Day 11: Spain – A Day in Sevilla

The Ladies ready for a busy day in Sevilla

The Ladies ready for a busy day in Sevilla

We began our day with a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts. The museum is located in a former convent. The building was built in 1594, and the museum was founded in 1839. In the 1830s, the government of Spain seized and shuttered many of the monasteries and convents scattered around the country. Many of the valuable paintings were saved and hidden by the monks until they could be redisplayed in the museum a few years later. The museum contains a healthy dose of Murillo and Zurbarán, along with several other Spanish artists.

A wonderful Annunciation:  The Father (upper left) sends the Holy Spirit (the dove) to overshadow Mary bringing about the incarnation of the Son (the little baby with the cross in the midst of the beam of light on his way into Mary's womb)

A wonderful Annunciation: The Father (upper left) sends the Holy Spirit (the dove) to overshadow Mary bringing about the incarnation of the Son (the little baby with the cross in the midst of the beam of light on his way into Mary’s womb)

Three details from a Last Judgement:  This, the first, a picture of the resurrection

Three details from a Last Judgement: This, the first, a picture of the resurrection

Heaven:  The souls of the saved are ushered into everlasting peace.

Heaven: The souls of the saved are ushered into everlasting peace.

Hell:  A monster opens his fiery mouth as demons drag damned souls into Hell

Hell: A monster opens his fiery mouth as demons drag damned souls into Hell

I've seen many paintings of the penitent, Jerome, but this is the first sculpture of the subject I've seen

I’ve seen many paintings of the penitent, Jerome, but this is the first sculpture of the subject I’ve seen

The courtyard of the Museum of Fine Arts.

The courtyard of the Museum of Fine Arts.

The beautiful nave what was once the monastery's church, now filled with fine art.

The beautiful nave what was once the monastery’s church, now filled with fine art.

The crossing of the transept and the nave (ceiling)

The crossing of the transept and the nave (ceiling)

From there, we walked to the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla (The Seville bullfighting ring, which hosts world-famous bullfighting). Unfortunately (or, fortunately), the full fighting season recently ended. The season runs from Easter Sunday through October. Although we couldn’t experience the bullfight, we, at least, were able to visit the museum and walk out into the arena where the fight takes place. It was very interesting, although I think it would be difficult to watch such a contest.

Walking through the halls of the Bullring

Walking through the halls of the Bullring

Entrance to the Bullfighting Museum in the Sevilla Bullring

Entrance to the Bullfighting Museum in the Sevilla Bullring

This fine-looking bovine is considered to be the greatest bull in Seville bullfighting history.

This fine-looking bovine is considered to be the greatest bull in Seville bullfighting history.

The gate through which the bullfighter enters the bullring

The gate through which the bullfighter enters the bullring

Inside the ring, looking at the bull gate, from which the bull enters the ring

Inside the ring, looking at the bull gate, from which the bull enters the ring

In the Seville Bullring

In the Seville Bullring

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Just a few blocks from the bullring, sits the grand Seville Cathedral, the largest Gothic church in the world. When it was completed in the 1500s, it stripped the Hagia Sophia (in Istanbul) of its claim to fame as the largest church of any style of architecture in the world. At this time, it is the third largest. It’s other claim to fame is as the church in which the remains of Christopher Columbus reside. Columbus was 54 years old when he died in 1506 in Velladolid, Spain. He was initially buried there, but then his remains were moved to Seville. From there, they were taken to the Dominican Republic, as Columbus had requested. They were then moved to Cuba, and, finally, back to Seville when Cuba became independent from Spain. Columbus, a renowned world traveler, is said to have traveled as much dead as he did alive!

The Seville Cathedral

The Seville Cathedral

The tallest altarpiece ever?  This altarpiece of the high altar is 65' tall (the height of Beatitude's mast) and contains 44 scenes from the lives of Jesus and Mary carved from walnut and chestnut, and covered with unreal amounts of gold leaf

The tallest altarpiece ever? This altarpiece of the high altar is 65′ tall (the height of Beatitude’s mast) and contains 44 scenes from the lives of Jesus and Mary carved from walnut and chestnut, and covered with unreal amounts of gold leaf

The interior of the Cathedral was undergoing a lot of renovation.  Looking through the choir toward the back of the nave

The interior of the Cathedral was undergoing a lot of renovation. Looking through the choir toward the back of the nave

The Altar de Plata in what would be the transept

The Altar de Plata in what would be the transept

Stained Glass depiction of Seville's two patron saints, Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, killed in Ancient Roman times for their faith.  They are depicted throughout the Cathedral.

Stained Glass depiction of Seville’s two patron saints, Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, killed in Ancient Roman times for their faith. They are depicted throughout the Cathedral.

Looking from the back of the nave, over the choir, to the high altar

Looking from the back of the nave, over the choir, to the high altar

I love the ceiling!

I love the ceiling!

The beautiful burial place of some important bishop in a side chapel

The beautiful burial place of some important bishop in a side chapel

Columbus' final resting place after all of his travels (including his post-mortem ones)

Columbus’ final resting place after all of his travels (including his post-mortem ones)

The tomb of Christopher Columbus

The tomb of Christopher Columbus

In the treasure, Spain's most valuable crown (The Corona de la Virgen de los Reyes) with thousands of tiny precious jewels and the world's largest pearl.

In the treasure, Spain’s most valuable crown (The Corona de la Virgen de los Reyes) with thousands of tiny precious jewels and the world’s largest pearl.

My view of the Cathedral from atop the Giralda Bell tower.

My view of the Cathedral from atop the Giralda Bell tower.

After a quick bite, we finished our sightseeing with a trip to the Hospital de la Caridad (Charity Hospital), which was founded in the 17th century by Don Miguel Mañara. It is still a working charity, so our entry fees went to helping the local poor. Mañara may very well have been the inspiration for the infamous playboy and enthusiastic sinner, Don Juan. (The legend of Don Juan originated from a play set in 17th-century Seville. So, at least, it makes sense.) The founder of the charity was all that and more until his radical change of heart, after which he dedicated his life to worshipping God and helping the poor. We did Don Miguel a favor by stepping on his tomb, which sits at the entrance of the church – right where he requested, so that all who entered would step on him. His tomb states, per his request, that he was “the worst man in the world.” The church in the hospital contained a magnificent Baroque altarpiece and beautiful artwork, including two large paintings by Murillo.

The ladies in the chapel of the Hospital de la Caridad

The ladies in the chapel of the Hospital de la Caridad

The altarpiece of the chapel

The altarpiece of the chapel

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We’ve finally adapted to a Spanish schedule for eating our meals. Cindy and I are usually early dinner eaters (as in, 4-6 p.m.). Here, the restaurants are open from 1-4 p.m. for lunch. They then close for 4 1/2 hours and reopen at 8:30 pm for dinner. So, at 9 p.m. tonight we made our way down to an Italian restaurant on the Alameda for dinner. We enjoyed good food to end a good day in Seville.

The birthday girls in one of their favorite and most frequented sites:  Souvenir Shops

The birthday girls in one of their favorite and most frequented sites: Souvenir Shops

The Alameda de Hércules, built in 1574, on which our hotel is situated

The Alameda de Hércules, built in 1574, on which our hotel is situated

3 thoughts on “Day 11: Spain – A Day in Sevilla

  1. It’s nice to read your blog and relive our trip (& remind me –we saw so much- sometimes it’s hard to keep straight what was what in my mind ) thanks for the beautiful memories you guys have given me!❤️

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