Monday, March 6, 2023

The Kissing Street of Seville


The Kissing Street
So much to see and so little time! This is true when visiting one of the most touristy cities in southern Spain, Seville. Reams have been written about this city's architectural beauty, which boasts of one of the finest specimens of Gothic and Moorish architecture like The Cathedral, Giralda Tower, The Real Alcazar, Plaza de Espana and so many more. I will take you to some of these spots in my forthcoming posts, but in this post, I will take you to this fascinating city's lesser-explored corners and alleyways.


Just a stone's throw away from the Giralda Tower lies the entrance to the old Juderia, or the Jewish quarters. Once it was the second biggest in Spain after the one in Toledo till the expulsion of Jews in 1483. The neighbourhood is seeping in history, legends of the past and intrigue. 

The Mill Stones on the Walls

A very lesser-known fact that left me wondering was the sight of round grinding mill stones on the outer facades of some houses in Barrio Santa Cruz. A little probing revealed that these were built into the walls to reinforce them from constant rubbing due to lesser spaces in the narrow streets and to prevent the destruction of the buildings during carnages. The street winds into picturesque alleyways and is sometimes so narrow that on stretching arms both ends of the street can be reached. Probably this is the reason that Al Antiguo Ricon del Besso got its name as the 'Kissing Corner'. It is not difficult to envision illicit lovers on opposite balconies stretching themselves in an embrace.

Colourful Houses

Most of the street names are displayed in decorative ceramics adding to the decor. The streets are named after saints, holy orders, or trades performed there. such as Calle Abades Alta( the Upper Abbot Street), Calle de los Boteros(the Street of Wineskin makers), Calle de Azafaran(the Saffron Street) or Calle de las Ropas Viejas( the street where old clothes are sold), The unusual list is fairly long one, but in all fairness need to add one of the best one called Calle de Quebrantahuesos or the Bone Breaking Street. ( maybe because there was a bone-setting hospital that needed to be set up to treat the broken bones by the mafia?). Many of the streets have Arabic names due to the Moorish influence like Calle de la Medina(Meaning the Walled Town in Arabic). A return back to Juderia remains incomplete without seeing Calle de la Vida( or Street of Life) and finally Calle de la Muert( Street of the Dead),

Beautiful Patios

The patios of this neighbourhood have lovely plazas with doors peeking into the houses with beautiful patios complete with columns and potted germanium, bougainvillaeas, and roses of different hues. A white tile outside the house painted in hand with a symbol of a crescent, a cross or a Star of David indicates the owner is a Muslim, a Christian or a Jew.

The Aqua ducts
Finally, when I emerged from the Jewish quarters, I came across a fascinating water duct built a few centuries back that is still intact. A little further Jardines de Murilo( a beautiful garden with an edifice erected in memory of Christopher Columbus) is well worth a visit. 
Jardines de Murilo( Christopher Columbus Memorial)

It was a day packed with surprises and in my next post I will take you to some more memorable places in Seville

PS All pics are mine

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