The color of Seville

The color of Seville—holding true for 33 years.

The words—from a 1991 song by Los Del Rio—aren’t referring to a specific color, though Seville quite literally was assigned an official color by Pantone in 2018.
They’re referring to a feeling you get as soon as you enter the city. As a foreigner living in
Seville for a while, I’ve found it incredible that the same feelings and experiences that inspired a song over 30 years ago still hold true in 2024.

The song praises Seville for the smell of orange blossoms, the talkative people, the famous
heat, and of course, flamenco.
Seville has a fiery and flamboyant spirit that apparently was as evident in the 1990s as it is
today. People still flock to see flamenco shows; as you walk through the streets today, you still hear the rhythmic clapping that usually accompanies Spanish canciones or fútbol cheers.

The color of Seville
Flamenco in Plaza de España

Yet the song also calls Seville a misteriosa reina mora—a mysterious Moorish queen. The city has a special solemnity and dignity about it, as is obvious from the Arab-influenced architecture to the reverent Semana Santa processions.
It’s a difficult phenomenon to describe. How can a city be so stable and yet constantly changing, be stately and mysterious yet open and passionate?

The color of Seville

Like the river that sedately flows through the city, Seville is a tranquil place—until the sun goes down. That’s when both locals and tourists congregate at bars and restaurants to enjoy
community and famous Andalucian food—then, the air is filled with a myriad of sounds and the babble of different languages spoken in the same instant.

If that contrast doesn’t capture Seville in a nutshell, I don’t know what does. From the ancient architecture of the Real Alcazar and the Cathedral to fiery flamenco shows and the electric spirit that’s currently overtaken the city in preparation for la Feria, Seville has proven to be a melting pot of proud heritage, solemn traditions, gastronomía, and more.

It’s a special phenomenon I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world.
Te quiero mucho, Sevilla. I love you very much, Seville. I can’t wait to come back.

«The color of Seville» is written by Hannah Hiester 😊

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