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Seville: New Exhibition for the Murillo Year

(from Dec 2018 to March 6 2019)

It is already possible to visit the exhibition 'Aplicación Murillo. Materialismo, Charitas y populismo', the last exhibition to be celebrated with occasion the 400th birthday of the great master. This celebration has attracted two million visitors this year.

More than 600 works are part of the largest exhibition of contemporary art in the city. Under the direction of Pedro G. Romero, Luis Martínez Montiel and Joaquín Vázquez, `Aplicación Murillo, Materialismo, charitas y populismo ́ shows the power with which Murillo's work can still operate in the 21st century. So Picasso, Ángeles Santos, Sonia Delaunay, Tarsila do Amaral, Norah Borges, Dora Maar, Josefa Tolrá, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Walker Evans, Helen Lewitt, Julio Romero de Torres, Solana, David Hockney, Joseph Beuys, Sol Lewitt, Tacita Dean, Juan Muñoz, Museo del Pueblo de las Misiones Pedagógicas (Ramón Gaya, Juan Bonafé and others), Joam Colom, José de Val del Omar, Víctor Erice, Patti Smith, Harum Farocki, Equipo Crónica, Agustín Ibarrola, Ramón Massat, Nan Golding, Pepe Espaliu, Ocaña, Esther Ferrer, Dora García, Cabello&Carceller, Eulalia Valldosera, Eva Lootz, Carmen Laffón and Luis Gordillo, and many others.

The exhibition comprises 30 lending institutions, including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, which distinguishes itself as a cooperating institution. For this project, Seville has received loans from the Biblioteca Nacional España, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona, the Fundación La Caixa, the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Artium, the Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo de Vitoria Gasteiz, the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Museo del Romanticismo, the Focus Foundation, and the Fundus Diego Angulo of the Legado Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, Pérez Sánchez, Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, Museo de Bellas Artes de Córdoba, Lancaster House in Great Britain and up to 20 other institutions in Spain and Europe.

In addition, 13 guest artists have created or lent specific works for this exhibition: Paula Rego, Inés Doujack, 4Taxis, Hiwa K, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, Julio Jara, Teresa Lanceta, Miguel Trillo, Salome del Campo, Gloria Martín, Oriol Vilapuig, Oriol Vilanova and Patricia Caballero.

The exhibition is divided into five different rooms: a visit that begins in the four rooms of Santa Clara, continues in the three rooms of Atín Aya, leads through two rooms of the Hospital de los Venerables, the seat of the Focus Foundation, continues in two large rooms of Cicus and ends in the Hospital de la Caridad.

Cathedral and Alcazar skip the line admission tickets

ADMISSION-PRIORITY-ALCAZAR-SEVILLEThe ALCAZAR Royal palace of Seville, called Reales Alcazares, receives every year more than 2 millions visitors. The lines at the gate could be very long and tiring, especially during high season: March, April, May, June, September, December.

The ways to skip the lines are three, thus any of these above options give you priority above the regular long line:

    1. Visit the site with guide + prepaid tickets (general admission tickets sold here), this way you will get absolute priority rights. Book your private guide.
    2. Visit the site with guide (and buy your admissions on the spot), this way you will get second priority rights, this means you fall on the guide's led groups line but not on the long ticketless visitor's line. This option is good after 1:00 PM, when the mass of tourists go to lunch and the guides' lead groups disappear from the line. Book your private guide.
    3. Visit the site on your own with prepaid tickets (general admission tickets + audioguide sold here), this way you will get priority rights on every other line that you see.

  tickets-cathedral-SEVILLEThe Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria of Seville, receives every year over 1.5 millions visitors. The lines at the gate and under the sun or in the rain could be very nasty and annoying, especially during high season: March, April, May, June, September, December.

