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Seville neighborhoods

The historical and monumental Seville has different picturesque neighborhoods, each one with its own different personality.

By taking a walking tour through the different neighborhoods, the traveler will discover the city’s history and evolution, as well as local traditions and the happiness of living in Seville: The color and magic of Seville is in its neighborhoods.


1. Old town: The three monuments of Seville declared World Heritage Site

Less than 10 minutes walking from the Mercer Sevilla, are the Cathedral, the Royal Palace of Alcázar and General Archives of the Indies.

St. Mary Cathedral was built above an old mosque. Its famous bell tower (“La Giralda”) and its cloister (the Orange Courtyard) stand out. A few meters from the Cathedral, there is the imposing Royal Palace of Alcázar and its beautiful gardens (known as “the monument of monuments” and chosen as the setting of Game of Thrones). And next to them, the General Archive of the Indies collects an exceptional documentation of the Spanish overseas territories administration.



2. Santa Cruz: Tapas around the old Jewish Quarter

Mateos Gagos Street (from where you can enjoy a great view of the Cathedral), the lively atmosphere on the terraces around Santa Maria Blanca Street, picturesque Santa Cruz, Doña Elvira or Los Venerables Squares, or the historical Callejón del Agua (“Water Alley” where the water that supplied the Royal Palace of Alcázar’s gardens circulated in the past) are only some of the beautiful sights in this neighborhood, but the best option to discover Santa Cruz is to be as they say “go on with the flow’’.



3. El Arenal, facing the Guadalquivir River

After the discovery of the Americans (1492) and for several centuries, the Arenal was the main port for commerce between Spain and the New World. Nowadays, it’s a monumental and cultural district.

Between San Telmo and Triana Bridges, it’s worth to enjoy the Guadalquivir River bank (Columbus Avenue), the Golden Tower (primitive Arab bastion and current naval museum) or the Royal Maestranza bullring and have a drink along the river bars or the centenary neighborhood taverns (Garcia Vinuesa Street). Next to the Triana Bridge, at the ‘Lonja del Barranco’ Market, gourmet tapas are served in a building designed by Eiffel.



4. Triana neighborhood

Crossing the Triana Bridge (10 minutes walking from Mercer Sevilla) the visitor reaches the opposite river bank and the most cheerful and popular district of Sevilla, with the “Mercado de Abastos” (Supplies Market), the Ceramics Center or the Sailors Basilica. And one should defenitely have tapas in Betis, Asunción or Castilla Streets. These are just some of the recommendations in a neighborhood in which it’s better to get lost and, above all, to enjoy.

Javier García -Mercer Sevilla Guest Relations Manager- gives us some tips to enjoy "tapas" around Triana: At "Blanca Paloma", "La Primera del Puente" or "Taberna Paco España" the visitor will eat and feel like a local.



5. South, the Seville of the Ibero-American exhibition (1929)

The Maria Luisa Park is the oasis of the city with 34 hectares of green land ideal for walking in the shade. The Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville is set in the impressive Mudéjar-Pavilion (one of the old pavilions in which the Ibero-American Exposition was housed). And in front of the Park, the monumental Plaza de España (“Spain Square”) invites you to take a charming boat ride.



6. Center, around the City Council

The shopping area is located around the Plaza Nueva (“New Square” where the city council is also located), Tetuán Street and Sierpes Street (where you will find “La Campana” confectionery, founded in 1885 and famous for its delicious ice creams and patries).

In the same area there is the Palace of the Lebrija Countess (with “the best pavement in Europe” due to its Roman mosaics collection) and the “Metropol Parasol” space (the largest wooden structure in the world, designed by Jürgen Meyer and with a beautiful city viewpoint).



7. The ‘Macarena’ and its walls

La Macarena is a traditional, genuine and devoted neighborhood. You must visit its epicenter Bécquer Street where the Macarena Basilica is located, as well as the remains of the old city wall (from 11th and 12th centuries).

Cod fritters by Le Bouchon, enjoy our homemade recipe

Discover the cod fritters recipe by Le Bouchon, the Mercer Hotel Barcelona gastrobar specialized in tapas and local dishes.


Located on a quiet street in the historical Barcelona Gothic Quarter, Le Bouchon is the gastrobar of Hotel Mercer, nestled in part of the old Barcino Roman wall: A unique location right in the heart of Barcelona.

