Overview and history
About 30 kilometres from Seville you’ll find the beautiful old town of Carmona. Surrounded with orange trees and their wonderful smell, the town has an interesting history, and was affected by the same changes in leadership by which Seville was also affected. Its Roman influence is still apparent, as is the Moorish features that are typical of towns in the area. The town shares more than history with Seville – it has a wonderful tower that is a replica of the Giralda in Seville.
As with many old Spanish towns, the town of Carmona possessed in the past large fortified walls and entrance gates that guarded the town. Still standing in some degree of disrepair, the Puerto de Seville will mark your entrance into the oldest part of the town. With typically old winding streets the town echoes many others in the area and has retained some degree of influence from its Arabic past. The wonderful Plaza de San Fernando in the east of the town has some beautiful buildings decorated in blue mosaic framed by the palm trees the moors once favoured. The Plaza de San Fernando boasts a few outdoor cafes and is located near the bustling local market which is a real social gathering place for the locals.
What to see
The Santa Maria church is an interesting building. Constructed in gothic style on the very site on the old mosque, the church retains part of the mosque’s old minaret. The streets surrounding the church are incredibly narrow but the local café owners have managed to find room to place their tables and chairs, sheltered from the sun in the shade of the cathedral.
The picturesque town is a wonderful place to spend a lazy afternoon, taking in the historical sites and old buildings and having a quiet meal in the local restaurant. Then you can head to the edge of the town towards Pedro the Cruel’s palace which was ruined by an earthquake but is now an upmarket hotel, lovingly restored with Moorish influences and boasting a beautiful courtyard and lovely swimming pool, as well as fine dining.