Sevilla's motto is "She has not left me".
In the 13th century, the city rose in favor of King Alfonso the Wise against a rebellious son.
Today, tourists do not leave them. From the splendor of the cathedral to the alleys of the old Jewish quarter, it is a place for walking and wondering.
Dramatic: Flamenco is dancing in the elegant Plaza de Espana, built in 1929
HISTORY CLASS: The birthplace of the Roman emperors, Trajan's and his wall-successor Hadrian, Sevilla's classical origins are recognizable. There are beautiful ruins, including a 25,000-seat amphitheater in nearby Italica.
In the 16th century, Seville was in the heart of the golden age of Spain due to its exclusive license to trade in all of America's newly discovered lands.
The notorious fictional knight Don Quixote was brought here to life in 1597 when his creator was in the royal prison of Seville. The country's greatest painter, Diego Velazquez, was born here two years later.
SPIRIT OF THE CITY: Seville is centered around its river, the Guadalquivir and the cathedral. In the old gypsy quarter of Triana, they claim to have invented not only flamenco but also the guitar. In bars you will find improvised music performances, especially the singers of Bar Rejoneo in Calle Betis.
Flamenco dancing is harder to find and even lovers can handle tablao shows. The best is in Los Gallos in the Plaza de Santa Cruz. On the east side of the river is the Maria Luisa Park with its converted palaces and fountains. The highlight is the Plaza de Espana, scenery for films from Lawrence Of Arabia to Star Wars.
The Cathedral of Seville, one of the largest in the world, is a Gothic wonder. Once a Roman temple and then a mosque, it is best described by those who made it: "So beautiful and so great that those who see our work deceive us." Here is also the tomb of Christopher Columbus ,
Gothic Miracle: The Cathedral of Seville is one of the largest in the world
Pass to the palaces: The four large palaces of Seville-Palacio de las Duenas, Casa Pilatos, the Hospital de la Caridad and Casa Salinas offer a discounted "pass" for all, with an elegant walking route. This gives you access to a number of large salons with more than 2,000 artworks, ten gardens, mosaics and
Seville's architecture from the 16th century to the fading size of the 19th century (casaspalacio.com).
TAPAS TIME: The first glass of the day is best taken at Casa Matias on Calle Arfe in El Arenal, where Matias still sings.
Highlight: The Plaza de Espana scenery for the films Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars
Around the corner is Casa Morales at Garcia de Vinuesa, for the local Cruzcampo beer, a chilled dry Manzanilla sherry or a Rioja.
Her specialty is Lomo al Jerez – pork loin on toast with truffle oil. The best jamon iberico is in Las Teresas on Calle Santa Teresa in the Barrio Santa Cruz.
HOW IT GOES: Opened in 1929, the palatial, neo-Moorish Alfonso XIII Hotel is set in pretty gardens between the river and the 18th-century Royal Tobacco Factory, known as the backdrop to Bizet's Carmen and now the main building of the University of Seville. Rooms from £ 262, hotelalfonsoxiii-seville.com. While the boutique Corral del Rey in the Barrio Alfalfa is more informal and central. Room from £ 274, corraldelrey.com. EasyJet (easyjet.com, 0330 365 5000) flies back from £ 62 to Seville.