Located in the southern part of Spain, Seville is Andalusia's capital and its biggest city. The Guadalquivir River runs through the city, which is close to the Atlantic Ocean.
Iberians founded Seville, which was later the center of many conquests and settlements by the Romans, Vandals and Visigoths. The Moors conquered it in 712 AD, and then Ferdinand the III of Castile did the same in 1248 AD. The city especially prospered during the time of New World discoveries because it served as a port for colonial trade until the 18th century.
Seeped in history and story, Seville is close to the port where Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World, and it is also home of the legendary fictional character, "Don Juan" who left to conquer the hearts of all women everywhere.
Seville is the setting for the operas The Marriage of Figaro and Carmen, as well as the Barber of Seville. The city is known for its zealous celebration of Holy Week Semana Santa every year. Also notable is one of the most sensual annual fairs, Le Feria de Abril, which lasts for a week every spring. The fair has over 1,000 marquees casetas at its central site, almost all of which are populated by brightly outfitted flamenco dancers. Since bull-fighting and flamenco are cornerstone cultural traditions in Seville, they are a large part of this fair. At noon every day there is a parade of horses pulling carriages filled with flamenco dancers and bullfights are staged at night.
Seville has numerous winding, hidden lanes showcasing gorgeous Moorish architecture, and as Beth Kephart exquisitely shows, the city has an overwhelming scent of orange blossoms lingering in its air. Seville is home to amazing tapas restaurants and stylish bars making its nightlife particularly vibrant.
Beth Kephart, the author of Small Damages, talks to reviewer Tamara Smith, about the book's setting in Seville and its relevance to the story.
Some of Seville's sights are beautifully captured in the book trailer for Small Damages below:
This article was originally published in August 2012, and has been updated for the
July 2013 paperback release.
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