Le Bouchon

It’s a local restaurant opened not only to hotel guests but also to any visitor wishing to spend a nice gastronomic time: Whether enjoying an appetizer or an informal lunch or sharing a diner with a nice bottle of wine.

Le Bouchon

The menu offers some canned appetizers from La Cala Albert Adrià, cold meats and cheeses, as well as a variety of homemade dishes, perfect to accompany by a glass of wine from some of the main national appellations.

Le Bouchon

“Bravas” spicy potatoes, croquettes, crunchy chicken nuggets, Andalusian style squid, fried peppers from Padrón, cod omelet, eggs with Iberian ham or meatballs with cuttlefish, among other typical dishes, can be enjoyed in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.

Le Bouchon

Among Le Bouchon tapas and dishes, today we introduce the delicious cod fritters with roasted garlic dressing (“allioli”): Made with wild cod from Iceland ('Gadus Morhua' from Perelló 1898), they are crispy on the outside, spongy on the inside and served with a special sauce. 

We share our recipe to encourage you to make them at home!

SEE RECIPE


Gastrobar Le Bouchon
Monday to Sunday, 12.30 - 16.00h and 18.30 - 23.00h
Calle dels Lledó, 7
08002 Barcelona (Spain) 
Tel. +34 93 310 74 80

Gaudí and Barcelona

"There's no reason not to try something new just because nobody has tried it before." Antoni Gaudí

After the industrial revolution and its technological improvements, Barcelona experiences an important economic and urban development. By the end of the 19th century, it’s a renewed and wealthy city, where young architects find the perfect setting to develop new, free, personal and creative expression forms: A legacy of more than 100 modernist buildings, among which those of Antoni Gaudí (Reus 1852 – Barcelona 1926), innovative architect and standard of Catalan Modernism.


ANTONI GAUDÍ, LIFE AND WORK

Antoni Gaudí was born in a family of artisans (boilermakers), in Riudoms (a small town in the province of Tarragona), until he moved to Barcelona to study architecture. He collaborated with several architects of the time to finance his studies and soon developed his first solo projects, such as the lampposts of the Plaza Real.

"I do not know if we have given the title to a madman or to a genius, only time will tell." Elies Rogent, Director of the Barcelona Architecture School (1878)


“VICENS” HOUSE

The Vicens family -which owns a ceramic factory- commissioned its second residence refurbishment to a newly licensed Gaudí. That was the architect first building in Barcelona (1878) and he already showed his creative freedom and his personal contribution to the aesthetic renovation. Considered an advance of Catalan Modernism, the “Vicens House” opened to the public in 2017. 

“GÜELL” PALACE

In 1886 Gaudí received the first important commission of his career. Count Güell -entrepreneur, member of one of the most influent families in Barcelona and Gaudí’s admirer, friend and sponsor- requested him the construction of his new house near La Rambla. Gaudí designed an ultimate palace in all aspects (space, light, volume, ornamentation and symbolism that he would develop in his following works).


“GÜELL” PARK

Again Güell relied on Gaudí to design a residential area for wealthy families in the land acquired by the entrepreneur on Barcelona outskirts(1900). The complex had to have around 60 homes in an immense garden with panoramic views, but the project failed due to its location far from the Eixample (the bourgeoisie trendy district). Despite this, it quickly becomes popular among Barcelona people, who visit the park for social events. After Count Güell death (1918) his heritors sold it to the city council to convert it into a public park. Park Güell reflects Gaudí’s naturalistic period: Architecture and nature are integrated in more than 17 hectares, with wavy, colorful and symbolic forms. 

“Everything comes out of the great book of nature” Antoni Gaudí

At the beginning of the 20th century, Gaudí has a great recognition among the Barcelona bourgeoisie and his continuous works are real apartments for the Calvet, Batlló or Milà families.


“BATLLÓ” HOUSE

Textile entrepreneur Josep Batlló acquires a sober building in Passeig de Gràcia and orders its refurbishment (1904) to the architect of the moment. Gaudí creates a family house of 8 floors, cheerful and colorful, with wavy forms and blue tones, and with a spectacular façade with balconies. Impressed by Gaudí’s work, Batlló recommended him to a friend, for whom Gaudí would eventually build the Casa Milà (1906).


