Casa de Pilatos, Seville

Semana Santa (Holy Week) is an incredible but intense time to visit Seville.

It’s probably the busiest week of the year, but unlike peak summer time, it’s Spanish visitors and locals causing the queues.

This gives the city a real buzz, an excited energy, a chattering noise of people catching up, laughing and celebrating. People are happy and you can feel it, all around.

All the restaurants are full, bars spill out onto the pavements halting traffic and people dance in the streets.

As fun as all of this is, it does mean that some of the traditional sights and attractions are no-go areas. People queue for hours and hours to see things like the Royal Alcázar and the cathedral. Which are beautiful, don’t get me wrong. But as with every city, some of the lesser known places are better. You get them almost to yourself, you can wander as you please without velvet ropes and people to tell you off for breathing too close to the art.

Hidden behind gates like these…

…are true wonderlands.

Follow me, I’ll show you around one of my favourites.

Beneath a sea of bougainvillea you’ll find Casa de Pilatos.

Like all good Andalucian palaces it blends Moorish, Grecian, Roman and gothic architecture, centered around a marble courtyard, complete with babbling fountain.

If you take a close look at the walls, you’ll see they’re covered in the most beautiful tiles.

I blended in quite seamlessly!

Built in the 15th century, the ground floor rooms were used for entertaining, while the upstairs was kept for private use.

The reception rooms have been kept clear, leaving you to fill and decorate it with your imagination.

The spaces flow seamlessly from indoors out to the flourishing gardens.

Flooding the rooms with light (even on a grey, muggy morning) and an ever present gentle breeze.

Your feet are bound to carry you out to the beautifully maintained, but not over manicured gardens.

A world away from the craziness of the streets outside, the garden feels like your own little private oasis away from the crowds.

A fragrant and private place to cool down and enjoy the breeze.

Or just stop and smell the roses.

Easy breezy in the perfect travelling suit.

A pretty little co-ord from MAX&Co, the Italian brand on everyone’s lips.

Beautiful quality linens, suits for work and play, and pretty maxi dresses for days off.

A tote to carry all the travel essentials

Daisy sandals // Silk scarf

Stacked bangles

Unlike so many of Seville’s hot spots, you really can have this place to yourself. Even on a weekend.

Pull up a pew and take the time to enjoy it.

 

 

Take in all the corners and little details that make a place like this so special.

Wander the gardens.

Enjoy the relief they bring from a sticky day.

Imagine you’ve stepped back in time and free yourself from the stresses of modern day life.

 

 

 

Just turn off your phones and make yourself at home!

 

Once you’ve been fully revitalised, say your goodbyes and head back to reality.

Just a short walk away you’ll find one of the best lunch spots in town.

Though during Semana Santa you’re likely to run into a procession along the way.

Be sure to stop, take in the spectacle itself, but also the crowd looking on.

It’s a veritable buffet of people watching.

The city grinds to a halt as the icons are carried by.

Heavy with silver, candles, carvings and tapestries, the richly decorated floats inch through the streets.

Carried on the backs and necks of men hidden beneath the ornate curtains, the float (or Paso) seems to float through the crowds.

The top of the ornate canopy is scattered with rose petals which catch in the breeze and shower the audience as they look on in awe.

Within the Paso, Mother Mary mourns the death of Jesus, often depicted weeping or holding him.

The smell of melting wax, flowers and incense fills the streets… and for a moving moment, everything is silent.

Once the procession has passed, everything comes to life again.

The hustle and bustle starts once more, and everyone races off in search of lunch.

Which we found at Seville’s oldest tapas bar, El Rinconcillo.

Well over three hundred years old, this place is an Seville institution.

Far from fancy, they serve up classic tapas at the ever-busy bar.

There are more formal tables out back, but try and stay in the bar if you can.

Pull up an old barrel and make it your own.

From here you can watch the crowd jostle and sway beneath the old beams and hanging jamón.

Order a glass of something local and a few plates of tapas to share.

Everything’s simple, everything’s good, you really can’t go wrong.

Just be sure to get Jamón Iberico (melt in the mouth cured ham) and ortiguillas fritas (fried sea anemones), then just wing it!

Stick around, chat to the crowd, make some new friends.

If you’re lucky the gypsy bands will arrive outside and you can take your drink out to watch.

The perfect day in Seville, no queuing necessary!

