Seville, Spain's fourth largest city, embodies the definition of a vibrant urban area. The city has an infectious energy and its two major attractions, the Cathedral and the Alcazar, do not disappoint.
The Cathedral's Giralda Bell Tower soars 330 feet and was originally built by the Moors as a minaret from which a muezzin could issue the call to prayer.
The Cathedral is the third-largest in Europe, after St. Peter's and St. Paul's. It is the largest Gothic church in the world and the interior area is larger than any other.
The high alter features an organ of more than 7,000 pipes.
The ceiling detail and craftsmanship are extraordinary.
Note the amazing oval dome.
The Alcazar is similarly amazing. Originally built in the 10th-century as a palace for Moorish governors, today it is the oldest royal palace in Europe.
The Mudegar style used by the Moorish workers is particularly interesting here, as they blended traditional Moorish and Christian elements of design and ornamentation.
The elaborate gardens are not to be missed.
Seville hosted two World Fairs--well, almost. The first was planned for 1929, but was derailed when the stock market crashed. The second occurred in 1992 and was a great success. Many of the pavilions and buildings constructed then remain in use today.
The Plaza de Espana, designed as the focal point of the 1929 World's Fair, is covered with glazed tiles depicting famous historical moments in each of Spain's 40 regions. The unique site appeared in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
A nighttime stroll along the Rio Guadalquivir offers a wide variety of restaurants and stunning views.