“MILÀ” HOUSE 

The Milà well-off family wanted to express its position by building an innovative, luxurious and large-scale housing building on the site acquired in the trendy Passeig de Gràcia Street. Again, Gaudí is inspired by nature to design slightest detail of this unique building impossible to summarize. Administrative problems with the city council and divergences with the Milà family delayed the work, but didn’t stop the architect to express his artistic maturity. 


SAGRADA FAMILIA

In spite of everything, the most complex work of his career and in which he invests 43 years of work (especially at the end of his career) is the Sagrada Familia. In 1883 Gaudí was appointed architect of the Sagrada Familia expiatory temple. He assumes and redesigns the project started by another architect, making it much more ambitious. Due to his deep religious beliefs, the architect aims to create the perfect temple. 

“People from all over the world will come to see what we are doing” Antoni Gaudí

The Sagrada Familia is revolutionary in many ways, such as its structure, height, the constructive resources employed and its symbolism. It represents the artistic fullness of the architect, his naturalistic period culmination and the synthesis of all his previous works.

This temple is a Barcelona sign of identity and the Modernist architecture greatest exponent, world-wide recognized. Based on the Gaudí original plans, its completion is planned for 2026 coinciding with the centenary of the architect death. 


In 1926, a tram runned over him in Barcelona accidentally. Initially, passersby were confused thinking he was a vagabond (at 73 years of age, he has an austere life fully devoted to religion and his work), although days later the city pays homage to him in a multitudinous funeral. His crypt is located in the Sagrada Familia, the temple to which he dedicated his life.

Pioneer of the artistic avant-gardes of the 20th century, this genius is one of the most studied and admired figures of architecture of all times. Seven of Gaudí's works have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In the 21st century, Barcelona can’t be conceived without the legacy of its most universal architect.

Mercer Hoteles Guest Relations Team

We interview the Guest Relations Managers regarding the customer service at Mercer Hoteles

MERCER PHILOSOPHY

Location, architecture, design, gastronomy and above all, the excellence of a service exclusively focused on exceeding our guest highest expectations. Mercer Hoteles takes care of the smallest detail to turn each guest stay into a memorable experience: A way of understanding customer service by which Mercer Barcelona and Mercer Sevilla have become a luxury hospitality reference in both cities.

Mercer Barcelona
GUEST RELATIONS, GENUINE DESIRE TO SERVE OUR CUSTOMERS

Joan Manel Salamanca and Javier García are Head Concierges of Mercer Barcelona and Mercer Sevilla respectively. Both are professionals with large experience as Guest Relations and “Les Clefs d'Or” members (International Association of Hospitality Concierges). 


What does the Mercer Service consists of?

JOAN MANEL (JM): The Guest Relations department manages any requirements (legal and reasonable) that the guest has before, during and / or after their stay at the Mercer. This global and expert service is one of the main Mercer philosophy pillars. We give a close, professional and trustworthy service for guests to enjoy a relaxed and memorable stay. 

Mercer Barcelona


Do we find the same level of service in all Mercer 5*GL hotels?

JAVIER (JG): Of course! Both at Mercer Barcelona and at Mercer Sevilla, guests will find the same service standards. Being boutique hotels with few rooms, we have the opportunity to provide a completely personalized service. Not only Guest Relations but all departments are focused on offering excellence.


How does the Guest Relations Department work?

JG: We contact the clients before their arrival because many times they need prior attention, as a private car, a restaurant reservation or tickets to a monument or show in the city. On the first day of the stay, we introduce ourselves personally for whatever they may need. And after the departure, we keep in touch with many guests...

Mercer Sevilla

What do you do to keep up to date with the city latest news? 

JG: We love our city and we are interested in everything that happens there. And obviously, we have our information sources got over the years (friends, colleagues or contacts).

JM: I agree with Javier. We try to have a wide network of professional contacts, plus the information we get from press, blogs, Social Media and “Les Clefs d’Or” Association.


Tell us about a special moment or a curious story...

JM: An important achievement is that guests remember us. For example, last Christmas I received a postcard from guests from USA who remembered us even several months after their stay... and invited me to visit them. This is a very special detail!