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  • My brother had a year abroad in Seville last year and we went to visit him… All these posts remind of just how mesmerisingly beautiful it all was! It was probably my favourite city (closely followed by Paris) I have visted yet.

    The Leach Life | theleachlife.com

  • Sarah Taylor

    Love this post! We did both these things in Seville a few years ago and loved them. In El Rinconcillo, an elderly Spanish gent wrote me a poem on the back of a napkin. Which was delightful!

    Sarah x

  • Jo

    Hi Rosie, great post! Where’s the cami from?? Thank you!

  • With every post you share from Spain I become increasing pleased with my recent decision to start learning Spanish! 😀 Amazing photos, as always. I’ve been in the mood for a city break for a while, and now I know where to go!
    http://www.NeensBea.com

  • Zara

    What an interesting post! I have never visited Seville but have always thought it looks beautiful, however your photos give it a slightly different edge. It looks like such a vibrant and friendly city, and the parade looks stunning! xo
    http://www.misszarabelle.com

  • Fun fact: I did a jamon carving masterclass a few years ago and the Spanish teacher told us that Seville is the best place to eat jamon, because the weather there is the perfect temperature to bring out the flavours. That’s always stuck with me, and I’ve had the city on my list for years. Even more desperate for it now that I’ve seen your photos!!

    Little Miss Katy

  • Dora Talata

    Amazing pictures!!! I’m tramelling with you from my office Rosie… Why don’t you come to visit Thessaloniki Greece?

  • The tiles are really beautiful – I wish we had more architecture in London that used bright colours and patterns like those!

    KatieJane
    katies-rose-garden.blogspot.co.uk

  • This has got me so excited for my next trip to Spain, I haven’t explored Seville yet so it’s going to be wonderful. Perhaps naive of me, but I had no idea that the architecture and gardens in Seville were so beautiful. Just can’t wait to go! I’ll be out in the sun with platefuls of Jamon Iberico – what a dream!

    Reena
    http://www.lifestyleenthusiast.co.uk

  • All of these photos are so stunning!
    http://www.thoughtsinstyle.com/

  • These bougainvillea are GOREGOUS! As always, you guys manage to find the best spots to eat. Looks delicious!

  • Its wonderful to see so much tradition still being celebrated. I wish there was more of that here in England. That tote is gorgeous, but do I really need another one …….;)

  • Oooh how wonderful Rosie! Such a beautiful garden, perfect break from the madness! I LOVED the holy festival in Spain, but the canons at 7AM each morning throughout did grind our gears slightly haha! You are glowing Rosie, so gorgeous. Immy x

    http://www.immymay.com

  • Christiane Bégin

    Hi Rosie,
    I enjoy your traveling pictures. Love your casual chic outfit with daisy heels, so fresh for Spring!
    http://www.citruslove.com

  • Amazing photographs! What a truly visual feast of a city! Plus that striped co-ord is gorgeous!

    For an amazing, affordable, at-home teeth whitening kit review (with a discount!) check out the blog now! http://www.blushandbordeaux.com

  • Taylor Cannon

    I love those shorts! This looks like such an incredible place to visit!
    Taylor | http://www.livingtaylored.com

  • Rach

    Seville looks amazing! I love how everything is colorful and intricate details!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

  • Zara

    this is amazing Rosie! I studied abroad in Granada so I understand the appeal of a perfect day spent in Andalusia. Where in Andalusia did you grow up?

  • Your outfit is perfect, Rosie! I love the daisies and the blazer + shorts combo, it’s so chic!
    You are right about Casa Pilatos, it’s not a touristy place but it’s worth visiting and much less crowded.
    I tried to have lunch at El Rinconcillo last year, but couldn’t because you have to book in advance, the place is always packed.

    http://www.memoriesofthepacific.com

  • I’m melting! Those shoes are stunning! Perfect for the garden 😉 And it’s so funny to see that the hoods have changed colors – they look so magnificent.
    http://champagneandpaperplanes.com

  • TMI question. But was undergarment do you wear under your camisole? I haven’t found any that work well and can’t be seen.

    Thank You,
    Erin xx

  • Absolutely perfect! I love the blues and yellows and the rich culture that you’ve managed to capture.
    http://www.missysmeanderings.com

  • Bec

    I really like that this post has photos with so many people in them! It gives a sense of authenticity to the place.

  • Georgie

    I needed an outfit for an upcoming trip to Greece and you’ve sold me on that short suit combo!! So so perfect and just what I was looking for, thank you! xxx