The Alameda de Hércules

What to see in seville

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The Alameda de Hércules 

It is one of the busiest areas of the city  

Seville is a magical, complete city that dazzles all those who visit it. It preserves places and monuments steeped in history, and other more contemporary but equally fascinating ones. Walking through its streets is an adventure. And one of the perfect places for a stroll is the Alameda de Hércules, which is one of the busiest areas of the city, also for the Sevillians themselves. 

It has many options in which to stop and enjoy the atmosphere: good restaurants among which you can find some with a close service and a good local product with raw materials from the area and seasonal products of the Andalusian culinary heritage, places to have a coffee, a good wine or beer, enjoying it widely and without pressure, or very interesting bookshops, among other shops. 

For example, at Christmas, being able to stroll through the Alameda de Hércules to enjoy the attractions and markets that are set up there for the Christmas festivities is a must if you go to Seville at that time of year, especially if you are travelling with children. 

What is its history?

The Alameda was built in 1574 on the initiative of Francisco de Zapata y Cisneros, Count of Barajas, as a place for the aristocracy of Seville to stroll. 

The choice of the name Alameda de Hércules has a long history behind it. The inspiration is to be found in the enormous columns at the entrance to the square, which are the originals of a 2nd century Roman temple that was discovered in Calle Mármoles, in Seville. They are columns whose author is Diego de Pesquera, dating from 1578, and on each of them are the figures of Julius Caesar and Hercules, respectively. At the other end there are two other enormous columns crowned with lions bearing the coats of arms of Spain and Seville. 

This place is so special that it has even been the birthplace of great men in the history of Spain. The best known is the poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, one of the most outstanding writers of 19th century Spanish literature, who was born in Calle Conde de Barajas de la Alameda in 1836. In the house where he was born there is a plaque that bears witness to this so that it can be identified. Another local artist who can boast of having his birthplace in this neighbourhood is the much more contemporary flamenco singer Manolo Caracol, who has a sculpture dedicated to him in this Alameda as a way of showing the link between flamenco and this Alameda de Hércules. 

There are many anecdotes that this place has added over time. The one that most often attracts the attention of tourists is that there was a time when it was even possible to sail a boat through this Alameda, although it seems impossible. It was during a major flood that neither the city walls nor its advanced drainage system could stop; and in the year 1649 and with a city that was also in the midst of a plague epidemic, the Alameda de Hércules was flooded and numerous boats were able to pass through it. The more curious can find a plaque in Calle Santa Ana that indicates how high the water reached. 

Sevillian territory

The Alameda de Hércules is one of those places to enjoy in good company while time stands still. It is a corner of Seville where you can leave the rush behind and enjoy the atmosphere.

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