded clay. The roof is made of large stone slabs and the floor is beaten earth. Inside the chamber, the outstanding feature is a large quadrangular, carved monolith which is believed to be an altar or a platform for offerings.
To visit Valencina: http://www.valencinadelaconcepcion.es/es/
The name Marchena comes from Roman times, when it was christened Marcia in honour of Marciana, the sister of Trojan. Before this there was a Tartesic settlement, whose remains are found at what is known today as Montemolín. The attractiveness of Marchena derives from its city walls which were constructed during the Islamic occupation. The Arco de la Rosa, an archway in the form of a horse shoe of Almoravide origin, later adorned with turrets, and the Puerta de Morón, both form part of the city walls. Another gem of civil architecture in Marchena is the Plaza Ducal. A few ruins, the structure of the doorway and some isolated archways, are all that remain of its solemn palace. The Church of San Juan Bautista can be considered the most important of Marchena’s religious monuments. Of gothic-Mudejar style, it is composed of five naves covered with a splendid fine wood coffered ceiling with adornments and stars. The late flamboyant gothic style high altar, graced with paintings by Alejo Fernandez, is equally beautiful.
On the banks of the Genil river, Écija is a town famous for both its horses and its sweltering Summers. The town dominates the rich farming district set in the Seville countryside. In Roman times, it was called Astigi and was the capital of a conventus where, according to legend, Saint Paul preached. Present-day Ecija however has its roots in the 18th Century. After the devastating earthquake of 1755, the tall Baroque towers of the churches, which dominate the town’s skyline, sprang up. These towers belong to churches such as: el Carmen, la Victoria, Santiago, Santa María, San Juan, San Gil, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, etc. Some of the finest monuments of Écija’s rich heritage date from the 18th century. The numerous examples of civil buildings which were constructed during this period have an exceptional quality with distinctive features which are unique in the province of Seville: profusely decorated façades, unusual balconies and eaves, the typical apeadero, etc. In the “Salon” we find mirador-houses owned by the upper classes from which performances staged on the Plaza could be watched.
In this town you can find the Roman city of Italica, the oldest Roman settlement in the Iberian Peninsula. Founded by General Publius Cornelius Scipio and cradle of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian, its most outstanding features include the sensational Amphitheatre and the Great Baths. In the centre of the nearby town is the magnificent Theatre.
Also in Santiponce, we find the Monastery of San Isidoro del Campo, a Historic-Artistic Monument in Mudejar style founded in 1301 by Guzmán el Bueno and his wife, María Alonso Coronel, and the burial place of St Isidore. It has sculptures by Martínez Montañés and beautiful mural paintings.
To visit Santiponce: www.santiponce.es
Carmona commands the route from Córdoba to Seville, perched on a hill and looking out over the fertile plain irrigated by the Corbones river. The main Roman street ran between the Seville Gate and the Córdoba Gate and Carmona’s most important palaces, churches and convents are situated along its route. We can differentiate two distinctive areas – the old medieval Arrabal, with the striking Church of San Pedro whose tower is known as La Giraldilla, and the walled precinct inside which the traditional houses’ original features have been beautifully preserved. Of special interest are the covered market and the numerous palatial houses.
In 1464, Osuna became part of the feudal estate of the Téllez de Girón family, Dukes of Osuna from 1562. Their patronage converted the town into one of the most monumental places in Spain. In 1531 Juan Téllez de Girón founded the Colegiate Church and in 1548, the University, where well known figures like Rodrigo Caro, Vélez de Guevara or Blanco White studied. The rennaissance Colegiate has three masonry naves and houses the magnificent “Crucifixión” by José de Ribera, one of the greatest works of Spanish art of the 17th century. The remains of successive Dukes of Osuna are contained in the Pantheon whose chapel is an exquisitely decorated plateresque miniature church. The town has an excellent range of churches, palaces, and houses in beautiful streets such as those of Sevilla and San Pedro.
