Seville, Andalusia´s capital, is a city of operatic passion and romance. It is 550 Km (342 miles) southwest of Madrid and 217 Km (135 miles) northwest of Malaga. Unlike most Spanish cities, it has fared well under most of its conquerors – The Romans, the Arabs, and Christians– in part because its people chose to embrace rather than fight them. Much of the pleasure of strolling Seville – as with all of Andalusia – isn’t necessarily in visiting specific museums or sites, but rather in kicking back over a very long lunch and embracing the city´s beauty on your own time and pace. It is worth strolling along Calle Betis in Triana, the west bank of the Guadalquivir between the San Telmo and Isabella II bridges, where the bars and cafés come alive on summer evenings. It was this river that brought enormous wealth to the city 500 years ago when Columbus docked here on his return from the Americas, and Seville became the port of entry for all future riches from the New World and one of the most prosperous cities in Europe. Seville is a fairly flat city adapted and facilitating the transit of wheelchair users. The city’s metro network is completely adapted for users with reduced mobility both in terms of trains and stations, as every station is equipped with lifts.
Alcazar of Seville: Seville’s Royal Palace was originally a Moorish fort built in the 10th century by the first Caliph of Andalucia. The construction of the Royal Alcázar , at its current form, began in the 14th century. It is the best example of Mudejar architectural style in Spain, although Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements can be found as well. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful royal palaces in Spain and the oldest still in use in Europe, and was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The palace can be entered from the Plaza del Triunfo through the Puerta del León or Lion’s Gate. The large gate, set in a massive crenellated defensive wall, is decorated with an azulejo (ceramic tilework) depiction of a heraldic lion. There is a step in the vicinity of the beginning of the visit, most of the Palace is wheelchair accessible but some areas are not (Some rooms have a step). It has a second floor, with lift access to Cuarto del Almirante room and the gardens are flat but with a sandy terrain.
Seville Cathedral: Also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, the Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. The Seville Cathedral was built on the same large, rectangular base-plan of the mosque it replaced, but the Christian architects added the extra dimension of height. The result is an astonishingly large building that breaks several size records. The cathedral’s construction lasted over a century, from 1401 to 1506. It is said that when the plans were created, church elders stated, “Hagamos una iglesia tan hermosa y tan grandiosa que los que la vieren labrada nos tengan por locos.” (Let us build a church so beautiful and so magnificent that those who see it finished will think we are mad). The accessible entrance is located in the south transept front at “Puerta Del Príncipe”. The Cathedral’s interior is very accessible. Its famous tower “La Giralda” has no steps but note it is a long way up through a steep slope.
Lebrija Palace: Also known as the Palace of the Countess of Lebrija, it was built during the 16th century and it is considered as one of the best residences in Seville. In 1901 it was bought by Regla Manjón Mergelina (Countess of Lebrija), who restored and reconstructed the palace to house her valuable collection of antiquities. The main courtyard, surrounded by galleries, is a blend of Andalusian and Arabic styles surrounded by high quality tiles and plasterwork adorning arches with marble columns. In the center there is a Roman mosaic of great quality, dating back to the 2nd and 3rd century, representing scenes of the love affairs of Zeus and the seasons.
Casa de Pilatos: Pilate’s House is an Andalusian palace which serves as the permanent residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli. The palace dates from the late 15th century and springs from the union of the Enríquez and Ribera families. Its marvelous appearance is created by an harmonious blend of Gothic, Renaissance and romantic styles. The Large Garden and surrounds were a later major addition. The palace was declared a National Monument in 1931. The Casa de Pilatos is considered one of the finest examples of Andalusian architecture of 16th century Seville. The house is open to the public year round.