JG: From my side, during the last “Feria de Abril” (April Fair), I met by chance a couple who where staying at the hotel (a little disoriented) and took them to my private stand, to eat ham, drink wine and even dance some “sevillanas”.


What is it like working with guests at a 5*GL boutique hotel?

JG: The Mercer Hoteles team reason to be is the client total satisfaction. In this sense, our main goal goes beyond fulfilling their demands. Our purpose is to exceed their expectations, surprise them, make them “fall in love” or make them feel at home, perceiving they have a "friend" or "allied" in the city, willing to support them during their visit. And all this, with a professional, unpretentious, sincere and discreet service.

JM: I think that guests who decide to stay at a boutique hotel are clients who expect a direct, calm and personal treatment from the hotel team. 

Mercer Sevilla

What is the best thing about dealing with guests?

JG: Dealing with guests is a task as demanding as rewarding. We love to see that guests are happy when they leave the hotel, because they enjoyed their visit. It’s also nice to read guests reviews on TripAdvisor, of course, customers who appreciate our work and recommend us to their friends and family. 

JM: Exactly, a customer who becomes a prescriber of our brand is a great reward. The best feeling is to check how some guests return to the hotel year after year. 


What do you like the most about your job?

JM: I like to share my city and make other people see it "through my eyes", by creating wonderful experiences.

JG: Definitely what I appreciate the most is the human touch and the multiculturalism.


OUR GUESTS REVIEWS ON TRIP ADVISOR
The best thing about the hotel? The incredible staff! [USA]
The only thing that could compete with the building is the staff: they were without exception first class in their attentiveness and helpfulness. [United Arab Emirates]
Even before our arrival at the Mercer we were contacted by Guest Relations with a request to personalize our stay. That was only the beginning of the incredible service we received at the Mercer. We've stayed at many five star hotels and his service is by far the best ever. [USA]
Some of the most accommodating, professional and service oriented personnel we've ever enjoyed! [USA]
Of all the boutique hotels we have stayed at many locations around the world, the Mercer is a standout high achiever. This reflects the professionalism and warmth that all the staff provided throughout our stay. The Mercer is a leader in luxury boutique hotels. [Australia]
Perhaps the best feature of all is the incredible staff. We could not have felt more welcomed and really missed some of their faces when we returned home. [USA]
Service and staff attitude is close to perfection: They give you the feel of the comfort of home but at the same time show the professionalism of a house of this category. [China]
Everything about this hotel was excellent except the staff which was superb. [Canada]
The staff is some of the best in the hospitality industry. [USA]
Palace-Houses in Seville

Seville has several dozen stately palace-houses, great past and present lineages residences.

With the discovery of America (1492), the port of Seville becomes a strategic enclave for trade with the Indies. This represents an important economic development as well as a cultural and artistic transformation, known as the “Sevillian Golden Century”. Some of the most prosperous families, enriched by trade with the New World, commissioned the construction of beautiful manor houses in which they set their new residences (XV-XVI centuries). Currently there are about 25 palace-houses in Seville, some of which remain private residences.


1. “LAS DUEÑAS” HOUSE

Founded by the Pineda family in the 15th century and owned by the Duchy of Alba since the 17th century, the house occupies the space of the old monastery of “Santa María de las Dueñas”. In the 19th century, the Palace is converted into a neighbor's house. One of the dependencies is rented to the parents of the Spanish poet Antonio Machado (who was one of the 1898 Poetic Generation main exponents), who was born and spent his childhood here. Years later, the palace becomes a witness to the Dukes of Alba illustrious guests such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Grace Kelly or Rainier de Monaco. Its buildings and courtyards range different architectural styles and stands out for its historical value and its collection of paintings, tapestries, sculptures, photographs or furniture.


2. “PILATOS” HOUSE OR MEDINACELI DUKES PALACE

Built in the 15th century, it is owned by the Duchy of Medinaceli. Its history is as important as its heritage value. Courtyards, gardens, galleries, fountains, columns, plasterwork, tiles, pavilions, halls, furniture, together with a large collection of classic art and a series of bullfighting paintings by Goya, constitute the largest of all Sevillian palace-houses. Declared a Property of Cultural Interest and Spanish Historical Heritage, this house has been the scene of productions such as "Lawrence of Arabia" (1942).


