Don Feidner

Southwest Iberian Coast

Last Update:   17 March 2013

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Southwest Iberian Coast Tour - Spain to Portugal

Part 2 - Seville, Spain

tapas shrimp

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0152 DSCN0112 Seville Spain

Hercules Column in Seville

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Hercules with Two Lions

The Andalusian coat of arms shows the figure of Hercules and two lions between the two pillars of Hercules that tradition situates on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar. An inscription below, superimposed on an image of the flag of Andalusia reads Andalucía por sí, para España y la Humanidad ("Andalusia by herself, for Spain and Humanity"). Over the two columns is a semicircular arch in the colors of the flag of Andalusia, with the Latin words Dominator Hercules Fundator superimposed. Hercules was the mythological founder of Seville.

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Typical Architecture from “Old” Spain

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Pavilion from Mexico

The Mexican pavilion, designed by Manuel Amabilis, included exhibits on archeology, education, and the history of Spanish accomplishments in Mexico. Students in Mexican schools prepared some of the education exhibits. By the beginning of 1928 Amabilis was in Seville constructing his Maya-like building in El Parque Maria Luisa.

The architecture of the Mexican pavilion was only part of the total image of Mexico at Seville. The buildings amalgamation of pre-Hispanic architecture with all sorts of representational techniques contrasted with the strong pro-Hispanic rhetoric to be seen in its interior. For example, engraved on the interior walls of the building was the legend “Mother Spain: because you have illuminated American lands with the brilliance of your culture. . . Mejico

0165 DSCN0117 Seville Columbia Pavillion
0167 P1180049 Seville Columbian Embassy

Pavilion - Republic of Columbia

The Republic of Colombia constructed a pavilion designed by Seville architect José Granados. The pavilion included a collection of sculpture and artwork by Colombian artist Rómulo Rozo, and of Colombian emeralds, and a coffee café that demonstrated all of the steps in coffee cultivation. The Columbian Pavilion became the Consulado General de Columbia (Columbian Consulate) after the fair ended.

We discovered the impressive building below at the intersection to Avenida de la Raza and Avenida Molini. Although I could find no information about it, it is clearly built with the Arab influence, perhaps dating back to the time of the occupation by the Moors.

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spanish guitar

Flamenco dancing, luscious tapas, gypsy music -- that’s what most people think of when they hear the name of the fabulous city of Seville, but that’s only part of what this city represents. The capital of Andalucía has some of the most fabulous architecture I've ever seen anywhere in Europe - and I’ve travelled to nearly every major city in Europe.

Seville is unique and its architecture reflects the vividness of its history, beginning with the influence of the Arabs. Seville was one of the first cities to fall into the hands of the Moors in 712, and from 1170 to 1212 it was even the capital of the Moorish empire.

After America was discovered, Seville's harbor on the Guadalquivil River became the largest in Europe. (Since the Guadalquivil River is mostly tidal, Cadiz, situated directly on the coast, eventually overtook the role in southern Spain as the primary harbor.)  Numerous goods were traded there and a vast mixture of cultures and populations became the residents of the city. Today, it is a conglomerate of architecture and cultures from all over the world,

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Two Cyclists in a Park in Seville

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Along many avenues, there are cycling paths in Seville.

Wikipedia: The Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 was a world's fair held in Seville, Spain, from 9 May 1929 until 21 June 1930. Countries in attendance of the exposition included: Portugal, the United States, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile, the Republic of Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Each Spanish region and each of the provinces of Andalusia were also represented. Spain’s Dictator General Don Miguel Primo de Rivera gave the opening address. Primo allowed the Spanish King Alfonso XIII to give the final words and officially open the exposition. The purpose of the exposition was to improve relations between Spain and the countries in attendance, many of which were former Spanish colonies.

The exposition was smaller in scale than the International Exposition held in Barcelona during that same year, but it was not lacking in style. The city of Seville had prepared for the Exposition over the course of 19 years. The exhibition buildings were constructed in María Luisa Park along the Guadalquivir River. A majority of the buildings were built to remain permanent after the closing of the exposition. Many of the foreign buildings, including the United States exhibition building, were to be used as consulates after the closing of the exhibits.

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Impressive Sculpture Above the Portal

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Rear Entrance to the Columbian Consulate

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Moorish Architecture

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Pavilion from Argentina

Architect Martin Noel designed Argentina’s pavilion, which included a movie theatre and displays focusing on Argentinean industries and products.

0178 DSCN0126 Costurero de la Reina (Queen's sewing box) - Seville, Spain

Costurero de la Reina (Queen's Sewing Box)

The Costurero de la Reina was built in the ending of the 19th Century. It was the guard's houses or the retreat pavilion of the garden of the San Telmo Palace, today the Maria Luisa park. The architect was Juan Talavera de la Vega, the father of the regionalism architect Juan Talavera y Heredia. It is called the queen's sewing box because a popular tradiction says that the pavilion was used as a place to sew by Mis Mercedes de Orleans, the future wife of the king Alfonso XII.

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Typical Square in Seville

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The largest of the ten pavilions was the Peruvian pavilion, which was designed by Peruvian architect Don Manuel Piquera. The pavilion contained a large archeology collection consisting of three halls filled with pre-Columbian era artifacts, which were to be kept on permanent display. The pavilion also contained an agricultural exhibit filled with stuffed vicunas, alpacas, llamas, and guanacos. The exhibit was complemented by a pack of live llamas grazing on the pavilion grounds.

