October 4th

Our visit to Sevilla is drawing to a close.

We spent Friday and Saturday operating pretty much without a plan—which is just what we wanted to do. The weather has been a little warm so we have been walking and stopping, stopping and walking.

On Friday we found a large bookstore on the Avienda de la Constitución and spent time looking for books about weaving. That was one time I did have trouble communicating because when I asked “donde libros acerca de tejer” I got blank looks and then when I asked for textiles we got pointed at design, but for clothes. That was the right general section, but we could not find anything about traditional weaving. But it was a good book and music store so we spent a good bit of time there.

We (and I use “we” loosely here) also spent time browsing in the stores near us. This is clearly an important shopping are with almost everything one could want. By wandering we also found the open air market in the Espaciao Metropol Parasol which has a large wooden structure that the locals call the “mushrooms.”

Espacio des Parasols (known as "mushrooms")
Espacio des Parasols (known as “mushrooms”)

If one of the pictures turns out, you will see what I mean. We found some interesting dried fruit and types of nuts there and I think we will go back later this afternoon.

In the afternoon we found the Flamenco Museum (Museo Del Baile Flamenco) which is pretty close to us. They have lots of pictures, costumes, and examples of flamenco. We recognize very few flamenco-related names, but this museum was founded 5 years ago by a name we do recognize: Christina Hoyos. The museum, which is in an 18th century building, also has performances. We went to a performance Friday night. The space seats between 50 and 60 people and the group of artists changes regularly. A multi-lingual MC described what was going to be seen and then there was a nonstop hour of exciting guitar, song and dance. We found seats in the first row on the side that were so close we could have lost fingers to the dancers if we had been careless.

At the Museo des Baile Flamenco performance
At the Museo des Baile Flamenco performance

We could see perfectly and could observe everything they were doing. The man and woman performed separately and together and were well-supported by the guitar and singer. Surprisingly, pictures were allowed-but not with flash—and from them you may get some idea of what we were able to see

Of course we finished the evening with gelato.

On Saturday we finally found a mailbox to post our cards. Mailboxes are few and far between and we found this one close to the Fine Arts Museum. Of course, on the way back we also found one of the large, yellow, cast-iron boxes about 100 feet from our plaza.

Beautiful sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts
Beautiful sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts

The museum of fine arts (Museo del Belles Artes) is located in an old convent and church that has been well restored. The convent was founded in 1248 and the museum opened in 1841. The collection is primarily paintings and they are from the 15th through the 20th century. The rooms are large and well lighted and not too crowed. The former church space is very large and covered with massive paintings. We saw paintings by artists whose name we recognize as well as many new names. In the church space many of the paintings were by Murillo and baroque artists. Given the times, most of these were religious paintings but by the time we got to the 19th and 20th century rooms we saw more non-secular paintings and some impressionist-style paintings as well. The setting and the art make this museum an important stop for anyone interested in the visual fine arts. Pictures, without flash, were allowed and I have posted some of the ones I took. Nothing, however, can take the place of seeing them first-hand.

We strolled through the shopping area for a while but made only a few stops. We made our way to the cathedral area (we know the area and surrounding streets pretty well now) and made a return visit to a restaurant we liked.

Murillo paintings in church space at Museo des Belles Artes
Murillo paintings in church space at Museo des Belles Artes

More pictures on the pictures page.

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