Triana (43)

This important Sevillian neighbourhood is on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, which divides Triana from the rest of the city. Legend has it that the goddess, upon escaping the amorous pursuit of Hercules, came to this side of the river to find refuge, establishing the neighbourhood of Triana. Its name, however, actually comes from the Roman emperor, Trajan, which was later changed by the Arabs into Tarayanah. 

This neighbourhood is especially famous for its seafaring tradition and ceramics, which are still sold in many workshops throughout the district. One of the shops that we recommend is Cerámica Santa Ana, founded in 1870, and the most famous in Triana. Plus, the neighbourhood’s streets have been the source of many legends about Andalusian singers and bullfighting. 

These days, it’s a working-class area full of local colour, where you can walk through its charming streets by day and enjoy fantastic tapas bars at night. 

One of the most famous streets in Triana is Calle Betis, which runs parallel to the Guadalquivir and offers splendid views of the river. Or sit on one of its many terraces and have a drink. At the end of this street is a sculpture of Juan Belmonte, a bullfighter, created by Venancio Blanco and set on the site where Belmonte allegedly made his first moves, while still just a boy. You’ll find that the statue has a hole in its chest through which you can spy the Maestranza bullring, with the Giralda in the background. 

Another of this neighbourhood’s legends concerns Saints Justa and Rufina, patronesses of the city, who worked as potters in Triana in the 3rd century and were the first martyrs of Seville. It is said that the Romans fed them to the lions because they refused to take part in a procession honouring the goddess Venus. Their martyrdom has served as inspiration for important artists such as Zurbaran, Goya and Murillo. 

Moreover, the tiles that adorn so many of the local Almohad structures were made in this neighbourhood. In fact, the story goes that a boy from Triana invented the golden shiny tiles that used to decorate the Torre del Oro. Apparently, this occurred when he tried to retrieve a ball that he had dropped inside one of the pottery kilns using a copper stick. 

If you take a walk through the neighbourhood, you’ll be enchanted by many things, such as Iglesia de Santa Ana [Saint Anne’s Church], which was the cathedral of Triana in its past. This church was built to fulfill the promise made by Alfonso X, the Wise, who said he would build a place of worship for the mother of the Virgin if his vision problems were cured. 

Also be sure to visit Calle Pagés del Corro and look at the corrales de vecinos (communal housing) that have been here since the 16th century. These humble homes with communal courtyards were the scene of Las Cruces de Mayo, a traditional festival whose origin comes from the Roman spring festivals that are still celebrated today. 

Also take a walk along Calle Rodrigo de Triana, which takes its name from the Andalusian explorer who first spotted land in the New World. This street is also home to the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la O [Church of Our Lady of the O], a charming 17th century temple. 

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