Tag Archives: special events

Seville | Noche en Blanco (sleepless night) 2015


“Noches en blanco”, literally meaning Nights in White, but here used colloquially to mean sleepless nights, have become increasingly popular around Spain in recent years, including here in Seville, where the fourth annual Noche en Blanco event will be held on the evening of Friday, October 2, starting around 8 pm and continuing into the small hours of the morning. It’s organised by the Association Sevillasemueve in conjunction with many of the city’s monuments, museums and theatres, as well as tour companies and guides, with the purpose of promoting Seville’s rich cultural life to as wide an audience as possible.

The night visits and tours allow you to see monuments and museums in a different light (both literally and figuratively), and some will give access to parts of buildings normally closed to the public. Among this year’s top attractions are guided tours of the Cathedral, Los Venerables, the Archives of the Indies, the Antiquarium, Saint George’s Castle (headquarters of the Inquisition), and the Triana ceramics centre and museum, as well as exhibitions at the Casa de Murillo, Casa de la Provincia, Contemporary Arts Centre and Santa Ines Monastery.

noche blanco flamenco

Musical events include flamenco at the Casa de la Memoria and Casa del Flamenco, and a rock concert at the Mudejar Museum.

If you want to know more about Seville there’s a wide range of themed walking tours through the night time streets that will introduce you to aspects of the city you didn’t know existed.

The full programme of events can be found here.

If you’re coming to Seville on holiday, renting one of our apartments will give you the flexibility to stay out as late as you like. Have a good weekend.

Granada | Noche en Blanco (White Night)

noche en blanco granadaNoches en blanco cultural festivals, “White Nights” (the name comes originally from the midsummer festival in St Petersburg) have become something of a feature in Spain over the last couple of years, and this year Granada is holding one for the first time, starting on the evening of Saturday, October 19 and continuing into the early hours of Sunday.

The city’s streets and squares will play host to a busy programme of open air theatre, live music, shows and activities for children, and many shops, small businesses and bars will also be staying open into the small hours. A number of monuments and museums, including the Cathedral and Royal Chapel, the Alhambra Museum and the Arab Baths are also extending opening hours (generally until midnight), and there are also special walks and tours exploring various aspects of the city’s history and culture.

Granada is one of Spain’s most magical cities, especially around the Alhambra Hill, the Albaicin, River Darro and the Realejo, and La Noche en Blanco represents an unusual opportunity to see it from another perspective, and do a bit of extra exploring.

There’s something for everyone, young and old, from poetry to sport and after midnight tapas to haunted houses. To see what’s in store see the full list of all the night’s activities.

For some great apartments in the heart of the city and the thick of the action, have a look at our Loft apartments in Santa Ana Street, or the Carmen Terraces in Almanzora Alta Street.

Seville | El Rocío

If you’re visiting Seville in late May, you may be surprised by the sight of little ox-drawn wagons, looking like some strange combination of something out of the wild-west and a traditional gypsy caravan. This is the annual pilgrimage (Romería) to the shrine of the Virgin of El Rocío in the village of the same name, and, visually at least, it is perhaps the most unusual event in the local religious calendar.

It takes place over the Pentecost (Whitsun) weekend (this year May 26-28), but although the pilgrimage proper only starts at noon on the Saturday, when the cofradades (brotherhoods) begin the last leg of the journey into the town, the real pilgrims (rocieros) travel to the shrine “cross-country”, either in these little wagons, on horseback, or in trailers pulled by tractors, following one of the traditional pilgrims’ routes from Seville, Huelva or San Lucar, in the days leading up to Whitsun.

On Wednesday and Thursday mornings the Seville rocieros leave in groups from Triana, Macarena and Salvador, and pass through the city centre to the cathedral to be blessed. The men are mainly dressed in the instantly recognisable Andalucian horse-riders short jacket and tight trousers, and the women in a looser version of the flamenco dress, but it’s those little wagons that are the stars of the show.

It’s also possible to get to El Rocio by more conventional means, by car or bus, although the traffic is often horrendous. However you get there, nothing quite prepares you for how packed the town is during the pilgrimage, especially after the statue of the Virgin leaves the sanctuary of the church at around midnight on Sunday to visit the chapels of the various brotherhoods during the course of Monday morning.

By comparison, a visit to El Rocio at other times is a bit like visiting a ghost town, as most of the main buildings belong to the brotherhoods and are used only during the pilgrimage, but there is still a stunning view of the huge church that is the Virgin’s sanctuary, and there is loads of birdlife, including herons, flamingoes and storks in the nearby marshlands on the edge of Doñana Park.

[photos courtesy of ©azahar-sevilla and ©guspemar]