An evening stroll in Barrio Santa Cruz, Seville

 

My wife and I spent a fun week in Andalusia with our two dear friends from Germany, Bernd and Monika, whom we'd met some years back while on safari in Botswana.  We'd arranged to meet in Seville, we arriving in a rented car and they in their RV.  Our first rendezvous was near Seville's glorious Cathedral, in Barrio Santa Cruz.  This neighborhood was once a busy and crowded Jewish Quarter but, as with much of Europe, few Jews remain today.  Instead, Barrio Santa Cruz has become an area popular with tourists looking to experience the "real Seville".

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What you'll find when visiting Barrio Santa Cruz is a pleasant neighborhood of narrow lanes arranged in a maze-like manner, charming homes and restaurants, small but lovely plazas, and pleasant gardens framed by orange trees.  You won't find any cars here -- the lanes are much too narrow for this.  In fact, there's places you can touch the two buildings lining the lane by stretching out your hands (so called "kissing lanes", as the buildings are close enough to give each other a smooch).  These narrow streets provide welcome shade on warm summer days, though it was already quite cool on the spring day we visited.

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Bernd and Monika knew a former co-worker who was living in Seville with a Spaniard friend, and it was these two who helped us navigate the maze of Barrio Santa Cruz, pointing out the sights and finding the choice spots for us to enjoy.  Highlights included stops for tapas and wine at several tapas bars.  It was a pleasant if cool evening, mostly sunny but with scattered thundershowers. 

Here's some of what we saw during our stroll that evening...

Our meeting place was a small cafe near the great Cathedral....
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...where we got to see a talented young flamingo dancer show off for her parents.

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Then off into the streets and lanes of the Barrio:An Evening walk in Santa Cruz, Seville (13)

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There were lots of spice shops in the Barrio...

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And many of the windows had palm fronds on them as Palm Sunday was approaching....An Evening walk in Santa Cruz, Seville (39)
Doesn't this courtyard restaurant look inviting?An Evening walk in Santa Cruz, Seville (42)

Here's some of those narrow lanes the Barrio is famous for and which are very common in this neighborhood....An Evening walk in Santa Cruz, Seville (44)

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I really loved the small plazas of the neighborhood, clean and fresh after the rain, water drops clinging to the orange tree leaves....An Evening walk in Santa Cruz, Seville (50)

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While many of the buildings in the neighborhood are white-washed, there's lots of color to be enjoyed as well.An Evening walk in Santa Cruz, Seville (68)

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Here's the wall demarcating the Alcazar's garden from Barrio Santa Cruz....
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Given that this was a historically Jewish neighborhood, it contained surprisingly many Christian churches, monasteries and icons. 

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Lastly a great example of that famous Spanish iron work from one of the plazas.  This is know as the "locksmith's cross" and dates to the 17th century.
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Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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