What To See In Triana (Seville)
A place that punches all the flavour and charm
Table of Contents
Brief History of Triana in Seville.
Romans have Trastevere, we have Triana. Apart from the legend, there are different theories about the origin of the name Triana.
The most common theory says that the name comes from “Three Rivers” (Tri-anna in celtiberic language). Three branches from the Guadalquivir river. Centuries ago, the actual river formed an enormous delta around Seville, with time this delta turned intro branches that eventually concentrated into three. Nowadays one of those branches separates Seville from the Aljarafe, the other one was turned into an artificial canal (Torre del Oro) and the last one dried up (Alameda).
Some experts claim that the name comes from a former neighborhood founded in times of Emperor Traian, hence the name Traiana.
Others say that the Muslims used to call it Atrayana or Athriana which is a fonetic variation of Traiana and its translation from Arabic means “beyond the river”.
And the latest theory is a little is more religious and involves the day of Santa Ana, patroness of the precinct. According to the Latin Missal from the XIII century found in the Cathedral’s library, recites “Tris Anne plene gracie nobis…”. In this way the prefix “tris” would be the abbreviation of “mater-matris”, this means Triana was the evolution from Mother Ana. Coincidently, the most important church is the Sta Ana church. And locals tend to call it the Cathedral of Triana.
Stories aside, traditionally this has been a neighborhood of sailors, workers, potters, ceramist. Famous also for its bullfighters, flamenco singers and dancers. Also in the past, the neighbourhood has had a numerous gypsy population with the majority of them concentrated around a place called Cava de los Gitanos. Most gypsy families were artisans, dedicated to blacksmith. It’s believed that flamenco genre was immerse at the end of the XVIII century in Seville and surrounding villages all starting in Triana. Also there is a high credibility hypothesis indicating the influence in Flamenco dance that comes all the way from India, origin of the gypsy population.
Triana’s main industry traditionally was the production of terracotta, ceramic tiles, azulejos, and bricks in general thanks to the clay and silty soil located around Triana.
The oldest remains found of clay activity goes back to the Almohad period (XII). Though we’re absolutely certain that there was activity before mostly because Seville was famous in Rome for its olive oil. Also Santa Justa and Santa Rufina were known in the crockery business. The use of Triana’s ceramic became mainstream around the XV century. Used mostly by wealthy families to decorate their palaces. And speaking of chinaware, in 1841 British businessman Charles Pickman repurposed the old Cartuja monastery and turned it into a terracotta factory. Still today it’s one of the most famous chinaware in use.
In the first half of the XX century, the Regionalist architecture demanded lots of ceramic work, contributing to a rise in production. In total there were 24 factories dedicated to this kind of product.
When it comes to history, the most famous and notorious neighbor known outside Spain and transcended in time was Juan Rodriguez Bermejo a.k.a. Rodrigo de Triana. The first man that yelled from the top of his lungs sitting on his crows nest in one of the Caravelles “ Land Ahoy!” In 1492.
Just across the river, opposite Torre del Oro is located Calle Betis (name given by the romans to the river) filled with bars and restaurants always filled with locals and tourists. Making it an interesting part of the nightlife of the city.
Plaza del Altozano. A land mark itselfs, historically a meeting point where travelers congregate before crossing the boat bridge that unite Triana and Seville.
Today’s plaza is decorated with the typical regional architecture style. Standing out is a sculpture of Torero Juan Belmonte, deeply connected to Triana and unveiled in 1972 and another one dedicated to Flamenco in 1994.
Triana’s Market (San Jorge Castle)
Across Altozano Sq. is the market. Built over the ruins of the former Castle of San Jorge. Former headquarter of the Sacred Inquisition since 1481, although originally built by the Almohads around 1171. In the 90’s the old market was leveled to build a more modern one leaving parts of its history naked to be seen. Inaugurated finally in 2001. Behing the Market it’s easy to reach the Callejón de la Inquisición (Inquisition alleyway). For over 150 years the only visible testimony of the presence of the Inquisition in the city.
Santa Ana Church (oldest church in Seville)
This church goes back to the XIII century, by far the oldest in Seville. Partially rebuilt after the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. Parish church built following the Gothic-Mudéjar Style ordered by king Alfonso X The wise- The origin, according to the inscription found on one side of the walls is due thanks to the cure of an eye illness the king was suffering. It was a miraculous intervention by Santa Ana. After conquering the city, King Alfonso sent to build living quarters surrounding San Jorge castle, making the church of Santa Ana the neighborhood parish. Of course, this church must be fortified, being the first one built outside city walls after the Reconquista.
Headquarter of the brotherhood of Esperanza de Triana. One of the most venerated Virgin during Easter in the city. Evidently, she’s the Virgin of people of Triana. And known as THE VIRGIN, queen and Lady of Seville and Triana by the great devotion she awakes around the planet.
Puente De Triana (Triana’s Bridge)
And finally, connecting the City with the Barrio, we must go across what most people know as Triana’s bridge. Though it’s original name is Bridge of Isabel II. The design was made following an already existing bridge in Paris known as Carrousel bridge. Today this French bridge is gone. But our bridge is still standing stronger than ever. The materials used; stone pillars and iron. Specifically the iron must be casted in Seville. Construction started in 1845 and finished in 1852. Inaugural ceremony was held in February 1852 with a military parade. In 1976 the bridge was declared National Historical Monument.