The ways to skip the lines are four, ans any of these above options give you priority above the regular long line:

  1. Visit the site with guide + prepaid tickets (tickets including Cathedral and Giralda are sold here), this way you will get absolute priority rights. In so doing, you will be able to jump over any line in matter of seconds. You and your guide will enter the gate at the foot of Giralda tower, not the general gate! Book your private guide.
  2. Visit the site with guide (and buy your admissions at counter), this way you will get priority rights, this means you fall on the guides-led groups line, but not on the long ticketless visitor's line. This option is good after 1:00 PM, when the mass of tourists go to lunch and the guides' lead groups disappear from the line. Book your private guide.
  3. Visit the site on your own with prepaid tickets (tickets including Cathedral and Giralda are sold here), this way you will also get priority rights. Enter the Cathedral through the gate at the foot of Giralda tower, not the general gate!
  4. Visit the site on your own and buy tickets at counter between six days and the day before your visit, at the Basilica del Salvador, Plaza del Salvador (Sevilla old town): Monday to Saturday from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM and Sunday from 2:30PM too 5:00PM. You will enter the Cathedral from the gate at the foot of Giralda tower, not the general gate!

  SKIP-THE-LINE-SEVILLE ¡ Que no te pille el toro ! Don't be catched by the bull ! This is what we say in Seville to mean "prepare things ahead of time"

Alhambra: skip-the-lines tickets and priority admissions

The best way to get immediate and guaranteed access tickets to Alhambra (jump over the lines), is to buy the tickets online here.   meeting place Alhambra tour In case they were sold out, you may buy the Granada card here. This card gives you access to all sites and monuments of the city of Granada, including Alhambra (Nasrid palaces, Gardens, Generalife palace and gardens, Alcazaba military fort).   The picture shows the traditional meeting point at Alhambra gate (el mapa, this is the "map wall")   Is it advisable to do the line at counter and try to purchase the tickets on the spot? Absolutely not. If you Book your private guide you will never do lines.

The Spanish guitar that Barack Obama left behind

On July 9th 2016, the city of Seville got dressed up as a beautiful gitana, putting on her best traje de lunares to welcome one of the most prestigious guest ever, the former President of United States Mr. Barack Obama.

The ex-President, on the way back from Rota Navy Base, scheduled a brief visit to the Andalusian capital before leaving for US from Madrid Airport.

Guide Jesus Naranjo and Michelle Obama in Ronda
Guide Jesus Naranjo and Michelle Obama in Ronda
The news was happily welcomed by the city and Obama's visit raised citizens’ curiosity. The details of the visit were obviously strictly confidential (until the very last moment nobody could tell whether the ex-President would have stayed at Gran Melia Colón Hotel, a stylish and modern hotel or at Alfonso XIII, a rather luxurious and majestic hotel). Nonetheless, many rumors spread out.

According to sources, Obama should have spent about 18 hours in Seville. He’d have visited the Cathedral, going up to Giralda Tower, from which he would have waved at the crowds. King Felipe VI would have welcomed him inside Real Alcazar, and the ex-President would have had about 45 min visit, being toured by one of the 600 touring guides who’ve been specifically pre-selected. Traffic, including cycles and scooters would be backed up. Neither Michelle Obama nor Queen Letizia would have accompanied their husbands, and weather previsions (110 º F) said that Obama would have truly experienced what calóh is (typical and quite unbearable Seville’s summer heat).

The dramatic events occurred in Dallas on July 7 and 8 forced the ex-President to cancel the visit and run back to USA to face the crisis.
Obama's hand-made flamenco guitar
What’s left of Barack Obama’s canceled visit is a unique and invaluable flamenco guitar which brilliant luthier Antonio Bernal made for him, and which Antonio’s still patiently waiting to give Obama.We use to say that Flamenco is the blues of Spain, and after listening Obama singing Sweet home Chicago... Mr. president, when are you planning to visit Seville again? Seville is looking forward to have you as guest. Also, the White House booked a great private guide, who is still waiting to show Obama around as well!

