This month I am telling Andalusian love stories in my facebook page. Particularly, in my city it is possible to find legends and tales about not successful weddings, unhappy brides, unhappy wives, women who never find a husband, unfaithful women, etc. These stories normally focus in the female virtue, and in general the drama is in the air. I totally understand the existence of these legends as for a lot of centuries, sometimes it seems even nowadays, marriage was the only destiny for the good people, I insist, specially for women. Not being married or being a widow was the first step in the path to be a witch or a prostitute in the 16th century for example.
As everything revolved around marriage now there are a lot of superstitions about that. For example, when I was a child my mother used to be very careful when she was sweeping the floor close to me. She said that if somebody sweeps my feet I will never get married, something that I never understood why she was so worried about, normally she also recommend me not to marry never in my life. Anyway, what my intention with this post is to leave some of the places in Seville that we can put in relation to getting married.
This square in Maria Luisa Park is supposed to be the first place in the world where people propose marriage. How are these statistics done? I do not have the faintest idea. Probably it is not a real datum, but the place is quite romantic and dramatic.
Becquer was a Sevillian poet, the main figure in Romanticism. He was always in love with women who did not love him in return, so his poems were extremely sad, but romantic at the same time of course. Love and pain always walk hand in hand in his literature and life. Maybe that is the reason why he died very young. He is considered one of our best poets, and many people leave bouquet and bunches of all kinds of flowers in this bandstand.
The statue in his honor surrounds an enormous cypress and it is compound by different figures. There are three women representing, from right to left, the evolution in time of love according to Becquer: the love who waits, the love who is alive, and the love who is abandoned. Apart from the three women we can see Cupid in the position to hurt somebody with his arrow, but behind the bust of Becquer we can find a death Cupid.
The arch of the City Hall
The original side of the City Hall of Seville was built in the 16th century, but the construction was finished in the 19th. From San Francisco Square we can appreciate the original heavy decoration called “plateresco” in its façade. There is also an arch in the left side where Hercules, the roman hero, and Julio Cesar, the roman emperor, are represented. It is said that those who cross the arch never get married. I remember my mother holding my hand every time I was going to cross it and stopping me.
The bird in Saint Peter church
This church has a mural in the main front representing Heaven and Hell. The author painted a small bird and if you cannot find it you will never get married. It is very easy to see people standing on in front of this mural trying to see the bird, and there is always always always a fool who points at the bird with his/her finger, spoiling the findings of the rest of the group. As I do not want to spoil anybody’s fate, I will just leave the picture here without saying where is the bird.
In the picture it is really difficult to find the bird, so if you need a clue read here –> The bird is the way the author singed the mural.
Ofelia Nieto Square
Ofelia Nieto was a young promise as a soprano but she died when she was only 33 years old due to an intestinal infection. She was from Madrid but she married with a Sevillian man, and together they lived in Seville until she died. As she was very well known in my city she has this square in her honor also in Maria Luisa Park. She is represented as a bride and holding a rose and according to the legend the women who touch the rose will marry in a year.
Last time I was there with my friend Bea, who has been living in Chicago for 3 years now. Last Christmas she came for her first vacations in Seville, her hometown, and she asked me to visit Maria Luisa Park and Plaza España. She wanted to do all the touristic paths again before going back to Chicago. Once in Ofelia Nieto square, she tried to touch he rose, so did I. But it was impossible to do it if you want to maintain dry because there is a fountain just in front of it.
Summarizing, my feet have been swept, I have crossed the arch of the City Hall several times, a fool said to me where the bird in Saint Peter’s church is and I could not touch the rose of Ofelia Nieto.
- Bea, I think we will never get married. But we are empowered women anyway!
The pic of the empowerment
Are you visiting Andalusia? Maybe I can help you to organize your trip or I can be your guide. Penelope