Tito Livio tells of the heroic defence of “Astapa”, loyal to Carthage, against the Romans in the 2nd Punic War, who were forced to destroy the town before it surrendered. After the Christian Reconquest, it came under the control of the Order of Santiago so as to defend it from the Nasrids. In the 16th century it passed into the hands of the Marquis and Marques of Centurión who had their feudal estate here until the 18th century. Today, Estepa is famous for its delicious mantecados and Christmas cakes, an industry which was developed in the middle of the 19th century. The main monuments are to be found in the Hill of San Cristóbal: the Castle, the Santa María church, and the Santa Clara and San Francisco convents. However, the true symbol of Estepa is in the lower city, the 1766 Victoria tower, originally part of the convent of the same name.
Located at the most western point of the ‘Los Alcores’ district, on the banks of the River Guadaíra, lies Alcalá de Guadaíra. Its outstanding monuments include the Castle of Alcalá, made up of two enclosed areas and 11 towers, and the Castle of Marchenilla.
Other features of importance are the settlement at Gandul, located on the Alcores escarpment between the towns of Alcalá de Guadaíra and Mairena del Alcor, with remains of settlements and burial places dating from the Copper Age until Roman times, and the Guadaíra Mills, from Islamic times and the late middle ages, located mainly on the banks of the River Guadaíra.
Other buildings of note are the churches of Santiago and San Sebastián, the latter having a striking bell-gable and a beautiful Great Retable, and the sanctuary of Nuestra Señora del Águila, patron of the city.
Los Molares castle
The halls of the upper part of the Castle of Los Molares houses an exhibition about the history of the Castle and the different restorations and alterations it has undergone throughout its history. From the top, there are magnificent views of almost the entire municipality.
El Real de la Jara castle
The Castle of El Real de la Jara is a military fortification of Christian origin with eight towers, two gates and a large 2000 m² parade ground.
The name Peñaflor comes from the legend that states that when saints Críspulo and Restituto died as martyrs in the 11th century, a flower (flor) bloomed from the rock (peña) that formed their blood. The hermitage of Santos Mártires (on the right) was built there. It is architecturally unique and sits on a Roman hypogaea tomb. It has a rectangular layout with two square rooms, one of which is excavated in the rock, and on which the belfry is built. The main monuments of Peñaflor date from the 18th century when the town belonged to the Marquises of Peñaflor: the Parish Church of San Pedro, the convent of San Luis and the old Consistorial Houses. Peñaflor is also well known for its hermitages and its civil architecture, such as the Palatial House, the Parish House and the Flour Factory. Its unique traditional architecture is especially notable in the Calle de las Cuevas, given this name because of the cuevas (caves) that are incorporated into the structure of the houses. Finally, going back to its earliest times we find the Phoenician site of Higuerón and the remains of the ancient Roman city of Celti.
The region is composed of the riverside towns and villages along the river Guadalquivir passing through the province to reach the Doñana National Park. Doñana is one of the most valuable nature reserves of continental Europe, declared a World Heritage Site as well as Biosphere Reserve. Its municipal areas share its agricultural wealth, the uniqueness of the landscapes, and its attractive monumental heritage. It can be divided into three strips: from the extreme northwest (where the Guadalquivir enters Seville from Cordoba) to Doñana, the fertile land of la Vega, and the area of the lower Guadalquivir, where the waters approach the region of Cadiz.
Between the Guadalquivir and the Southern Sierra, there are a wide range of towns each with their own history, monuments, and traditions. The fertility of the soils and its position on the route to Seville brought great wealth to the area whose broad flat expanses are only interrupted by a few hills. A land of flamenco, horses and bulls, three of the five types of selectively bred wild bulls which are used in corridas come from here. The area boasts a distinctive and rich architecture including: Carmona’s Carthaginian walls, the Almohad Castle of Alcalá, the medieval Arch of La Rosa (the Rose) in Marchena, the Gothic Parish Church of Santiago in Utrera, the renaissance Collegiate Church in Osuna, the baroque palaces in Écija, the 18th century traditional houses in Fuentes de Andalucía etc.