Andalousie en fauteuil roulant (Italo, nôtre client)

Sorry, this entry is only available in French. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

Cette entrée a été publiée dans GALM, lésion de la moelle épinière, mobilité, loisirs et tagged galm, lésion de la moelle épinière, tourisme accessible.  


En espérant que ces brèves notes pourront être utiles, au moins en partie, je vous souhaite un bon voyage dans cette destination vraiment méritante parmi les nombreux sites du patrimoine mondial.


J'ai 67 ans et je voyage en fauteuil roulant depuis que je suis atteinte d'une sclérose en plaques. Avec ma femme, nous avons fait un voyage en Andalousie en mai de l’année dernière, soit quatre jours à Séville. Nous avons fait un jour à Cordoue en train et nous sommes allés à Grenade où nous sommes restés deux jours.  


Tout d’abord un clin d’œil aux hôtels. Bien qu’ayant visité le site et appelé à l’avance pour me faire part du degré d’accessibilité de l’hôtel et en particulier de la salle de bain, j’ai eu la surprise dans l'hotel reservé à Séville, très confortable situé dans le centre historique et avec un personnel amical et serviable,mais j'ai rencontré de nombreuses difficultés dans la salle de bain où je devais me débrouiller avec un expédient. L’hôtel réservé à Grenade (Hotel Páraga Siete) était conforme aux attentes: très agréable et bien meublé, parfaitement accessible et pratiquement à 5 minutes à pied du centre. Donc, mon conseil est de bien vous renseigner à l'avance sur l'accesibilité aux fauteuils dans les hotels . Je n'ai pas changé celui de Séville parce que j'étais en place, j'aurais rencontré plus de problèmes. Le séjour à Séville était très beau car la ville est belle. Nous avons atteint des pics de température de 39 ° C. mais nous les avons suffisamment supportés, en essayant de marcher à l'ombre.   Toute la ville est accesible avec un fauteuil roulant. En dehors du centre historique, il y a des pistes cyclables lisses où le symbole classique du cycliste et du fauteuil roulant sont intelligemment conçus. À l'intérieur de la vieille ville, les pistes cyclables sont marquées par des crampons sur le trottoir. existant, ce qui est très varié: il y a des plaques lisses, des tuiles lisses entrecoupées de pierres de pierres de rivière, quelques rues (heureusement quelques-unes) ne sont que des pierres de rivière cimentées et des pavés en pierre. La ville est dans les plaines, j'ai dansé un peu, mais ça valait le coup.   Je suggère de demander immédiatement à l’office de tourisme de la Plaza Nueva de Séville avec l’emplacement et la description des monuments, éventuellement en italien, mais aussi en espagnol.   Il y a beaucoup de belles choses à voir. Je recommande une visite guidée avec Sevilla Tour Sightseeing, les bus rouges à impériale classiques qui vous permettent d’avoir des informations tout au long de votre itinéraire, également en italien. Vous pouvez également descendre à différents arrêts pour visiter indépendamment les différents monuments. Le billet, qui dure 1 ou 2 jours, comprend également des visites gratuites et 4 itinéraires de promenade guidés, en espagnol et en anglais, pour des quartiers pittoresques aux rues étroites qui ne peuvent être appréciées qu’en marchant. Le système manuel de la plate-forme est renversé par les chauffeurs des autobus du Sevilla Tour et des autobus publics, qui ne se coincent jamais, contrairement aux automobilistes. Attention: il y a aussi des bus verts pour la visite mais ils ne sont pas accessibles.   Il existe également des bus quotidiens de différentes longueurs qui incluent l'accès aux monuments et aux lieux à visiter: soyez prudent, car ils sont liés à l'organisation d'autobus non accessibles et ne prévoient pas de réduction ni de gratification pour les utilisateurs de fauteuils roulants; à certains endroits, voir Alcazar, l'entrée est une priorité; il faut être reconnu. Apportez toujours un certificat d’invalidité.   Le circuit "En bateau sur le Guadalquivir" consiste en une heure de trajet aller-retour sur le fleuve. Il est important de faire appel à la compagnie verte qui est la seule à disposer de bateaux disponible d'accès en fauteuils .   Les visites guidées sont principalement en anglais et en espagnol; pour l'italien, vous devez rechercher un groupe organisé ou une visite privée. Pour les visites principales, cathédrale, alcazar, je suggère un guide; nous avons déjà trouvé un guide d'Italie, et je vous le recommande vivement, Francesco Soriquez.   Email: salut@visitesevilefrancais .com, portable +34 627697758 – 0034 611 088826 site; est très compétent et montre des aspects particuliers et détaillés de ce que vous visitez, en fonction de vos intérêts. Pour nous, ce monsieur s’est acquitté de sa tâche de manière beaucoup plus complète qu’un simple guide: peut-être par affinité avec la langue maternelle. Il ne faut absolument pas manquer de visiter la cathédrale, la troisième plus grande au monde, avec une tour adjacente de la Giralda; Malheureusement, ce n'est pas accessible à cause des dizaines d'étapes pour se rendre à 70 mètres, où il faut une poussée puissante pour le fauteuil roulant.   L'Alcazar est à ne pas manquer. Il n’est pas complètement accessible mais, dans la mesure du possible, il existe des plateformes pour surmonter les différentes étapes; Comme déjà mentionné, l'entrée est gratuite et prioritaire pour nous.   Vous ne pouvez pas manquer un spectacle de flamenco; nous sommes allés au musée du Baile Flamenco où il y a deux représentations nocturnes ; Mieux vaut y aller un peu tôt pour trouver les meilleurs endroits. Attention à la Torre de los Perdigones, intéressante selon les guides, mais inaccessible à cause des 8 dernières marches après l'ascenseur.  


