|HERCULES AND JULIUS CAESAR WELCOME VISITORS TO LA ALAMEDA.
THE FIRST OF SEVERAL COOLING FOUNTAINS IN WHICH TO PLAY CAN BE SEEN AT CENTER.
The Quadalquivir River (Sevilla’s river) used to run right through the city center in what is now La Alameda de Hercules, an enormous plaza in the center of the city.
|THE RED AWNING IS CAFE ALAMEDA, WHERE WE HAD AN EXCEPTIONAL DINNER LAST NIGHT.|
The river through that area was cut off by a damn in 1383 and then, in 1574, the Count of Barajas drained the remaining water, built irrigation channels and fountains, and planted trees. The alameda trees (poplars in English) give the plaza — and the neighborhood — its name.
|ANOTHER FOUNTAIN. ONE OF A FEW PLAYGROUNDS AND MANY CAFES IN BACKGROUND.|
Last night, after IKEA made their fourth delivery to our apartment (the apartment without the “luz”… maybe tomorrow?), I assembled the slats for Jerry’s main bed (my third set of slats; I’m now a pro), we picked up our new sheets and towels from the laundry, and we then went to dinner.
|THE LIONS AND SHIELDS OVERSEEING ANOTHER REFRESHING FOUNTAIN.|
At Jerry’s inspired suggestion, we broke from tradition and did not walk over to Carmela in Santa Maria La Blanca. Instead, we walked over to La Alameda, which is only about 5 minutes away from our apartment.
|THE REMAINING ROMAN RUINS TODAY.
CALLE MARMOLES (MARBLE STREET) IN THE BARRIO SANTA CRUZ.
There are four columns that mark off a promenade through the trees of La Alameda. Two columns were retrieved from a nearby Roman temple. Two are “contemporary” reproductions made in 1574 (after one of the original Roman columns was broken during moving).
|CASA DE LAS SIRENAS (MERMAID HOUSE) ON THE ALAMEDA.
ONCE A PRIVATE PALACE, NOW A GOVERNMENT EXPOSITION CENTER.
|ONE OF TWO MERMAIDS.|
So, the two columns at the southern end of the square are the original Roman columns topped by Hercules (according to myth, the founder of Sevilla) and Julius Caesar (referred to as the restorer of Sevilla during Roman rule). Those “contemporary reproductions” at the north end of the square were topped in the 18th century by lions with shields, representing Sevilla and Spain.
Through much of the 20th century, La Alameda was one of the poorest neighborhoods in Sevilla. Plagued with drugs and prostitution, in 1989, there were around 35 brothels. Until the later part of the 20th century, it was one of the most often flooded areas of the city. But improvements have been made and flooding is now a significantly low risk. In recent years, it has become a very nice neighborhood with some of the best nightlife in Sevilla. It’s now a thriving, diverse, and kind-of-bohemian neighborhood (which of course means there’s a large gay population).
|THE ECLECTIC EAST SIDE OF THE PLAZA. RESTAURANTS, CLUBS, A GARDEN SHOP, AND
DOBLEZERO, A SHOP THAT PROVIDES EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GROW CANNABIS AT HOME.