3. “LEBRIJA” COUNTESS PALACE

Built in the 16th century, it passes through different owners until in 1901 it is acquired and restored by the Countess of Lebrija (illustrious lady and archeology lover). Considered “the best paved palace in Europe”, it stands out for its collection of Roman mosaics (especially those that cover the central patio floor), its arts collection, as well as a library with 4,000 volumes. This Renaissance palace is a Cultural Interest and Spanish Historical Heritage Property.


4. “LA ALGABA” MARQUISES PALACE

This Renaissance palatial residence was built in the 15th century by the Marquises of La Algaba, and it is one of the Sevillian civil Mudejar style best exponents. During its history, the building has different owners and it was intended for different uses (theater, neighbors' house and summer cinema), until it is acquired and rehabilitated by the Seville City Council, to house the Mudéjar Art Center of Sevilla.


Mercer Sevilla

5. CASTELAR HOUSE-PALACE

Another of these Sevillian architectural treasures is the Casa Palacio Castelar, located in the historic center and in which the Mercer Hotel Sevilla is located. It is a bourgeois small palace dating from 1880, carefully restored by the Sevillian architects Cruz and Ortiz. The Mercer Hotel Sevilla preserves the original structure around the central courtyard or patio, the marble staircase or the high ceilings in the rooms situated in the "noble" floor of the old palace-house.

Mercer Sevilla

Don’t miss the secrets of El Born, Barcelona’s most trendy neighborhood...

El Born district -one of the Barcelona’s most cosmopolitan areas- is less than 5 minutes walking distance from the Mercer Barcelona. Monuments, palaces, museums, galleries, restaurants, terraces, shops, fashion and design: We find out some of its secrets.

Originally, this was a sailor and craftsman neighborhood of humble families settled outside the Barcelona’s wall. From the 13th century, aristocrats and merchants -enriched by maritime trade- settled their residences in beautiful palaces. The neighborhood became the city economic center until the 15th century. The 'Santa María del Mar' basilica construction (14th century) consolidates the Born identity.


THE 10 SECRETS OF THE BORN DISTRICT


1. Catalan Music Palace

Built for the 'Catalan choral group' by the architect Domènech i Montaner (1905) and defrayed by popular subscription, the 'Palau' became part of Barcelona's symbolic heritage and the city’s cultural and social life setting. Declared World Heritage (UNESCO), this impressive modernist building and its excellent acoustics are a reference in the international artistic scene.


2. Picasso Museum

More than 4,200 works form the most complete collection in the world of Picasso's youth works. Inaugurated in 1963, the museum reveals the artist's link with Barcelona. Works are shown in chronological order, along 5 palaces of Catalan civil gothic style (13th and 14th centuries): Exceptional content and continent for one of the most important museums in the city.



3. Santa Maria del Mar 

Built in only 55 years (14th century), it’s the only church in pure Catalan Gothic style. Known as the 'Cathedral of the people', the history of this Basilica is linked to the Born neighbors, who contributed to the construction of their basilica, with their own money and mostly with their work. For example, in their free time, dock unloaders ('bastaixos') used to load stones destined to the church from the 'Montjuïc' quarry, one by one. In fact, a tribute to this 'bastaixos' can be observed in the church main door.

Curiosity: The story of this wonderful basilica and the neighborhood was immortalized in the novel 'The Cathedral of the Sea' written by Ildefonso Falcones, whose book we recommend you to read.



4. Paseo del Born

Delimited by the old Born market (now the Born Cultural Center) and 'Santa Maria del Mar' Basilica, the promenade has 14th-century buildings, trendy terraces and bars, designer shops and a lively atmosphere. In medieval times it was tournaments and jousting of knights (which give the neighborhood its name), celebrations and fairs.



5. El Born Culture and Memory Center

This cultural space is integrated into the Born old market building (1876). Its exterior structure is an example of the iron architecture. Its interior houses an imposing archaeological site excellently preserved: A testimony of neighborhood life and city history, from Roman times to the early 18th century. Exhibitions and cultural activities take part in the offer of this singular center.



6. France Station

Inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII on the occasion of the International Exhibition (1929), this modern station needed to live up to the expectations of the first line that would connect Barcelona with France. The elegant lobby and the metallic structure of the routes (one of the main exponents of the modernist iron architecture in Barcelona) stand out.

