Seville Stories and Tips

Alameda de Hercules

Entrance Photo, Seville, Spain

In the 16th century, a former branch of the Guadalquivir River was dried, and on its grounds the tree-lined Alameda Promenade was built. This vast open space near the center of Seville, is surrounded by Alamo trees, that give the place part of its name – Alameda.

Two marble columns were placed at the entrance in 1574. These came from a nearby Roman temple of the 2nd century. These are the oldest monuments in Seville. Since 1754 the columns in the Alameda de Hercules carry the statues of Julius Cesar and Hercules, who, according to legend, are the two founding fathers of Seville. Seville was supposedly founded by Hercules and its origins are linked with the Tartessian civilisation. It was called Hispalis under the Romans and Isbiliya with the Moors.

Nowadays it is a lively neighbourhood with many different types of bars and terraces where you can enjoy morning coffee and breakfast, evening tapas and beer, or late night drinks. The area has a certain bohemian air, which cannot be found in other areas of Seville. We found it a good place to mix with a variety of people that were enjoying their leisure time on or around the Alameda. Every Sunday morning, an interesting flea market with antiques and second-hand goods takes place on the Alameda promenade.

This area can be reached on a walking tour from central Seville. We started in Calle Jovellanos Gallegos, at the church of San Salvador, built in the 16th century and radically remodeled in Churrigueresque style at the end of the 18th century. It contains works by Montañés, including an "Ecce Homo", and a painting by Murillo.

Some 500metres east of San Salvador by way of Calle de Aguilas, in the Plaza de Pilatos, is the 16th century Casa de Pilatos, built by Moorish and Christian architects. This is popularly believed to be a copy of Pilate's house in Jerusalem. It is in a variant of the Mudéjar style, modified by Gothic and Renaissance features. The house is laid out around a beautiful patio decorated with pieces of antique sculpture. A number of rooms are occupied by a museum of Roman sculpture.

A little way north of here Pedro is the church of Santa Catalina, with a tower which was originally the minaret of a mosque. From Santa Catalina, Calle Gerona runs northwest to Seville's 15th century Palacio de las Dueñas, which has a beautiful Mudéjar-style patio.

You now head almost west to the Alameda de Hércules and you will want to sit and take in the scene. Now that you are here it is worthwhile going to the west of the Alameda de Hércules to the church of San Lorenzo, with a beautiful high altar by Montañés and a much venerated figure of Christ, Nuestro Señor del Gran Poder (by Juan de Mesa), in a side chapel.

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