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Santa Cruz by NightSevilla, 18 September 2008
A guided tour of the Santa Cruz quarter at night with Florencio of conocersevilla.com
Our meeting point is the Palacio Arzobispal next to the Cathedral.
We arrive a little early and wait as others arrive. Tonight we have visitors from Valencia and other parts of Spain. Even some locals have shown up, who want to learn more about the history of Santa Cruz.
Florencio explains the history and construction of the Giralda. We learn why the tower was made of bricks (better resistance to earthquakes), how materials from other locations and times were reused in the Giralda’s construction (items from the Romans and Visigoths, as well as columns from the Medina Azahara) and many other interesting facts. For example, the Giralda was once painted red.
A corner of Seville we never knew existed. In this small plaza just a hundred meters from the Giralda, we find this cross which was the work of Vázquez el Viejo, who also designed the Giraldillo (the statute on top of the Giralda).
In the calle Aire we stop for a few minutes to talk about one of Seville’s most famous poets, Luis Cernuda. This is the house where Cernuda lived for many years. While we learn a little about the Cernuda, Florencio also takes time to show us a photo of the poet in front of the house as well as read us a short poem by Cernuda.
We continue our way through Santa Cruz and the juderia, arriving at this statue of Don Juan Tenorio. Florencio give the historical background, as well as answering the question of whether one of Seville’s most famous characters is an actual person, or a myth.
On to Plaza Santa Cruz and the famous cross in the center. A church once stood where the Plaza is now located.
We arrive at the Plaza de los Venerables, now claimed to be an important site for the mythical figure Don Juan Tenorio.
In the calle Susona we hear a sad and brutal tale of love and revenge between Christian and Jewish families.
This plaza is just outside of the Alcazar walls, and one of the most typical in the Santa Cruz quarter.
We stop for a short poem by Luis Cernuda, this one describing the gardens in the plaza.
How did you know a street was pedestrian only in past centuries? Florencio explains how these low arches on the street forced those on horseback to dismount, and signaled that they were entering into a pedestrian zone.
Close to the conclusion of the tour we find ourselves in the Patio de las Banderas with a magnificent view of the Giralda.
"Somos una empresa de rutas culturales y literarias de Sevilla ( capital y provincia) que cambiamos la visión que se ha tenido hasta ahora de la cultura dando un enfoque más participativo y dinámico. Gracias a nosotros podrá descubrir rincones escondidos y mágicos de la ciudad que seguro que cambiarán su visión de Sevilla. Una experiencia apasionante que podrá descubrir en nuestras diferentes rutas: Rutas nocturna por el Barrio de Santa Cruz, Tradiciones y Leyendas, la sevilla del 29, el Museo de Bellas Artes, Don Juan Tenorio, etc."
att: Florencio Quintero
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