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Category: Sevilla

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel: History and Modernity

At Mercer Hotels, we believe in the conservation of the heritage and culture of the buildings of all our hotels. The integration of the old and the new is one of our hallmarks. Andalusian historical legacy converges with modernity at the EME Catedral Mercer Hotel​.


A HISTORICAL STREET

EME Catedral Mercer has an unbeatable location right in city center, by the Santa Cruz picturesque neighborhood and just in front of the majestic Cathedral north facade.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, attracted by the prosperity of trade with the New World, merchants arrived to the city and gathered around the Cathedral. In this sense, the ‘Calle Alemanes' [Germans Street] -in which the hotel is located- owes its name to German colony shops established by the street arcades (one of the few examples that are still preserved from the popular architecture of that time), in a multicultural Seville that was the commerce door with the Americas.

"History is the life of memory and the teacher of life." Cicerus


A BUILDING WITH ROOTS

The EME Catedral Mercer Hotel is housed in a historic building from the 16th century, originally composed by 14 typical Andalusian houses set on a land that was owned by Andrés Moro González –‘el Moro’–, a rich, eccentric and popular Sevillian antiques dealer.

The architectural renovation project was directed by the Spanish architect Juan Pedro Donaire, resulting in this modern hotel which combines the building’s Andalusian roots with a contemporary design.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel

THE FACADE AND ITS BALCONATES

The façade dates from the 16th century and preserves a structure of historic arcades with coffered ceilings and with classic columns redefined as a porch open to the public. Located in front of the hotel, the Giralda is reflected in the balconies windows. These wrought iron balconies date from the early 20th century and their artistic enhancements and cast iron drawings were restored to highlight the traditional Andalusian architecture.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel

THE ORANGE TREES COURTYARD

As in the Santa Cruz District typical houses (Jewish Quarter of Seville in medieval times), in the heart of the EME Catedral Mercer there is an open central courtyard that vertebrates the access to the hotel rooms.

The Orange Trees Courtyard is covered by an imposing structure whose design is inspired by Islamic ornament and reminds of a modern Moorish-style lattice. Its central fountain and its orange trees honor the Islamic culture.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel

The Arabic-inspired ornament can be found in different hotel areas, both in the rooms, in the corridors and even in the the panoramic rooftop bar.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel

THE LOBBY ALTARPIECE

Symbol of the deep religiosity of Seville that followed the Catholic Kings reign, a Baroque altarpiece clad in gold leaf stands out at the hotel lobby area. This altarpiece was acquired from a Madrid antiquarian who said that it was bought years before in Seville from Andrés Moro, a reputed Sevillian antiques dealer and also the former owner of the buildings where EME Catedral Mercer Hotel is located nowadays. If this story is true, the altarpiece has returned to the same place where it came from...


ROMAN TERMS SPACE

It is a hidden treasure: This private space has a spectacular glass floor from where guests can view the remains of Roman terms discovered during the hotel restoration work. A unique space in Seville, perfect for holding private events and celebrations for up to 15 people.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel

TRADITIONAL WALLS

Rooms and common areas walls are plastered with lime mortar and covered with sandstone, in the manner of traditional Andalusian constructions: A material with a bioclimatic behavior highly appreciated in warm countries since it contributes to the temperature regulation.

Definitely, EME Catedral Mercer Hotel offers its guests a concept of fusion, respectful with history but fresh and vibrant at the same time, as well as a cosmopolitan atmosphere in a monumental environment.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel
Calle Alemanes, 27
41004 Sevilla (Spain)
Tel. +34 954 560 000
reservas@emecatedralmercer.com

We interview José Hidalgo, Mercer Sevilla Head Bartender

Cocktail bars are fashionable. We talked about that with José Hidalgo, Head Bartender at the spectacular FIZZ Bar in Mercer Sevilla, the 5-star hotel in the Sevillian Arenal district.


With only 28 years, this Sevillian trained between the Superior School of Hospitality of Seville and the Himkok cocktail bar in Oslo, has received several awards since 2016, being 'Art of Italicus 2019 National Finalist' and 'Top 50 World Class Diageo Iberia'. His secret: Passion and perseverance.

How did you become a bartender?

After my studies at the Superior School of Hospitality of Seville and do my internships nationwide, I decided to make the leap to bartending. I moved to Norway in order to acquire knowledge at the Himkok, considered one of the world best cocktail bars (currently "Top 50 Best Bars" ranking 19th position).

What got you hooked into this profession?

When you go into the cocktails world, you discover that there is a lot of work behind each drink, a lot of research to discover new sensations and flavors, and that aroused my interest and desire to learn.

FIZZ Bar Mercer Sevilla

What do you like the most about being a bartender?

Being able to offer new sensations, unique and different experiences, having direct contact with clients, giving advices to them: When a client enjoy one of my recommendations or creations, I feel satisfaction for my job.

