So I’m pretty sure this nativity scene isn’t historically accurate… 😉
It’s been a good week, being on “staycation” in Sevilla, though an inordinate amount of time has been spent looking for ceiling and wall lamps for the new Casa Azahar. Which led to not one, but two, visits to El Corte Inglés in Nervión. The first time finished with a fab lunch at Casa Paco “El Buen Comer”, making the trip worthwhile (even though I came home empty handed). But a couple of days later I decided to go back for the two wall lamps I’d seen there, which ended with an early evening walk home down Eduardo Dato (totally beat the 10,000 steps record that day!). And along the way we passed what is left of Sevilla’s second, and short-lived, bullring, La Monumental.
I’d first learned about its existence back in 2009, after visiting La Monumental tapas bar, located on the old site and filled with bullfighting memorabilia, including framed contemporary news clippings about Sevilla’s almost forgotten bullring.
This ill-fated second Plaza de Toros was first opened to the public in 1918, closed in 1921, and finally demolished in 1930. The driving force behind its construction was the famous bullfighter José Gómez Ortega, known as Joselito el Gallo, whose death in the ring on May 16, 1920 was a contributory factor in its closing. In 1915, when construction started, this was a ‘greenfield’ site a short way outside the city. Its demolition made way for the new suburbs that now spread out to Nervión and beyond.
The architects were José Espiau y Muñoz and Francisco Urcola Lazcanotegui, whose other works include the splendid Hotel Alfonso XIII, and the Edificio Adriática at the end of Avenida de la Constitución.
Since the first time I visited this remaining gate to the bullring a plaque has been put up. Can you believe that for all these years it just stood there without anybody knowing what it was? Anyhow, the plaque reads…
“Here was the monumental one of Seville (1918 – 1921) driven by Joselito El Gallo, King of Los Toreros”. September 2012, centenary of the alternative of Joselito, his supporters.
A few months ago Confituría La Campana was forced to close down its sidewalk terrace and since then it has been struggling to survive. And with little/no seating inside it will not survive. The same thing happened to another landmark establishment not long ago – the beloved Bazar Victoria – a wonderful Aladdin’s cave of a housewares/hardware shop that was forced out by the banker landlords, and that now empty corner still breaks my heart when I pass by.
What would be even more heartbreaking is the sight of another fast-food joint taking over the Campana location. It is already flanked by Burger King, Mcdonalds, Dunkin Coffee and 100 Montaditos, with a Starbucks across the street. La Campana put up this banner the other day, asking for our help. Let’s hope they can get enough signatures to get their terraza back, which is actually much more attractive than an empty expanse of pavement. Indeed, it’s a perfect people watching place, both for those seated and those walking by. Let’s get it back! Link to the Change.org petition below…
La eliminación total de la terraza de veladores por la gerencia de urbanismo sin causa justificada, ha sentenciado el futuro de este establecimiento fundado en 1885, que para muchos sevillanos forma parte del patrimonio cultural de su ciudad. Una injusticia que mandará al paro a los 40 trabajadores de su plantilla. Te necesitamos!
The total elimination of the terrace by the Urban Management without justifiable cause, has endangered the future of this establishment, founded in 1885, which for many Sevillians is a part of the cultural heritage of their city. An injustice that will make its 40 workers unemployed. We need you!
I’ve only missed Corpus here four times in 24 years: once when I was in Granada, another time when I was in Lisbon, then London in 2015, and *that other time* when I was too sick on chemo to go out. Since my first ever Corpus I have followed the advice of my friend (and one of my first English students here) Agustín, who told me the best part of Corpus here is getting up super early and walking the rosemary and flower petal strewn procession route before the procession starts (and everything gets trampled underfoot).
This year we got an even earlier start than usual and invited new pal Elaine to join us. And bonus! We actually came across the guys who were strewing the rosemary (a first for me). Although as lovely as always, there were fewer decorated balconies than on previous years, and it was also sad not to have our usual post-walk coffee & toast at the Horno San Buenaventura (which closed all its brances this past year). But as usual, we left while the procession was in full swing, heading home before the HEAT became too much. Here are some pics (and one vid)…
One of these could come in handy for taking in all the nearby ferias in May. Unusually, Sevilla’s famous Feria de Abril mostly took place in May too this year as it traditionally begins two weeks after Easter Sunday. I tend to prefer the smaller ferias and will try to get to at least a couple of these ones. Maybe see you there?
- Jerez de la Frontera May 13 – 20
- Dos Hermanas May 18 – 21
- Córdoba May 20 – 27
- Sanlúcar de Barrameda May 23 – 28
- El Puerto de Santa María May 24 – 29
Semana Santa kind of snuck up on me this year, most likely because I was away in London the week before. And by the time I got back – blam! – it was already starting to happen. I still get caught out by the “pre-Semana Santa” processions, so that means getting around town madness begins even earlier.
This year I didn’t actually make any plans to see a particular procession, other than the Borriquita on Palm Sunday. The rest of the time I was just out and about in the afternoon (usually before or after a tapas tour) and them – blam! – came across a procession. So I didn’t see any processions at night this time around.
Maybe next year I won’t do any tapas tours during Semana Santa so I can take the week to get back into it (because it does take energy and planning). I do love it, for reasons I can’t explain. I just do.
La Borriquita nazarenos returning to Salvador Church
La Borriquita paso depicts Christ entering Jerusalem on a donkey
Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, El Cerro procession
handing out estampitas during the San Bernardo procession
El Cristo de la Salud, San Bernardo procession
Jesús de la Paz, Carmen Doloroso procession
Santiago de Compostela is very photogenic, as you can see. You can either click on the collage above to see a bigger version of it, or see the single images below. So many nice memories…
Back in the “old days” women in Spain (as in many countries) weren’t allowed in bars, so of course there was no need to have a toilet for them to use. You can still sometimes come across old urinarios like this one, which didn’t even used to have doors on them. This relic is in one of my favourite sherry bars, Manolo Cateca, and is basically a small closet with a urinal in it. The bar is so tiny that there really isn’t space for a proper toilet, so Manolo has a deal with the bar across the alley and his clients can use the facilities over there. Those Tío Pepe bottles look like they are standing guard, don’t they?