To mark Cabana Issue 19's glorious Andalusia portfolio, Seville-based designer, Patricia Medina, shares an exclusive insider's guide to the historic Andalusian capital.
Seville, a city of light and color, with the smell of orange blossom; a melting pot of Roman, Arab and Christian cultures; a meeting point for travelers from all times; and the site of universal myths, of Don Juan, Carmen and El Barbero. The emperors, Hadrian and Trajan, were born in Seville, and the ancient Hispalis.
Seville erected its Cathedral as the largest temple of Christianity, conserving and Christianizing its minaret: the Giralda. The Guadalquivir River made Seville a port for trade with the Americas and the administrative capital of the New World, while the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 extended it with new regionalist-style avenues, façades of tiles and exposed brick, splendidly represented in Plaza de España.
The real golden century for Seville was the 17th, however; Velazquez, Murillo, Valdes Leal, Becquer and Machado are all illustrious Sevillians. Today, Seville has a soul that attracts the visitor and draws the Sevillian into himself. Everyday moments, such as shopping in the market or going for tapas, are interspersed with exceptional events, such as Holy Week and the April Fair, which accentuate the cheerful character of Seville's residents. Here are my keys to the city.
Discover the full Seville Portfolio in Cabana Magazine Issue 19, available now.
Where to Stay
Hotel Las Casas de la Judería: Spread across 27 houses, each with their own history, courtyards and gardens, walking around this lovely hotel is like discovering the ancient Seville. There are even a few private streets within the hotel.
Corral del Rey: A charming little hotel with 17 rooms, some with a private terrace.
Palacio Mármoles: This beautiful private palace has seven stylish apartments.
Las Casas del Rey de Baeza: A chic boutique hotel in what was once an 18th-century farmhouse; a gorgeous spot in Seville's old town, with a rooftop pool.
Palacio Villapanés: This elegant 50-room hotel, a converted 18th-century palace in the heart of historic Seville, has been beautifully restored and the service is excellent.
Trasierra: If you can tear yourself away from the city, check into the gloriously rustic Trasierra in the Andalusian hills, about an hour from Seville airport.
Where to Eat
El Rinconcillo: A real Seville institution, El Rinconcillo is the city's most historic bar (established 1670) and serves fantastic Andalusian-Mozarabic food and wines in cozy, dining rooms that retain their original 1900s decor.
Bodeguita Casablanca: A warm and traditional restaurant in Seville's historic center, Bodeguita Casablanca serves fine Andalusian cuisine in a convivial, cozy setting.
La Barra de Inchausti: A wonderful family-run seafood tapas bar.
Restaurante Cañabota: A fabulous Michelin-starred seafood restaurant and bar.
Doña Maria Hotel, Terrace Bar: Have a drink on the atmospheric terrace of this hotel. It's right by the Cathedral, so it's really magical to sit so close to “the Giralda”.
Where to Shop
Maquedano Sombreros: The most charming, traditional store where Sevillians have been buying beautiful hats since 1908. Whatever hat you are searching for, you'll find it here.
Populart: The fascinating museum-worthy ceramic collection of Laura Salcines lives in the extraordinary shop she opened in 1977. Populart sells pottery, ceramics, azelujos (tiles), engravings and fabrics from all over spain.
Tenderete: A beautifully curated store selling ceramics and handmade objects.
Bastilipo: A treasure trove of a shop, here you'll find art, antiques, textiles and fine jewelry - especially good for antique shawls, lace and corals.
Sweet Treats: A real Seville experience: visit Monasterio de Santa Paula and buy sweet treats and delicious jams from the Nuns. You'll be supporting a dying tradition, while exploring a fascinating convent with an original Nicola Pisano door.
What to See & Do
Real Alcazar: Visit the wonderful gardens and interiors at the oldest royal palace in Europe where impressive Italian-influenced tiles contrast with the smooth plaster and sleek style of the Mudejar palace.
Casa de Pilatos: With its classically Sevillan layout, this beautiful house was designed in Renaissance style and holds the largest catalogue of c16th arista tiles.
Palacio de las Dueñas: A must-visit when in Seville. The beautiful palace-house of the Pineda family, originally built in the 15th-16th century, became a meeting point in the 20th-century for European royals and important cultural figures.
La Catedral de Sevilla: This 16th-century cathedral is a UNESCO world heritage site and the largest Gothic church in the world. It’s a real sight to behold.
Hospital de la Santa Caridad: A glorious 15th-century Baroque building, founded to give Christian burials to the condemned, in the name of Miguel de Mañara (the inspiration for the literary character, Don Juan). It holds fine works by Golden Age Spanish painters, including Murillo, Zurbaran and Valdes Leal.
Museo de Bellas Artes: One of the most important art museums in Spain, in beautiful Plaza del Museo, it holds a huge collection of Renaissance, Baroque era and 20th-century works by painters including El Greco, Velásquez and José García Ramos.
Hospital de los Venerables: Enjoy the beautiful, peaceful courtyard here and impressive works of art and sculpture by artists including Velazquez.
Patricia Medina is a Spanish designer and antique dealer, based in Seville. Follow her on Instagram: @patricia_medina_abascal @patriciamedinacreations | www.patriciamedina.com