In your opinion, what qualities should have a good bartender?

First of all, hospitality is a must. Any hospitality professional should be hospitable to the client above all. In addition, it is important to move forward and innovate through new techniques, products or flavors.

How should be a perfect mixed drink?

I don’t think there is a perfect mixed drink as it will depend on the taste of each consumer, which is given by multiple factors such as origin or eating habits. Our palate is formed with the memories of everything we taste and this largely defines our tastes. Therefore, the perfect mixed drink will be the one that has the conditions of each person to make it pleasant and unique.

FIZZ Bar Mercer Sevilla

What is the best time of day to have a cocktail?

Any time can be great to enjoy a good cocktail, from a mid-morning Bloody Mary to recharge the batteries, to a Dry Martini as a snack before having lunch. It will depend on your mood, but always making responsible alcohol consumption.

What is the consumers current taste?

Little by little consumers are acquiring more knowledge about the cocktail world, each time they are more curious and daring. This supposes a bigger challenge and rigorousness. Of course, the classic mixology continues being the starting point for the consumer as for the bartender.

FIZZ Bar Mercer Sevilla

Mixology is in fashion nowadays, where are the new trends going?

Certainly, we are currently living a new mixology golden age. And I think that those who are offering local and artisan products are succeeding. Behind these products there is a great R&D work to improve the customer experience, which is reflected in the final drink. I think this is and will be the trend: Offering a unique and different experience to the customer.

FIZZ Bar Mercer Sevilla

What can you tell us about the FIZZ Bar?

The FIZZ Bar is located in the extraordinary setting of the Mercer Sevilla, the 5*GL hotel in the historical district of Arenal, next to La Maestranza. It is a 19th century bourgeois palace with only 12 rooms, whose philosophy is to offer an impeccable service so that each client lives a memorable experience. And the FIZZ Bar contributes to that experience.

What do you think you are offering your clients that is unique in Seville?

It's one of the most pleasant, elegant and sophisticated places in the city for a quiet drink. And in addition toclassic cocktails, we propose our distinctive 'cocktail culture' with a series of exclusive cocktails.

FIZZ Bar Mercer Sevilla

What is the most requested cocktail in the FIZZ Bar?

‘Perfetto Errore’ is the most appreciated cocktail from our menu. We make it with a homemade grapefruit bitter, Palo Cortado and bergamot Rosolio. It’s an aperitif with sherry wine flavor, dry and fresh, with little alcohol content, which allows you to drink it before enjoying a dinner, as well as get closer to the Andalusian culture through our wines.

Favourite Cocktail Bar: Although I will always feel part of the Himkok family where I was trained, the Fizz Bar is my favorite cocktail bar, it’s the one that represents me and where I can express myself.
Favourite cocktail: Sidecar. I love this cocktail complexity with a brandy base, citrus and dry touches.
Favourite ingredient: I like to work with generous wines, I think they give a personal touch to the current mixology.
Distilled fetish: Rum, definitely. Each rum is unique. I love to enjoy a glass of rum to relax.
Not missing in your bar: The smile and the desire to make the customer live a unique experience.

FIZZ Bar

Calle Castelar, 26 (Sevilla)

Tel. +34 95 422 30 04

fizzbar@mercersevilla.com

www.mercersevilla.com

From Monday to Sunday, from 4pm to 12pm

Seville, at Giralda’s feet

Giralda is without any doubt the main character of Seville’s historical center, an authentic visual show that hides remarkable history.

THE CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE

Declared a World Heritage Site, the Cathedral of 'Santa María de la Sede' (known as Seville’s Cathedral) is the gothic temple with the largest surface in the world and symbol of the Andalusian capital. The Cathedral was built on the ancient largest Mosque (12th century,) of which the old minaret -current Giralda- and the Patio de los Naranjos (Orange Trees Courtyard) are preserved.

Seville Cathedral

Symbols par excellence of Seville, the Cathedral and the Giralda are set in the heart of the city, just in front of the EME Catedral Hotel and just 500 meters away from the Mercer Sevilla.

EME Catedral Hotel

THE GIRALDA

The Giralda is the watchtower of the bell tower that ends the Cathedral of Seville. Its construction began in the 12th century inspired by the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech.

The lower two thirds of this tower belong to the minaret of the old Mosque of Seville, the upper third is a construction added in Christian times to house the bells (13th century). And on the summit, stands the “Giraldillo” (16th century).

Giralda’s name comes from the vane that crowns the tower popularly known as the Giraldillo ("that turns with the wind"). This sculpture called "Triumph of the Victorious Faith" (the victory of Christianity over the Muslim world) is made in bronze and weights more than a ton.