Curiosity: This station has often been compared with the Parisian 'Gare d'Orsay'.



7. Citadel Park

At the end of the 19th century, due to the industrial development, the city demanded a large green space for public use. Built on the Citadel old fortress terrain, the park was inaugurated a few years before hosting the Universal Exposition (1888). Currently, in addition to its biodiversity, the Park stands out for its sculptures, waterfall, band-stand and buildings such as the old Citadel Arsenal (nowadays the Catalan Parliament headquarters), the Geology and Zoology museums, the Greenhouse and the Barcelona zoo.


8. Triumphal Arch

Built at the main entrance of the Universal Exhibition of 1888 (Citadel Park), this monument of 30 meters high and classical proportions symbolizes the respect of the city towards the nations participating in the Exhibition. The Triumphal Arch represents the gateway to Barcelona’s progress in the late 19th century.



9. 'Santa Caterina' Market

Built on the grounds of 'Santa Caterina' old convent, it was the first covered market in Barcelona (1848). In 2004 the market is refurbished by Miralles and Tagliablue architects. The current market stands out for its undulating roof and its mosaic inspired by Gaudí.

Curiosity: During the works, old convent archaeological remains appeared in the market subsoil.


10. And our Concierges advices!

Joan Manel Salamanca and Xavier Sanchís, Concierges of Mercer Barcelona and 'Les Clefs d'Or' members, are a city great connoisseurs. They reveal some of their favorite places in the Born distric:

“If you travel with children, we recommend you to visit the Chocolate Museum (Calle Comerç 36). If you want to relax, we suggest you to book a water circuit and a massage at 'Aire Barcelona' (Paseo Picasso 22). And if you fancy a real Barcelona aperitif, you should go to 'El Xampanyet' (Calle Montcada 22). But in any case, this historic district can be enjoyed simply by walking and discovering the medieval guilds of the street names. We especially like the 'Plaza de las Ollas' [Pots Square] where ancient kitchen utensils artisans were settled.”
Mercer Barcelona Concierges
Sweet dates

Desserts and sweets have an extensive trajectory in the national cuisine. Pastry is linked to Christian religious celebrations, as is the case of the Holy Week in Seville.


HISTORY OF PASTRY IN SPAIN

Each culture that has inhabited the territory has left its mark on the traditional sweet recipes. The first cakes date from the time of the Roman Empire, when the precious honey from Hispania is mixed with wheat flour for sweet preparations.

Afterwards, the Arab culture encourages the Spanish pastry-making with the sugar cane importation (in the East sugar cane was refined since the 9th century) and the use of nuts (such as almonds) in many cakes.

With the discovery of America, spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and coffee are introduced. But the ingredient that revolutionizes the European pastries is the cacao coming from Mexico. The first to use it are the Spanish confectioners who add sugar to compensate for their bitterness. Quickly, chocolate becomes an essential recipes ingredient, much appreciated socially.

María Luisa Restaurant

In the 18th century, the national confectionery is influenced by the modern pastry started in France (with the development of puff pastry). At the end of the 19th, the proliferation of specialized stores open to the public and the new machinery development contribute to the popularization of sweets.

Mercer Barcelona Breakfast

THE SWEETEST CALENDAR
Nowadays, the confectionary specialties are very assorted according to the geographical area and are closely linked to the Christian religious celebrations. Throughout the year, visitors can taste a variety of typical sweets, but Christmas and Easter are the dates with the greatest number of sweet preparations in the whole country.


THE SEVILIAN HOLY WEEK ‘TORRIJAS’
The ‘torrija’ is one of the Holy Week stars in Seville. This traditional sweet dates from the 15h century. The base of the ‘torrija’ is a slice of bread (traditionally bread from previous days) soaked in milk or wine, which is later coated in beaten egg, fried in a pan with olive oil until browned and finished bathing in honey, sugar or cinnamon: As simple as delicious. Don't miss our recipe!

SEE HOME-MADE 'TORRIJAS' RECIPE



María Luisa Restaurant


At the María Luisa Restaurant of the Mercer Sevilla, the chef makes a dessert of home-made ‘torrijas’ with honey bubbles and mango sorbet. 

