As we were arriving in Seville our guide advised us that due to Easter Celebrations our itinerary would be changed. She also advised that our bus would have 20 minutes to stop to allow us to alight from the bus and have our suitcases taken into the Hotel Colon Grand Melia. As it was Easter a lot of streets are closed to allow the religious processions to proceed.
Walking into the hotel we were greeted to a stunning foyer. Bright red chairs in the shape of petals.
The ceiling was also amazing!
The hotel is right in the middle of the historical and cultural, commercial and financial heart of the city.
Easter in Seville is certainly a different way of celebrating as we do in Australia. Here in Australia for most not all mind you its a 4 day weekend and as its usually around school holidays and Anzac Day, Australians go on holiday.
In Seville its Seville Semana Santa (Holy week in Seville) commemorates the passion and death of Christ through religious processions done by the brotherhood of the city’s Cathedral from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. … You can enjoy privileged views, almost touching Christ or Mary as the processions pass bay.
The processions wouldn’t have the usual floats of religious icons due to the weather. It was very wet and cold still. I really feel for the Spanish people as this year due to the COVD19 there would be no processions. These traditions are what makes the people of Seville Spain.
A quick check of our room and we wandered off to get a look at Seville before we found something for dinner.
Usually thousands of people book a seat to be able to watch the processions, however these seats were empty due to the rain. As we walked the streets we saw many people dressed in medieval robes. Bare feet seemed the norm. All different colors ranging from black to purple. These are “brotherhoods” and as we found out later, going barefoot was a way of penance to absolve sins.
We found this information from a waiter at a restaurant we were thinking of having something to eat. He told us that he would join the procession shortly with bare feet. He hoped his feet would bleed, this would help absolve his sins.
We didn’t eat at the restaurant as there was nothing gluten free, instead opting to head back to the hotel to get a drink. Both us were not hungry…unusual for me.
Many women were wearing the traditional Spanish dress.
We throughly enjoyed our drinks with the nibbles that were provided. We watched on the big screen in the bar Iris Apfel who at that time was the icon of the hotel.
Back in our room we shared a treat that had been left for us.
Our hotel backed onto one of the many churches in Seville. The street below was a constant procession of chanting and music. Many channels on the TV showed the procession all night. Sleep was something we both longed for but only got in short bursts. We opened our window and watched some of the procession go past.
The next day was going to be busy. A walk through the city streets after breakfast and a visit to the Seville Cathedral. This picture below is the first I saw of the Cathedral.
The Cathedral was completed in 1507 and stands on the ground that used to be the City’s former mosque. This cathedral was to display wealth and prestige over the vanquished Moorish Kings. It is the largest Medieval Church in the world.
Inside, the Cathedral was just as stunning as the outside. Beautiful stained glass windows.
Seville’s cathedral also contains the tomb of Christopher Columbus – the Spanish explorer whose discovery of the New World in 1492 was so crucial to Seville’s economic success in the 16th and 17th centuries.
We were then split up into two groups depending on what we requested. One group went for tastes of Spain ours was for cultural Spain.
Both groups were at the same hotel – I think we were supposed to go to a private house for our demonstration of the Shawl and Fan. This was due to the Easter Celebrations and not being able to board our coach.
We learnt the history of the Shawl and the fan and how to dance with the shawl and fan. The other group drank wine and had nibbles . (we were given water)
The Language of the Fan
- Fan yourself slowly shows a lack of interest or indifference.
- Support the fan on the cheeks – if it rests on the left cheek it wanted to transmit a ‘ no ‘, whereas if it rests on the right cheek it was a ‘ yes ‘.
- Striking with the fan denotes impatience.
- Passing the fan through the eyes is a sign of apology.
- If you support your lips on the edge of the fan, you want to transmit distrust or disbelief.
- If the fan rods are counted, we are showing the desire to engage in a conversation with the other person.
The shawl originated China and started to become a fashion statement in the 1800’s in Spain. Its a traditional womens accessory in Spain and Latin America. The shawl is also used in Flamenco Dancing which we would see at dinner this night.
Our two hour class was mostly in Spanish with a little bit of translation.
Rich and poor and Gypsy’s all wore these shawls in Spain.
I had to get my hands on one of these shawls. Unfortunately shops that sold them in Seville were closed due to Easter Celebrations.
Muriel and I wandered around Seville for a short time then decided to have a nap before our dinner and show of Traditional Flamenco Dancing.
During the main performance we were not allowed to take any photos or video’s.
Once the music began it hijacked me and took me to a place that I had been before. Was it a past life? I felt even beat and every word in my soul. Had I been a Gypsy and these songs were my life. A life I had lived once so long ago.
The last 15 minutes we were allowed to take photos and videos of the performance. I took quite a few and I will put them up on Instagram.
When the music stopped and the lights came on I had to take a minute to realize where I was. 2019 not 1829!
I laid my head on the pillow and slept like I had never slept before.
** The next day would be an early start of a ride in a horse drawn carriage and a visit to the Alcazar and the Plaza de Espania**
** The first picture is of a bakery with all the different “brotherhoods” in the window.