  Pour une journée avec un trajet confortable en train. Le service du quai est demandé directement à la billetterie et, comme en Italie, vous devez vous rendre au point de rendez-vous 30 minutes avant le départ. La voie ferrée est plus dans les tranchées que la nôtre, il s'agit donc de gravir une marche, même si elle est assez haute.   Même la ville de Cordoue peut être visitée à pied. Le seul problème, c’est que le centre historique, la partie à visiter, se trouve dans les collines, puis que les sels et la chaussée goudronnent la poussée. C'est une belle ville surtout pour ses coins caractéristiques: les rues étroites de la Juderia et les maisons caractéristiques avec des pots de fleurs accrochés aux murs. La cathédrale de l'Immaculée Conception de Marie et de la Très Sainte Mosquée est immense . Elle est tout à fait accessible: c'est le symbole de la ville. Extérieurement, et aussi en grande partie interne, c'est une mosquée à tous égards. La cathédrale gothique a été construite à l'intérieur.   Également pour Cordoba dans le réseau il y a des plantes et des visites recommandées, toutes dans le centre historique. Veuillez noter que la synagogue n’est ouverte que le matin, contrairement à celle du réseau déclaré. L'Alcazar n'est pas absolument accessible. Une visite gratuite de quelques heures à pied avec de jeunes diplômés volontaires est organisée pour les amateurs de plein air. Elle part à 10h30 de la Plaza de las Tendillas.   Séville a tout pour être appréciée pour l’atmosphère ainsi que pour la gentillesse et l’utilité des habitants.   GRENADE  

Pour deux jours en train, de Séville à Grenade, il faut 3 heures. En fait, il n'y a pas de grande vitesse, mais des convois similaires à directs. Grenade attire particulièrement les touristes pour l'Alhambra, un complexe magnifique à l'architecture arabe unique. Malheureusement, ce n’est pas tout à fait accessible, mais je pense que la partie que vous pouvez visiter en fauteuil roulant est peut-être suffisante. La réservation en ligne doit être faite longtemps avant car l'entrée est contingente. Quand j'y suis allé, il y avait 7 700 entrées par jour à heure fixe. Je ne sais pas s'il y a des réductions parce que je n'ai pas trouvé de numéro de téléphone pour avoir des informations. À l'Alhambra, les minibus équipés de la cathédrale (numéro 30) sont mis à disposition.

