El Arenal

El Arenal (3)

El Arenal is undoubtedly one of the most traditional and emblematic neighbourhoods in Seville. Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries it was one of most important ports in the entire world, following the discovery of the Americas and subsequent trade with the West Indies. Today it continues to be a vibrant neighbourhood and meeting place for Sevillians, in particular when the outing involves bullfighting, the theatre, opera and social clubs. 

The neighbourhood’s name comes from the fact that this place was once a large esplanade on the sandy banks of the river. Then, little by little, it was transformed into an attractive city district. Today, El Arenal extends around the majestic La Maestranza bullfighting ring. If you spend any time here during the bullfighting season, you will find bars and restaurants overflowing with people. Throughout the rest of the year, however, the district is peaceful and it is truly worthwhile to take a walk along the Paseo de Cristóbal Colón, a charming avenue on the Guadalquivir River. Here, on the river banks, you will see, rising above you, the world-famous Torre del Oro, a compulsory stop on any city tour. 

Another must-see is the magnificent Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Art), to bask in the beautiful paintings of the Sevillian School. 

Another important area in the Arenal neighborhood is the Baratillo. Apparently, during the 15th century, this site was home to an important clothing market for sailors, where they also sold all types of cheap novelties (“baratijas”), hence the current name of this district. Here you can visit the Capilla del Baratillo, home of the popular La Piedad Brotherhood. 

No tour to the district would be complete without a visit to the baroque church in the Hospital de la Caridad made famous by its Murillo canvases and relatively new Teatro de la Maestranza.

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