An Andalusian Experience

Flamenco school in Triana, Seville

The Soul of Seville
The Andalusian capital's colorful Triana district beckons across the Guadalquivir river with its mixture of tradition and trendy nightlife

Crossing the Guadalquivir river Puente de Isabel II bridge, you plunge into a different Seville: the legendary Triana quarter.

TrianaOn the western banks of the river, it is one of the city's most traditional and colorful quarters, at one time home to potters, mariners and gypsies. Until the Isabel II bridge was built in 1852, it was split from the rest of the city, with small boats ferrying passengers across the river. Today, what was once Seville's humblest district has been revitalized to become one of the city's most pleasant neighborhoods and at the same time most vibrant. An urban renovation plan has returned its streets to their original cobblestone aspect, and its homes have been refurbished as attractive residences and picturesque shops, restaurants and taverns.

In Triana, life goes on at a more relaxed and easy-going pace than across the river. Here, "fast food" means slipping into one of the numerous local bars to sample tasty tapas of fried codfish, bulls tails or spinach with chickpeas.

True-born Trianeros cling steadfastly to their traditions, such as an unbudging devotion to their patroness, the Esperanza de Triana, whose image is kept in the Capilla de los Marineros. It leaves the chapel once a year, to be taken out in one of Seville's most emotion-packed Easter processions.

In the numerous workshops off its Calle Alfareria, the traditional potter' s area, they still make the Azulejo tiles for which Seville is famous. Triana is also one of the strongholds of flamenco, and its traditional taverns offer travelers the chance to experience this Andalusian art form at its purest, while flamenco schools initiate visitors into the secrets of Andalusian song and dance. In addition to flamenco, a varied after-dark offer has turned Triana into one of southern Spainís liveliest night-spots. The legendary Calle Betis street, the promenade which runs alongside the river, is home to trendy cafes, restaurants, typical taverns, and throbbing discos and music bars. It also enjoys one of the best views of the Seville skyline, with the Giralda tower and the Torre de Oro glowing gold in the evening light. Triana is a place where you can sense that elusive, magic, indescribable quality that the Andalusians call "duende".

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Copyright © 2001 An Andalusian Experience. Text by Mark Little. Photography by J. D. Dallet  - A Freelance Spain production

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Copyright © 2000-2006 Mark and David Little & J.D. Dallet