  Grenade est également une ville belle et caractéristique, mais la région intéressante et recommandée à visiter où se trouvent la plupart des palais est l’Albayzin, patrimoine mondial de l’Unesco. Il est vrai que tous les guides ont besoin de le visiter, mais malheureusement pour aucun, il n’ya qu’un problème: c’est une colline aux pentes abruptes, aux rues pavées. Je n'étais pas préparé à cette situation et mes visites autour de Grenade se sont limitées à la cathédrale et à tous les quartiers voisins, avec des aspects caractéristiques.

Si vous voulez vraiment visiter Albayzin, vous pouvez utiliser un minibus (n ° 31) qui descend et monte à votre guise. Dans ce cas, il est préférable de se renseigner sur un abonnement, car le trajet non programmé coûte 1,2 € à chaque fois.


Avec le bus publique, je suis allé au Belvédère de San Nicolás, qui offre les meilleures vues sur l’Alhambra et nous permet d’obtenir une image globale de l’ensemble monumental. C'est un bel endroit avec de la musique tsigane, le seul problème c'est les 200 derniers mètres, de l'arrêt de bus à la place, qui sont sur une pente raide avec deux courbes et le fond en galets de rivière cimentés: je dois remercier les deux personnes qui m'ont aidé pour la montée et en particulier pour la descente dangereuse, merci a ces deux jeunes volontaires et robuste.


Andalusians generally spend a lot of money on pilgrimages, to make their yearly visits to the Virgin much-talked-about. sin pecado rocio sevillaThe pilgrimage is not just a festive consequence of a Christian eagerness (mostly for the Virgin Mary), but there are many attractions even before the beginning of the pilgrimage. Dressing in the pilgrim (romero/romera) costume is a ritual that is fulfilled in all of its senses, physical, spiritual, folk.

Getting together again with the eternal friends from the fraternity, enjoying the preparations, decorating the Simpecado (standard carried on a wheeled altar), and preparing one's own wagon and turn it into a singing cloud, leaving the quarters triumphantly, like a troop ready to conquer, on horseback with or without one's partner, among applause (like the legions of Caesar), with the sound of drums and Sevillana songs... girls costums seville festival

In the mornings Seville has a special light decorated by the slow transit of wagons drawn by patient oxen that look like creatures from another civilization. And in the place of honor is the Simpecado, which is the center of worship until the brotherhood reaches the village of Almonte along the way with singing and dancing prayers, water and wine celebrating the time that is to come. In the village the queen is the image of the Virgin, found centuries ago by a hunter.

The morning the pilgrims leave they shine more than the sun; the bells pealing with joy encourage the spring adventure, and the rest is an exhibition of a traveling popular art, of invisible loving hands. The way to the village is something else, voices drop when the city is left way behind, the pilgrims' throats are sore and their feet feel heavy, they have to measure their strength. The third act is the leiv motiv: staying in the crowded village, the sacred place of the Blanca Paloma (= White Dove, the popular name of the Virgin in this village).

The return may look like a retiring army full of emotions, but this is not so, they still have strength to sing sadly about the end of the pilgrimage until the following year, so far away...devotion virgin mary rociodevotion blanca paloma rocio


Bar, taverns and not pubs, which is something different; the place for tapas and drinks, is like the emergency room of a hospital: it becomes gloomy or it becomes lively without anyone being able to foresee it, except at certain times for breakfast, snack time and early coffee.

