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Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
August 17, 2003
Built in the 1920s when Seville were planning to stage a major exposition, the park itself occupies an enormous area and is criss-crossed with elegant, shady boulevards. It is extremely pleasant to stroll through the exotic plantings and underneath the shady pines, elms and Seville’s eponymous orange trees. Tucked away at various points are pavilions and ponds . . . the Mudejar style that characterises much of the architecture again being well represented and influencing the building here.
There are a number of grand palaces dating from the same period within the park. Two lie to the south, flanking the ornate, more formal garden of the Plaza de America. These grand buildings now house a couple of the city’s museums -– a costume museum in one and archaeology in the other. Hmm . . . I have to admit that the Blonde and I were in complete agreement that we shouldn’t risk spoiling the good impression that the museums had made on us by venturing inside.
The grandest structure in the park by far is the Plaza de Espana –- a building that is rivalling the Giralda as the distinctive landmark of Seville, particularly since the release of the latest Star Wars movie. The crescent boasts grand porticoes along its length and ends with dramatic towers at either end. The ornate Moorish influence has been given something of an Art Deco twist and, from a distance, it is a most impressive structure. A little closer up, however, signs of age were very obvious. The bridges crossing the rectangular pool had balustrades in great need of repair. Some of the tile works in the alcoves representing the provinces of Spain looked somewhat tired. The porticoes and the stairways had a barren, almost seedy air about them.
The Plaza clearly makes an excellent backdrop to events and public performances but, on a cloudy February day, its use as a government building seemed to have seeped into its soul . . . it looked uncared for (like public servants!!). I suspect, however, that since our visit in early 2001 the visit of a certain Mr. Lucas and his friends . . . and the transportation of the Plaza to the planet Naboo…may have had an impact on its state of repair!
Seville really was planning to show off in the 1920’s with its exposition and this park would have left many a visitor impressed by the city’s style and panache.
From journal Lose your heart to Seville
by sam and ofi
Alon Shvut, Gush Etizion, Israel
January 2, 2002
The Spanish know how to design a park. In Seville they knew how to design a bunch of them. Our favorite was the Maria Luisa Park. This park was designed for a grand exposition in 1929 and is made up of a half mile of palm and citrus trees, many flower beds and several ponds and fountains.
We travel with out 3 and 5 year old boys and we like to find something great for
the kids to do every day... This park has several attractions we liked.
But the most exciting attraction were the plentiful white pigeons
(doves?). These birds (there must be many thousands of them) are used to
being fed by groups of school children who come regularly for field trips from
school. It's also a chance to see Spanish schoolchildren and how they interact
with each other. The birds swarm in a certain part of the park during the day. I
recommend to buy the birdseed for sale in small cylindrical plastic bags - it's
a little pricey for dried peas, but the birds like this stuff much more than the
pretzels we tried to pawn off on them.
The birds are very used to being fed and they will come right up to you and
even land on you if you let them. They will eat right out of your hand. Our kids
loved this and I have to say I enjoyed it myself too. Our 5-year-old was intent
on catching a pigeon and in the end he did. Note that when the sun sets the
birds head for the roofs of some of the pretty buildings nearby. This seems to
be where they sleep.
In any case - feeding the birds is highly recommended if you are traveling
with kids. Also we got some good pictures of the kids!
From journal "Luxury of Seville"
January 24, 2001
From journal Passionate Seville