RECORD NUMBERS

With its over 100 meters, the Giralda was for centuries the tallest tower in Spain and one of the highest in Europe. In addition, it became and still is a fingerprint in the configuration of the skyline in Seville, being its tallest building until the recent construction of the Pelli Tower. With a total of 24 bells, it is considered the Cathedral with the most bells in Spain.

For some years, a replica of the Giraldillo is located in the Prince Cathedral Gate, which allows visitors to admire all its details up close.

Seville Cathedral

NEST OF CULTURES

Witness to Seville’s, the Giralda represents the harmonious combination of the different architectural styles of the various civilizations that left their print on the building.

The Giralda is composed by two main parts: The first one of the tower is the Muslim one, when the Caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf ordered the construction of the minaret of the Almohad mosque, in the 12th century. Later in the 16th century, the Christian part was added with the bell tower and the statue that symbolizes the faith, designed by the architect Hernán Ruiz. To these bodies are added the lilies (with a jug of bronze lilies in each of the four corners) and a last Renaissance segment.


INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE GIRALDA

The restoration work has allowed to reveal the original reddish color of the Giralda. In Murillo’s paintings, the Giralda was already shown in that color, which started to vanish due to the pass of time and several restorations made in the 18th and 19th centuries
Did you know that La Giralda has no stairs? That allowed the sultan to climb up on his horse while contemplating the views, 35 ramps were arranged.
One of the Giralda purpose throughout its history was as a lightning usage, that announced events or celebrations (as it’s done in modern skyscrapers!).
From the viewpoint, you can contemplate the whole city, and at the foot of the Giralda, the Patio de los Naranjos and the imposing Cathedral of Seville.

Seville Cathedral

Mercer Hoteles expands its portfolio managing the renowned Hotel EME Catedral in Sevilla

With this new addition, the group specialized in the luxury market sums up eight establishments, three of them under renovation, and will achieve a portfolio of twelve hotels in the following three years.


Currently the company is redefining the luxury hotel industry in Spain with an innovative approach that is perceived in each of its properties. Mercer Hoteles commitment is to create hotels where the hospitality takes place in historical settings, signed by great architects, accompanied by an outstanding service and haute cuisine.

MERCER HOTELS UNTIL TODAY

The company was born in 2005 with the Mercer House Bòria BCN opening, set in an 18th century palace in the Barcelona Born District. Four years later, the Mercer Hotel Casa Torner i Güell opened in a Modernist building located in Vilafranca del Penedès (Barcelona).

Mercer House Bòria BCN y Mercer Vilafranca

In 2012 the first 5-star establishment of the chain was inaugurated. The Mercer Hotel Barcelona is located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. The Mercer Hotels flagship occupies a medieval palace on part of the Roman wall of Barcino and was restored by the prestigious architect Rafael Moneo (Pritzker Prize). 

Mercer Hotel Barcelona

In 2016 a new opening takes place in Sevilla. The Mercer Sevilla is an innovative 5-star hotel located in the Casa Palacio Castelar, a 19th century bourgeois palace in the historical Arenal district. Architects Cruz and Ortiz are responsible for the hotel renovation, responsible of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum rehabilitation within other projects.

Mercer Hotel Sevilla


This autumn of 2018 sets the beginning of an ambitious expansion project for this Spanish hotel chain that starts with the incorporation of the renowned EME Catedral Hotel in Seville.

EME CATEDRAL HOTEL

EME Catedral Hotel opens its doors in 2008, being the first hotel in Seville combining history and modernity, with the impressive background of La Giralda and the Seville Cathedral (the largest Gothic church in the world), in the picturesque Santa Cruz district, city’s old Jewish quarter.

EME Catedral Hotel Sevilla

EME is placed in a historic building, originally composed of 14 defined typical Sevillian houses from the 16th century, which restoration result is a modern and young hotel, with a design that reflects the contemporary Sevillian lifestyle.

EME Catedral Hotel Sevilla

Due to its excellent location and unique views over the Cathedral and the Giralda, the hotel's terrace quickly becomes popular among Sevillians, becoming a must do along these ten years.

EME Catedral Hotel Sevilla

From December 2018, the EME Catedral Hotel management passes into Mercer Hoteles hands. So during 2019, the hotel will experience a series of updates to adapt it to Mercer Hoteles standards, respecting the identity and character of the building.

Without losing the Mercer Hotels luxury and sophistication characteristics, the new EME marks the starting point of an innovative hotel concept, more vibrant, young and urban.

“Services will also be adapted to contemporary luxury. The spa, the panoramic restaurant or the cocktail bar will take a new main role”, explains Amanda Molina, Mercer Hoteles Projects Manager. “The interventions in the hotel will be light, decorative and especially respectful with its architecture, surroundings and history. This will allow maintaining its doors open during the process”.

 

Welcome EME Catedral Hotel!
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).

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

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

"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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