Seville – Oranges and Opera or Muslims and Christians

Seville is about the same distance from CADIZ as it is HUELVA, two very popular cruise ports.  That is just under 100 km at about one hour twenty minutes. It is both important and beautiful. There are three main places to see that will feature in all excursion explanations. It is a fabulous day out seeing the older historic buildings and the cosmopolitan buildings along the banks of the Guadalquivir River.

  1. Seville Cathedral, which is also an important Muslim monument as they had it first.
  2. Alcazar Palace
  3. Plaza de España

We will add a couple more

  1. Statue of El Cid (al Sayyid – son of Mohamed)
  2. The pillar of Buthaina bint alMu’tamid ibn Abbad in Jardines de los Reales Alcázares

The Giralda was built as the minaret for the Great Mosque of Seville, and there is a path rather than steps so that the five times a day call to prayer could be done without climbing all the stairs. In 1248 the Christain king conquered Seville and installed bells in the tower and the Renaissance-style top was added later. It is now the Cathedral of Seville and the Giralda bell tower is the focus across the city that will guide you there.

Alcazar Palace is possibly more famous now as the “Palace of the Kingdom of Naboo”, in Star Wars where the semi-circular Plaza de España was transformed into a circular space. Then there is the “Palace of the Kingdom of Dorne”, in Game of Thrones. If you are a fan who remembers how Khaleesi admired the Water Gardens then you can too. The Palace is special. Used by different civilisations, cultures, and dynasties as a centre of power: from the Almohads to the Christian kings. Each has left their legacy here for history. A fantastic example is in the wonderful Mudejar Palace built by Pedro I.

The square or Plaza de España is a spectacle of light and majesty. Framed in the María Luisa Park, this plaza was designed by the great Seville architect Aníbal González as an emblematic space for the 1929 Ibero-American Expo.

Statue of El Cid is at a very busy cross-roads on the avenue El Cid. It is one of many copies of the original El Cid statue created in bronze by the important American artist Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington. Other versions are in Valencia, Spain; Lincoln Park, San Francisco; Balboa Park, San Diego (El Cid Campeador); and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Buthaina bint alMu’tamid ibn Abbad was the daughter of ruler of the Taifa of Seville. One of her poems, “Listen to my words”, is about being sold into slavery after her father was overthrown. It is in the Jardines de los Reales Alcázares which is the largest late-medieval garden in Europe. It sits in palace of the Kings of Seville. Palm, cypress, myrtle, mulberries, magnolia, orange and lemon trees plus glittering pools, fountains, and recessed seats. It is listed on many garden visit sites. It opens at 0930 and is on Alcazar, Plaza del Truinfo, Seville.


As it is a long way from both ports, you may wish to stay with the ship’s arranged tours. A taxi would be a fortune, but the train is cheap. From Cadiz there are normally 17 fast trains a day, the tickets can be bought by ‘’ on-line, and you trip over the station getting off the ship it is that close.