To the west of the city is an area known as El Aljarafe. For its proximity to Seville and its milder climate – resulting from the fact that El Aljarafe is on a raised area which is higher than Seville – many Sevillians choose to live or have a second home there. In the past, olive growing and the production of olive oil were the area’s main economic activities. For this reason, the Aljarafe is still today dotted with beautiful old haciendas or country estates such as those of Benazuza (from the 16th century), in Sanlúcar la Mayor, Torrequemada (Bollullos), and Torrijos (Valencina), the last two dating from the 18th century. The villages in the Aljarafe area have well-preserved monumental churches, and convents, such as that of Loreto in Espartinas, shrines, such as that of Cuatrovitas in Bollullos, and palaces, such as that of Hernán Cortés in Castilleja or the Duccal Palace in Olivares.
Halfway between Seville and Cadiz, Lebrija is on the boundaries of the marshlands and very close to the mouth of the Guadalquivir. The Tartessic culture flourished here and Phoenicians came to trade their wares. Pliny, Strabon and Ptolomeus mentioned it when it was called Nabrissa. In the old days, Lebrija was a seaport as the town was on the boundaries of a large seawater lake known as Ligustino whose gradual silting process led to the formation of the marshlands. After the Muslim occupation, Lebrija was finally taken over by the Christian King, Alfonso X, who annexed it to Castile in1264. The King ordered the construction of the Church of Santa María de la Oliva, which was subsequently reformed in the 15th, 16th, and 18th centuries. Its tower, inspired in the Giralda, dates from the 18th century. Illustrious names from Lebrija include Elio Antonio de Nebrija (1444-1532), author of the first Spanish grammar book, and Juan Díaz de Solís (c.1470-1516), who discovered Río de la Plata.
The Vía de la Plata runs along the natural trail between the Sierra Norte (Seville) and the Sierra de Aracena (Huelva). Its name refers to the Roman road which joined Cadiz with Astorga. It derives from the Arab term “bal´latta” and the late Latin term “delapidata”, both referring to the rocky nature of the roadway. It has a varied landscape, including meadows with animals such as wild boars, deer and foxes, making it the ideal place for hunters. It is dotted with austere farmhouses, the likes of El Esparragal in Gerena or Torre la Reina in Guillena. The name Torre la Reina (Queen’s Tower) comes from Queen María de Molina to whom it belonged.
The Sierra Norte Natural Park forms part of the Sierra Morena mountain range and comprises the municipalities of Alanís, Almadén de la Plata, Cazalla de la Sierra, Constantina, Guadalcanal, Las Navas de la Concepción, El Pedroso, La Puebla de los Infantes, El Real de la Jara and San Nicolás del Puerto. It is a mid range mountainous Mediterranean forest landscape with altitudes of between 500 and 900 metres. Wildlife includes mountain cats, wild boars, foxes, wolves, deer, mongooses, and birds such as Spanish imperial eagles, short-toed eagles, booted eagles, griffon and black vultures, black storks… Amongst its towns and villages is Cazalla, famous for its liqueurs and cherry brandy, and its rich heritage such as the church of La Consolacion or the notable examples of civil architecture.
Set in Sub Betic Andalusia, this region has its own strong personality marked by its spectacular clay soil countryside, its hilly landscape and its natural viewing points. The famous bandit José María el Tempranillo lived in this land, giving the area a legendary mystique, which, along with the mountain air, gives this place a unique magic. Likewise, this mountainous area possesses near unspoilt landscapes, including a nature reserve where a colony of tawny vultures nest. Besides these attractions, the Sierra Sur conceals a succession of isolated villages where the whitewashed buildings, their labyrinth of narrow streets, and the shade of the oak trees and olive groves which surround them, all contribute to a haven of peace for city dwellers.
Morón is situated on the border between the plains and the southern sierra. Of remote origins, Pliny referred to it as Arunci and Strabon cited it as Morón. In the 11th century it was the stronghold of a small independent Muslim kingdom. Following the reconquest, in the 13th century it fell under the control of the Order of Calatrava until the 15th century when it passed to the Dukes of Osuna. A medieval town with a raised castle surrounded by houses, it was built by the Arabs on the remains of a Roman fortress, and blown up by Napoleon’s troops in 1812. Of its rich architectural heritage the San Miguel church is of special note, combining styles which range from late gothic to renaissance with added baroque elements. The famous Gallo de Morón is a reminder of the 16th century event when the people took their revenge on a tax collector who had been over zealous in his duties.