Not only hunger takes us to bars, there are other more subtle reasons. We really go when we want to satisfy our spirit, either because we need to think or the opposite. A bar is always one's own territory even when we to into one for the first time, though the most important part is to get a place, always the same place, and a friend who just by looking at you when you come in can I appreciate the way you feel that day. The classical bar addict will refuse any seat, he will step on the foot rest and will lean on the bar with his elbow in natural elegance, hiking a strategic corner where he cannot bother anyone and no one will bother him.

The bar tender knows when to come up to him and when to serve at a certain distance; without any questions he will serve the beer or wine with the same calmness as a doctor handing a prescription. A good bar is a bar that entertains the five senses, though taste is the most important.

If one comes out purified from a bar after staying there for the right amount of time, not a minute more, because the bar tender will lose interest in you from that moment on; however, what most bothers him is, when you enter and leave in a stampede, in a hurry between sips and bites.

One can not always choose their company. You have to know how to handle boring people. And when you leave the bar with the unavoidable "friend" you just met, playing to he new friends with the head full of drinks, do not ask him for a business card, because after the last hug you will both be complete strangers. A bar creates this illusion, because in real world there is no one who is able to agree with me for two hours. Remember him as a picture with no name of a while in limbo.

To sum up, a bar exists for us to feel good with ourselves. Its social facet is only apparent.

Madrid: Going OUT

- a post from my special guest Gemma García -

Many of my guests are also visiting Madrid during their trip to Spain

and many ask me to recommend them a good tour guide in Madrid. Today it's my pleasure to introduce you to Gemma, from Madrid Cool & Cultural, who's sharing her passion for Madrid with a very special guest post.

gemma garcía madrid cool and cultural

Madrid: Going OUT

Madrid seemed frantic to become a copy of any other European metropolis, but now the city feels more Spanish again. Resourcefulness, creativity and reinvention are bubbling up in art galleries, designer ateliers and restaurants. The city’s symbol may be a bear, but for style, culture, history and sybaritic delights, there are plenty of reasons to be bullish on Madrid.

Are you following us?

ART- Art in Madrid is motion since the 14th till the 21st century. Allow us to astonish you with pictures to be watched through a mirror, with moving tables, with stone made characters that look real.

LIGHT- Madrid Light is magic and makes its maze-like streets change in every corner, rendering each trip unique and different. That is why it may have been an inspiration source for so many painters.

WATER – Crucial element in our original name MAGIRITH –mother of water- it made Arabs dream with its hearing and Jewish enjoy their purifying Migbés.

SHOP – From art galleries transformed into bars, to amazing artists ateliers, it’s to be included one of our favourite leather factories that was founded in Madrid in 1850. Loewe will take you to the glamourous Gran Vía where Ava Gardner used to walk up and down towards her beloved shop window.


“ Is Madrid a brave town, that with older and more modern, has it more than 100 taverns and one single bookshop in place”.

This was stated 300 years ago by one of our most distinguished neighbours and still the ratio hasn’t changed much. Traditional taverns, gastrobars and its 18 Michelin stars won’t disappoint you.

Do you trust us? Let us show you these places of the beaten path where only locals go.

Always passionate about Art and History, after living for a year in Boston, USA, she decided to turn her hobby into her profession and founded Madrid Cool & Cultural in September 2010, focused exclusively on organizing tours for small groups of artistically and culturally motivated travelers. Her tours are very creative: her experience as a traveler and lover of art, culture, and gastronomy has being extremely useful in designing a unique product, molded to the tastes of each client and the time spent in town.

Gemma García,

founder MC&C, Madrid Cool & Cultural

M Phone: +1 857 400 0695 +34 627 594 496

Passion of the South: the Flamenco Forms

The Setting macanita-de-jerezThe plaza of a southern Spanish pueblo, 1.30am, July maybe August. The temperature has finally subsided to comfortable levels. The crowd gossips animated­ly. Women fan themselves. Bottles clink on glass. A loud laugh peals out from a bar door... On a makeshift stage in a corner of the square, a seated guitarist begins to play... a run, a ripple, an eddy, a moody shuffle. The percussion section behind him, three pairs of syncopated hands, joins in. One member lets out a shout of excitement. The crowd lends an ear.