Both at Mercer Sevilla and Mercer Barcelona desserts and sweets are also protagonists of our kitchens, as with them we try to surprise our guests and share our culture and local traditions.

Mercer Barcelona

Andalusian Patios

The Andalusian patio constitutes the common space by excellence within the popular architecture of Southern Spain. This architectural characteristic was consolidated by Romans, Arabs and Christians, over the centuries.

ROMAN PATIOS

In the patricians or wealthy Roman families homes ('domus'), there used to be a pond for rainwater collection (the 'impluvium') located in the center of an opened courtyard (the 'atrium') where rooms ('cubiculas') were distributed. The Roman Hispania courtyards used to be in marble, surrounded by columns and decorated with small statues and greenery.

MUSLIM PATIOS

The Muslim patios model was developed in the Al-Andalus from the 10th century. It was originally from the Eastern Countries, where houses were traditionally decorated with plants, flowers, fountains, canals or wells, as a symbolic representation of the ‘Garden Paradise'.

SEVILLIAN PATIOS

Seville has monumental courtyards examples as the ‘Patio de los Naranjos’ (Orange Tree Courtyard) in the  Cathedral; or the historical and impressive patios at the ‘Real Alcázar’; or the ‘Palacio de Las Dueñas’ patio where the Spansih poet Antonio Machado played in his childhood...

LIFE IN THE PATIOS

The patio represented the heart of the house, in which the family social life was structured, with dances, songs, meals, parties and celebrations. The house was organized around this interior courtyard. Being an opened air space, the patio helped the conditioning of the house: during the day, light entered in the house interior areas, and at night, the fresh air circulated to the adjacent rooms. Some houses had different patios which were used for the private owners life, the family and the domestic service.

Besides the daily life around the courtyards, they were also used for folkloric celebrations or spring festivals, such as the ‘courtyards festival’ in Córdoba or the ‘Fiesta de las Cruces de Mayo’ (My Crosses Festival) in Seville.

THE MERCER SEVILLA COURTYARD

There are many Sevillian patios styles. Beyond the classic Andalusian patio, there are modern concepts that are faithful to tradition. This is the case of the Mercer Sevilla courtyard.

Mercer Sevilla

The hotel is set in the old ‘Casa Palacio Castelar’, a 19th century small bourgeois palace renovated by the renowned Sevillian architects Cruz y Ortiz. It preserves original elements of the palace as the spectacular Andalusian central patio -the soul of the Mercer Sevilla- around which the 12 hotel rooms are located.

Mercer Sevilla

It’s an interior beautiful courtyard with marble floor and covered by a spectacular dome bathing the space with natural day light and harmony. Surrounding the patio, guests are astonished by the arches, the majestic marble staircase and high ceilings from the ancient palace noble floor.

Mercer Sevilla

A walk through La Rambla

Located just 8 minutes walking from Mercer Barcelona, La Rambla runs 1.2km: A pleasant tour from Plaça Catalunya to the sea. More than 78 million people a year stroll along the most famous street in the city.


"The street where the four seasons of the year live together, the only street on earth that I wish it would never end". [Federico García Lorca, Spanish poet]


HISTORY OF LA RAMBLA

The demolition of Barcelona walls which surrounded the city began in the 18th century. La Rambla (which for centuries was just a torrent of water to supply the city) is urbanized and transformed into a promenade in which the Catalan bourgeoisie built up beautiful palaces as their main residences. The locals turn La Rambla into the new main city axis, in which one could rent a chair and contemplate the spectacle of life.


POINTS OF INTEREST: LA RAMBLA FROM NORTH TO SOUTH

CANALETES FOUNTAIN

'Canaletes' refers to the waterway which supplied water to the city (15th century). The current fountain was created for the occasion of the Universal Exhibition (1888). According to the legend, whoever drinks water from this fountain is destined to return to Barcelona. Another peculiarity is that F.C. Barcelona supporters celebrate Barça’s victories around this fountain.

MOJA PALACE

This neoclassical style manor house was built in 1774 by the Marquis of Moja, where one of the entrance doors of medieval Barcelona used to be located. Declared Heritage of Cultural Interest, nowadays it’s the Catalan Heritage House.


