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Why visit Seville's Triana neighborhood?

Triana is one of Seville’s most colorful neighborhoods. Maybe it’s because Triana is separated from the rest of the city by the Guadalquivir River, but it seems like the locals – proudly known as Trianeros – enjoy doing things their own way. This historically poor working class district of Seville has developed its own culturally rich environment. It’s the birthplace of many of Seville’s most famous flamenco artists, bullfighters and sailors. It’s is also well known for its long tradition of ceramics. And don’t forget the food market which is perhaps the best in the city. Triana might not have any of Seville’s main touristic attractions, but the neighborhood is a destination itself.

Colorful street in the neighborhood of Triana, Seville – Spain
Colorful street in Triana

What to See in Triana

PUENTE DE TRIANA

Triana's bridge (Puente de Isabel II) – Seville, Spain
Triana's bridge

To get to Triana, chances are you will cross its namesake bridge, the Puente de Triana. The Triana Bridge, whose official name is Puente de Isabel II, is Spain’s oldest iron bridge. After 8 years of construction, the french engineered project was inaugurated in 1852. But this was far from the first bridge that crossed this section of the Guadalquivir River.

The Moorish Almohad dynasty was the first to build a bridge linking Triana with Seville in 1171. But it wasn’t a permanent solution. Instead that first bridge was made up of row boats that were chained to each other.

MERCADO DE TRIANA – CASTILLO DE SAN JORGE

Triana's market in the Castillo de San Jorge, Seville
Triana's market

Triana’s market is one of the city’s best and oldest. There is a wide variety of local produce, meat and fish on display. There’s a few bars and restaurants and even a cooking school inside.

The market is located in what was once part of the Castle of Saint George (Castillo de San Jorge). The castle was built by the Moorish Almohad dynasty in the 12th century. Later, between 1481 and 1626, the castle was used as the main seat of the Inquisition. Afterwards, it began to fall apart. In 1823 it was converted into a market. Then in 1992, in preparation for Seville’s Expo, the market was demolished and rebuilt. Excavation works discovered remnants of the castle and an Almohad cemetery.

If you are interested in the history of the castle, be sure to check out the exhibition that is found below the market. The entrance is free.

CALLE SAN JACINTO

Lively San Jacinto street in the neighborhood of Triana, Seville
Lively San Jacinto street

Calle San Jacinto is Triana’s main thoroughfare. This largely pedestrian street begins after the bridge at the Plaza del Altolozano. You will find some of the most impressive architecture of Triana on San Jacinto as well as a plethora of shops, bars and restaurants. A few notable buildings are the Iglesia de San Jacinto and the Casa de los Mensaque.

CENTRO DE CERÁMICA DE TRIANA

Triana's Center for Ceramics, Seville – Spain
Triana's Center for Ceramics

Triana has been producing ceramics since the 12th century. To highlight this long standing tradition, the Triana Center for Ceramics was opened in 2014. It’s located in the Santa Ana factory which produced ceramics with 7 furnaces for over 100 years, starting in 1870.

For a 2.10€ entrance fee, visitors can explore 2 floors of exhibition space and see restored areas of the factory. If you still want to buy some ceramics, check out the workshops of local artisans that surround the Triana Center for Ceramics.

Triana’s long ceramic traditions date back to Moorish times. The area was perfectly located for ceramics production. Since Triana was still the outskirts of Seville at the time, it provided enough space for the factories and large furnaces. The raw clay materials were readily available along the banks of the river. And then the finished products could be easily transported on the river.

CAPILLA DEL CARMEN

Carmen Chapel (Capilla del Carmen) in Triana, Seville – Spain
Carmen Chapel

Capilla del Carmen is a tiny chapel located between the Triana Bridge and the market. It was designed by the architect Aníbal González who was also responsible for the monumental Plaza de España. Its bell tower, exposed bricks and use of ceramics is very characteristic of Neo-Moorish architecture found in Seville.

The chapel is dedicated to the Virgen del Carmen who is the patron saint of sailors.

CALLE BETIS

Velá de Santa Ana in the Guadalquivir River, Triana – Seville
Velá de Santa Ana in the Guadalquivir River

Calle Betis is a street full of colorful houses along the banks of the Guadalquivir River. Its name Betis comes from the Roman name of the river. It’s a great place to take a stroll. From Triana’s side of the river you can see some great views of the Torre del Oro, the cathedral and the Giralda Tower. You will also find several bars and restaurants, many of which have great seating options along the water.

Located on the Calle Betis you will find Casa de las Columnas (House of the Columns). The building served as the Sailors University (Universidad de Mareantes). Here sailors that would accompany Columbus on his discovery of the New World were instructed, as well as other students who would participate in explorations over the following centuries.

Calle Betis is also the location for Triana’s main neighborhood fiesta, the Velá de Santa Ana. On July 25 & 26, casetas (tents with music, drinks, food, etc.) take over the street and a stage is setup at the Plaza del Altolozano. There is a lot of live music and cultural activities. The most famous activity is called the cucaña. For it, local youth attempt to grab a handkerchief that is placed on the bow of a boat.

CALLE PUREZA

Santa Ana church in Calle Pureza, Triana – Seville, Spain
Santa Ana church in Calle Pureza

Calle Pureza is one block away from the river and runs parallel with Calle Betis. It is another one of Triana’s more characteristic streets.

The highlight is the Iglesia de Santa Ana. This church was the first one built after the Reconquest in 1280. This Neo-Moorish structure with its colorful tiled roof is locally know as the cathedral of Triana.

If you are interested in the churches of Triana, the small Capilla de los Marineros is also located on the Calle Pureza. This chapel is from the 18th century and is the seat of the brotherhood Esperanza de Triana.

Flamenco in Triana

Historically, Triana has had a significant sized gypsy community. Together with the Sacromonte neighborhood in Granada, Triana is known as being one of the main birthplaces of flamenco. In fact, it even has its own style known as Soleá. Many famous flamenco artists came from Triana including Isabel Pantoja, Antonio Canales and the Farruco family.

Monument 'Triana al Arte Flamenco' in Seville – Spain
Monument "Triana al Arte Flamenco"

As you walk through Triana’s streets there is a good chance you will hear flamenco artists practicing their art. The neighborhood is also a great place to catch a live flamenco show. Here are a few options:

  • Baraka Sala Flamenca Triana – Located in an old cellar at the heart of the Triana neighborhood. Two 60-min shows per day (8:30pm & 10:30pm) for 20€ (incl. one drink).
  • Tablao Flamenco Pura Esencia - Tablao in the Triana neighborhood offering one daily 60-min show at 8pm for 20€.
  • Teatro Flamenco Triana – Flamenco show in an intimate setting. Two daily 60-min shows for 25€.

History of Triana

It seems as though Roman legions were some of the first to establish camps in the area of Triana. The location was great because it was close to Italica and right next to Hispalis (the Roman name for Seville). It is believed that the name Triana comes from a Roman colony that was later founded by the emperor Trajan and named Trajana.

During the Muslim rule of Al-Ándalus, the Almohad dynasty built the first bridge linking Triana with Seville. It was a temporary bridge made up of boats that were chained together.

Although the river brought wealth and prosperity to Triana, it was also responsible for bringing devastating floods that caused a lot of damage.

When Seville entered its golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries, Triana also rebounded. In 1481, the Catholic monarchs established the main seat of the Inquisition in Triana’s Castillo de San Jorge. Later, the Escuela de Mareantes was setup to instruct sailors for their voyages to the Americas.

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