The capital of Andalucía, Seville is a city steeped in more than 2500 years of fascinating history. No matter which season, sightseers flock to Seville for its intriguing monuments, museums and historical landmarks. However, it is during the springtime, from March through May, that Seville really transforms into a paradise of culinary delights, social events, flamenco spectacles and more.
Semana Santa (Holy Week)
Semana Santa in Seville is a spectacle in and of itself. For a week, Seville becomes home to some of the most famous street processions in the world, organized by the cofradías (Brotherhoods). Besides the religious festivities, Semana Santa also marks the arrival of spring, and the air is filled with scents of orange blossoms mixed with church incense. While you’re there, be sure to taste a torrija, a Spanish dessert that is served during Holy Week. Made with eggs, thick bread, white wine and honey, torrijas could be said to be the Spanish interpretation of French toast.
Feria de Sevilla (April Fair)
Seville’s Feria dates all the way back to 1846, when two livestock dealers from Northern Spain decided to hold a fair designed for buying and selling livestock. Today, the festival brings together all of the traditions of Andalucía, and approximately 1,050 casetas (rectangular tents) are set up so that friends and families can socialize and feast. Each day, you can admire the parade of horses and carriages, known as the paseo de caballos. The local participants, too, don their traditional garb. And if that weren’t enough of fun, head to the Calle del Infierno (Hell’s Road), where you’ll find an amusement park set up for the fair, including rides, food stalls and a circus.
Toros and Toreros
The bullfighting season hits its peak during the spring. Tickets are at their highest and especially during the week of the Feria, you have to book in advance. The Plaza de Toros in Seville is the number one bullfighting square in the world. Go here if you want to see a corrida (bullfight); the venue is recognized as having the best toreros in Spain. The architecture of the building has an impressive Baroque façade, and inside, there is a fascinating museum that documents the history of bullfighting from the 18th century to the present day. A chapel, dedicated to the Virgen de la Caridad, is where the toreros and picadors pray before entering the ring.
Seville International Puppet Festival
The vivacious Feria Internacional del Títere de Sevilla (Seville International Puppet Festival) welcomes puppet enthusiasts year after year. Shows and exhibitions are a delight not only for children, but for adults, too. It’s an international attraction; puppeteers come from over 30 countries. Performances take place at various venues across the city; just come ready to laugh and smile.
Flamenco Viene del Sur
Literally meaning “flamenco comes from the south,” Flamenco Viene del Sur is Seville’s annual program of flamenco shows, presented by the Teatro Canal over three months. The passionate Sevillanas, a version of flamenco that is typical of Seville, take center stage. Andalusians believe it was here in Sevilla that “true” flamenco was born – come see for yourself and if you’re up for it, you can even give the Sevillanas a try yourself.