0184 DSCN0130 Seville Elaborate Balcony Peru Pavillion

Elaborate Wooden Balcony on the Peruvian Pavilion

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New Fountain not Far from the Cathedral

0192 P1180065 Rick with Mozart Seville Spain

Rick - also a Musician - with Mozart

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Who has not heard of the Italian, Gioacchino Rossini, who composed the "Barber of Seville". One of his conquests was Mozart's reputation. Who would dare attempt to do that? But we're talking about two distinct generations and two distinct types of composers. Rossini was an entertainer. Those who preferred Mozart, preferred sophisticated style in tone and the appreciation of the fine art. The bicentennial of Mozart's death was celebrated to the point of excess - as you can see in this statue. Rossini is primarily seen only as the composer of "The Barber of Seville," a few peppy overtures and some arias - basta. Anyone who has ever attended it, would laugh as I did when The Barber of Seville is performed, but no one ever laughs at a Beethoven performance - more likely tears come to the eyes of appreciative listeners.

0199 P1180067 Seville Tore del Oro The Golden Tower

The Torre del Oro or Golden Tower was built by the Moorish rulers of Seville in the 13th Century. It is a dodecagonal military watchtower in Seville, southern Spain, built by the Almohad dynasty in order to control access to Seville via the Guadalquivir river.

Constructed in the first third of the 13th century, the tower served as a prison during the Middle Ages. Its name comes from the golden shine it projected on the river, due to its building materials (a mixture of mortar, lime and pressed hay).

It is one of two anchor points for a large chain that would have been able to block the river. The other anchor-point has since been demolished or disappeared, possibly from collapsing during the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. The chain was used in the city's defense against the Castilian fleet under Ramón de Bonifaz in 1248 Reconquista. Bonifaz broke the river defenses and isolated Seville from Triana. The besieged Muslim city soon surrendered to the Christian forces.

Today the tower, having been restored, is a naval museum, containing engravings, letters, models, instruments, and historic documents. The museum outlines the naval history of Seville and the importance of its river.

0208 DSCN0148 Seville Plaza de Espana
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Sculptures on the Roundabout

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Pavilion from Argentina

0180 DSCN0127 Seville near Costurero de la Reina

The flags on our bikes were an attraction to many passers-by. They are for security on the highways, but also represent the languages we used for communication on our trip.

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Pavilion from Peru

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View from Maria Luisa Park

In 1929, Seville hosted the Ibero-American Exposition World's Fair, located in the celebrated Maria Luisa Park (Parque de María Luisa), which was designed by Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier. The entire southern end of the city was redeveloped into an expanse of gardens and grand boulevards. The centre of it is Parque de María Luisa, a 'Moorish paradisical style' with a half mile of: tiled fountains, pavilions, walls, ponds, benches, and exhedras; lush plantings of palms, orange trees, Mediterranean pines, and stylized flower beds; and with vine hidden bowers. Numerous buildings were constructed in it for the exhibition.

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0197 DSCN0140 Seville Tore del Oro The Golden Tower

Torre del Oro (Golden Tower)

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Torre del Oro on the Rio Guadalquivir

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Plaza de España ("Spain Square")

Street Vendors on the River

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The Plaza de España ("Spain Square"), designed by Aníbal González, is a plaza located in the Parque de María Luisa (Maria Luisa Park), in Seville, Spain built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It is a landmark example of the Renaissance Revival style in Spanish architecture.

The Plaza de España was a principal building built on the Maria Luisa Park's edge to showcase Spain's industry and technology exhibits. González combined a mix of 1920s Art Deco and 'mock Mudejar', and Neo-Mudéjar styles.

The Plaza de España complex is a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over the moat by numerous beautiful bridges. In the centre is a large fountain. By the walls of the Plaza are many tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain.

Plaza de España ("Spain Square")

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Ceramic Artistry on the Plaza de España

Tiled 'Province Alcoves' along the walls of the Plaza de España

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Plaza de España

(From Wikipedia) Today the Plaza de España mainly consists of government buildings. The Seville Town Hall, with sensitive adaptive redesign, is located within it. The Plaza's tiled 'Alcoves of the Provinces' are backdrops for visitors portrait photographs, taken in their own home province's alcove. Towards the end of the park, the grandest mansions from the fair have been adapted as museums. The farthest contains the city's archaeology collections. The main exhibits are Roman mosaics and artefacts from nearby Italica.

The Plaza de España has been used as a filming location, including scenes for the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. The building was used as a location in the Star Wars movie series — Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) — in which it featured in exterior shots of the City of Theed on the Planet Naboo. It also featured in the 2012 film The Dictator.  

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Tired Tourist

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Government Buildings

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Entrance to the Main Government Building

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Watchman next to the Balcony

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Plaza de España Viewed from the Balcony

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Asian Visitors

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0219 P1180080 Seville Plaza de EspanaGirl

I’m not sure this lady approves of her colleague.

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Cyclist on the Plaza

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I couldn’t resist going onto this balcony.

0225 P1180087 Seville Plaza de Espana Rick

Looking Down at Rick

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While Heading Back to the Camp - Ladies with Equal Rights? 
This man is only watching while she works!

Part 1 - Spain - Jerez de la Frontera to Seville, Andalucia

Part 3 - Spain - Coria del Rio to the Portuguese Border

Part 4 - Portugal - Castro Marim - Armação de Pêra

Part 5 - Portugal - Ferragudo - Portimao - Alvor

Part 6 - Portugal - Sagres - Lagos - Tavira - Faro

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