Several routes rejoin in Sevilla / Seville
The city of Seville has a population of 703,000. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and the Province of Seville. All facilities you could possibly need are available.
SLEEPING: All facilities except a dedicated pilgrim hostel! However, there are lots of cheapish backpacker hostels and hotels. Some good options are Triana Backpackers at Calle Rodrigo de Triana, in Triana, across the river from the city centre. This well-run and friendly hostel has dorm beds from about 13€ and is popular with pilgrims and backpackers (so possibly noisy). If you're cycling you can contact them about having your bike delivered there a few days before you arrive. They can also arrange bike hire. More information and booking on 954 459 960 or from their Website english.trianabackpackers.com. Hotel Simón, at Calle Garcia de Vinuesa 19, about 120m from the cathedral, has been recommended by several pilgrims, it has singles from 40€, telephone 954 226 660, website www.hotelsimonsevilla.com. These and other accommodation can be booked from www.hostelworld.com or from www.booking.com.
PRACTICAL: Credenciales (pilgrim passports) are available from the following places: the very helpful and friendly Amigos del Camino de Santiago en Sevilla, at: Calle Castilla 82, which is on the Camino as it passes through Triana. Opening hours vary, please check their website www.viaplata.org under Atención al Peregrino. The Cathedral Parochial Office, ask one of the cathedral employees where to go for a Credencial de Peregrino. Also from Hotel Simón and Triana Backpackers (details above). In recent years the Credenciales available in Seville have a map of the Camino Francés on the back, don't worry, they're accepted along the Camino. Also, if you're going all the way you'll probably need more than one for all those stamps. Credenciales are available on the Camino from larger municipal and religious hostels in major towns and cities, but if you think you'll need two you could just buy them in Seville. If you need to do some last-minute equipment shopping there's a Decathlon outdoor shop in the city centre near Las Setas on Calle Martín Villa. If you need a SIM card, from Hotel Simón walk 20m towards the cathedral and on your left is a shop, Photo & Phone, which sells them. Labara has good plans for international calls and data: www.lebara.es
EATING: Seville has a big tapas culture and many bars around both Triana and the city centre have good selections. Recommended for tapas is Bodega Dos de Mayo on Plaza de la Gavidia, it's very popular so best to arrive early (ie. 20:00). If your preparations for the Camino includes eating like a horse and you like fried seafood of all types, then you should try the Plato Variado in Abaceria Alborea on Calle Jacinto, in Triana. The kiosk on the city side of Triana bridge does good churros y chocolate.
SIGHTS: Seville is a historic city whose architectural heritage reflects the cultural influences of Roman, Islamic and Christian civilisation. The Tourist Office opposite the main entrance to the Cathedral has tourist maps and information about the various sights. The highlights are the Catedral de Santa María de la Sede. Completed in the 16th century it is said to be the largest cathedral in the world. It is mostly Gothic with a mix of other influences. Its bell tower, La Giralda, was originally the minaret of a mosque. Christopher Columbus' remains are buried here here having been brought from Cuba in 1903. The Alcázar Palace and Gardens were build as a home for the rulers of Muslim Al-Andalus. The palace is considered to be the best example of Mudéjar architecture in existence. Its walled gardens, with their extensive use of flowing water, are a beautiful example of the type of garden design introduced to Spain by the Moors. Both these sights are extremely popular with tourists and queues to enter can be very long. You can avoid the queues by booking online at www.lacatedraldesevilla.org and www.alcazarsevilla.org The Plaza de España, completed in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exhibition, is a graceful example of early 20th century Renaissance (arches) and Mudéjar (brickwork) revival architecture. It and its adjoining park, are a nice place to relax on a sunny afternoon. Besides the major historic buildings, Seville is also a great city for walking around, soaking in the architecture and atmosphere of its narrow streets, and getting hopelessly lost. Just walk east or north from the cathedral. If you like urban decay you may enjoy a visit to the site of Expo 92, much of it unchanged and slowly falling to pieces from when it was abandoned when the Expo ended. It includes a life-size model of an Apollo rocket. It's in the area around La Isla Mágica, across the river from the city centre, north of Triana. The river itself, the Guadalquivir ("big river" in Arabic), may look impressive but it's actually an isolated branch of the main river which you will cross on the Camino before Camas. Triana is on the opposite side of the river from the city centre, it's a colourful neighbourhood which hasn't yet lost its soul to mass tourism.
CULTURE: If you'd like to experience some Sevillanas singing and dancing Casa Anselmo on Calle Pagés del Corro, in Triana kicks off about midnight, far more authentic than the tourist shows in the city centre. Free in but drinks are pricey.
Bodeguita Reyes, right on the roundabout, does good food. Hotel Anfiteatro Romano, on the right a little past the town, has been recommended by many pilgrims, it has double rooms from about €50. Tel 955 996 704
The newly restored Monesterio de San Isidoro in Santiponce can be visited (free for pilgrims). They have a sello (stamp). It's on the Camino on the right. The Teatro Romano is a couple of minutes off the Camino, at the roundabout take Calle la Iglesia, then right on to Calle Claven, then left at the end. The ruins of the Roman city of Itálica are just to the left of the Camino to the north of Santiponce. This is the birthplace of the Emperors Trajan whose rule brought the Roman Empire to its greatest geographic extent, and also of Hadrian, best known for the construction of the wall which marked the northern limits of Roman control in Britain. Open daily 09:00 to 15:00.
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