The singer, seated near the guitarist, raises her head. She waits, six, seven seconds, rocking gently to the underlying rhythm. She emits a blood-curdling, quavering shriek. The crowd lends both ears. If she has the spirit — the spirit of the song and the spirit to com­municate it to the crowd — they will stay riveted to their spots until she finishes. If she hasn't quite got it, the chatter will slowly start up again and gradually the crowd will thin.

The Forms Flamenco is a trinity of arts — song, dance and music — that first took recognisable bailaor-flamencoform among gitanos (Roma people) in Andalucia's lower Guadalquivir valley in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Its remoter origins may have included Muslim music and verses from medi­eval Spain, possibly the Byzantine chant sung long ago in Visigothic churches, and songs brought to Spain in the Middle Ages by the Gitanos themselves. Much flamenco is undoubtedly reminiscent of song and dance from India, where the gitanos supposedly originated.

The earliest flamenco was cante jondo (deep song), a tortured lament that grew from the experience of the marginalised gitanos, pushed to the periphery of Spanish society. jondura (depth, profoundness) is still the essence of flamenco, and some of the early jondo forms are still sung — notably the martinete, whose only accompaniment is the sound of a hammer striking an anvil, as in the smithies where many Gitanos worked. A flamenco singer is known as a cantaor (male) or cantaora (female); a dancer is a bailaor/a. Most of the songs and dances are performed to the guitar of the tocaor/a. Flamenco's scales and rhythms can be difficult for the average beginner to tune in to, but it's hard to remain unmoved by its passionate intensity. Technically speaking, flamenco differs from most Western music by using the Phrygian mode, in which the interval between the first and second notes of an eight-note scale is a semitone. In conventional Western music the interval is a whole tone. Spaniards, especially Andalucians, have always loved dancing, and it was only natural that dance (baile in flamenco contexts) should soon accompany song.

Traditional costumes For women, the Shawl, fan and long, frilly bata de cola dress; for men, flat Cordoban hats and tight black trousers — date from Andalucian fashions in the late 19th century, when flamenco first took to public stages. There are several main song types (palos). The siguiriya, an expres-sion of intense despair about loss or death, is the biggest test of a singer's ability. It's thought to have originated in Jerez de la Frontera, one of the three key cities of flamenco's lower Guadalquivir heartland. The solea, marginally less anguished, probably came from the Triana district of Seville, for centuries a gitano quarter. The livelier alegria is a contribution from the third city, Cadiz. Jerez is also the home of the buleria, the fastest, most upbeat type of song. Relatively lighter forms include the tango, originally from Cadiz, and its derivatives the rumba, guajira and colombiana, all with Latin American influences.

artist-manuel-molinaThe home of the fandango is Huelva, but other areas also have varieties of fandango — such as Malaga's malagueña and Granada's granaina. Almeria's taranta is not dissimilar. Coplas (flamenco songs) are made up of short, rhyming bursts called tercios; the underlying rhythm is called the compas. The highly popular sevillana dance, learnt by girls all over the country, is not flamenco at all. With high, twirling arm movements, and consisting of four parts each coming to an abrupt halt, the sevillana is probably an Andalucian version of a Castilian folk dance, the seguidilla.

Birth of the Guitar The guitar originated when the 9th-century Cordoba court musician Ziryab added a fifth string to the Arab lute. Around the 1790s a sixth string was added, probably by a Cadiz guitar-maker called Pages. In the 1870s Antonio de Torres of Almeria brought the guitar to its modern shape by enlarging its two bulges and placing the bridge centrally over the lower one to give the instrument its carrying power. Toque (literally touch, this is guitar playing) for a long time functioned solely as accompaniment to singing and dance. Percussion in flamenco is provided by stamping or tapping feet, clapping hands and sometimes castanets.