PORTAFERRISSA

A public fountain of drinking water to supply the city was placed in one of the access doors to the fortified city (the 'Porta Ferriça' or Iron Gate) and it became very popular among the neighbors. Today, both the fountain and the street keep the name of the old door that was decorated with iron bars (unit of measure of the time). Nowadays on the ceramic tiles of the current fountain scenes from the everyday life of that time can still be seen.


LA BOQUERIA MARKET

From the 13rd century, merchants installed their stands in this location of La Rambla (they did it outside the walls to skip the goods entry tax to the city). The market opens in the 19th century on the emplacement of an old convent ('Sant Josep' or Saint Joseph). Nowadays it’s the largest local market in Catalonia with more than 200 merchants and one of the most emblematic points of the city.


BRUNO CUADROS HOUSE

Inspired by the modernist style that was beginning to be fashionable at that time, the architect Josep Vilaseca refurbished this building and the Bruno Cuadros umbrella store located on the ground floor in 1883. Also known as 'Umbrellas house' it brings an oriental touch to the eclectic Ramblas.


JOAN MIRÓ MOSAIC

Miró’s pavement was inaugurated in 1976 at 'La Boquería' Square on the Rambla. One of the main international abstract surrealism representatives, Joan Miró designed the mosaic as a greeting to travelers arriving by sea. The work has no protection and Rambla visitors walk daily on its pavement, expressly indicated by the artist.



LICEU THEATRE

The 'Liceu' is one of the most important opera houses in the world. Since 1847 it has been the stage of the most prestigious works. It has also been the meeting place of the Catalan upper class (in the lower floors of the theater), while the less opulent classes shared their opera passion on the upper floors. After its fire in 1994, it was rebuilt by incorporating notable technological improvements which made it one of the most modern theaters in the world.



'PLAÇA REIAL'

A year after the beginning of the “Liceu” construction, the Royal Square urbanization starts where the old Capuchins Convent used to be located. Important families of the time chose this square as their new residence. Currently, it has a more bohemian and crowded atmosphere.

GÜELL PALACE

Eusebi Güell (an important industrialist, politician and patron from Barcelona) orders Antoni Gaudí the construction of his new family residence (1886). The result is a unique mansion adapted to the private and social needs of the Güell family. The modernist palace was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.



COLUMBUS MONUMENT

Located at the confluence of La Rambla and the “Port Vell” (Old Harbor), Columbus Monument was built for the occasion of the Universal Exhibition (1888). It measures 57m high and an interior lift allows you to go to its viewpoint. Columbus's finger points out to the sea (initially it was said that it pointed out to America, which is located in the opposite direction).



Other points of interest in La Rambla, near the Mercer Hotel Barcelona: Virreina Image Center, Wax Museum, “Bosc de les Fades” (Fairy Forest Café), Santa Mònica Art Gallery, Maritime Museum and Aquarium.

"Van Gogh Alive" arrives at Seville: A journey of the senses through the geniur life and work.

For the first time in Spain, "Van Gogh Alive" - the most visited multimedia exhibition in the world - arrives at Seville from February, after visiting 30 cities and 4 continents.

“The vibrant colors and vivid details of Van Gogh's work are truly breathtaking”

This exhibition is a multisensorial experience invites you to enter the artistic world of Vincent Van Gogh (1853 - 1890) the universal Dutch painter, one of the main exponents of post-impressionism, who painted around 900 paintings and made more than 1,600 drawings.

“Forego all preconceived ideas of traditional museum visiting, change how you engage with art.”

The exhibition approaches the artist in a completely new way, breaking the conventional exhibition model and allowing visitors to interact with the pieces: Light, color and sound help to see the painter works and life through the senses.

"Visitors will be able to see ‘The Starry Night’ constellations or the windmills of his landscapes move, and see how ‘Wheat Field with Crows ‘birds take flight."

Projections and more than 3,000 large-scale recreated images transform the space and envelop the viewer in an authentic multimedia ambiance focused on audiences of all ages: Floors, ceilings, walls and columns give life to Van Gogh's work from completely new and unique perspectives.

When: From February 1st to April 15th 2018

Where: Pabellón de la Navegación (Isla de la Cartuja), Sevilla

Hours: From 10am to 9pm (1 hour passes)

More information

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