Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Seville -- Old and New

We spent part of a day visiting Italica, a small suburb not far outside of Seville. Two Roman emperors were born here, Trajan and Hadrian (of Hadrian Wall fame).  The site is well preserved because it was just an immense field and no city was built over it.

Much of the walls of the coliseum are still standing.  Can't you just imagine the gladiators striding through the below-ground tunnel

Anyone remember Russel Crow as Maximus battling on the arena floor.  

There are also some spectacular mosaics nearly intact.  How about a bathroom do-over?

After exploring the site, we had lunch in a nearby cafe where they served awesome cheese among other things.

In Seville, there are also three Roman columns hidden away on a small street, constructed at the end of the first century during the reign of Hadrian, probably for a pantheon.  Although it's difficult to tell from the photo, the base of the columns is nearly 15 feet below street level.  That's how much the city has been built up over the centuries.

We rode a four-seater bike in Maria Luisa Park.  Lots of fun.  We toured the Cathedral.

The cathedral organ

and even visited the tomb of Christopher Columbus.  His travels were financed by King Ferdinand after expelling the Moors from Spain.  October seemed a particularly appropriate month to view the tomb.

I was amazed seeing a whole treasure room filled with gold and silver articles, made from gold and silver taken from South America.  Thanks Chris.

An interesting little fact.  The University of Seville is situated in an old tobacco factory.  Here's the plaque.

One of the things I'll remember most about Seville are the sounds.  The clip clop of horses hooves pulling carriages over cobbled streets and the cathedral bells pealing out over the city, especially easy to hear since we were staying within a block or two.

I've decided the hardest thing about writing these blogs is limiting the number of pictures I share.

Until next time.


  1. Just about my favourite thing about traveling in Europe is the modern world living cheek by jowl with ancient history. Those Roman columns alongside a modern apartment building are amazing. Those tiles and mosaics are drool-worthy.

  2. Exactly. Especially those crazy Romans. They were everywhere. It's wonderful how creative they were with a standing army--when they were't busy fighting, conquering and pillaging ;-)