In the former house of the Marqués de las Torres (16th century) is now the Carmona Visitors’ Centre and Museum. This space shows archaeological objects that go from Prehistory to the Contemporary Era. Thus, an effective journey through the millennial history of this city of Seville is made.
Next to the museum stands the Priory Church of Santa Maria (1427). The temple, which is Gothic, was built over the main mosque. The main altarpiece, in Renaissance style, stands out. It is also worth visiting the Patio de los Naranjos, built on the site of what was the ablutions courtyard of the old mosque.
Continuing the walk through what to see in Carmona you reach the Plaza de San Fernando or “Plaza de Arriba”. It extends over the old Roman forum. Its original rectangular shape has been adapted to the current circular one. It contains houses from whose balconies the local rulers watched bullfighting shows, processions and executions. Among the buildings that make up this place are the House of the Old Audience, the Convent of Madre de Dios and the City Hall.
Alcazar Puerta de Sevilla
From the Church of San Bartolomé (built in the 15th century) shines its curious tower-façade and its chapel of Jesús Nazareno with its image from 1607. Meanwhile, in the Plaza de Blas Infante survives the imposing Alcazar de la Puerta de Sevilla. Built on Tartessian and Carthaginian foundations from the 9th century BC, it was adapted by the Romans in the 1st century. Thus, Julius Caesar proclaimed that Carmona was “the strongest city in the Betica”. The Muslims were to widen it. Today it has been restored for cultural events.
Made up of the Torre del Homenaje and the Torre del Oro, the Alcázar de la Puerta de Sevilla has a double entrance made up of two arches of different sizes. According to a popular saying, if you pass through the minor with your eyes closed and your nose covered, a wish will be fulfilled. Doing the same for the older one guarantees that you will get married. On the other hand, the Tourist Reception Centre is located on the ground floor of the building.
Alcazar de Puerta de Sevilla in Carmona. | Wikimedia
Opposite, there is a remarkable temple to be seen in Carmona. It is the Church of San Pedro (15th to 18th centuries). Its late tower, dated 1783, is called the Giraldilla because of its appearance. Inside, the baroque dome and the choir stand out. The glazed baptismal font from the 16th century and the baroque style sacramental chapel, designed by Ambrosio de Figueroa, are also worth a look.
In the easternmost part of the town, far from the historic centre, there are two important Roman remains. The Roman Amphitheatre was dedicated in its beginnings (1st century) to shows with wild animals. The Roman Necropolis from the 1st century has a large number of tombs and burners. This is due to the fact that the incineration of corpses was a widespread technique in those times. There are also collective mausoleums, of the family type. The Tomb of the Elephant is named after a sculpture found there, which became the symbol of eternity. It is actually a sanctuary dedicated to the Cybele and Attis deities.
Another landmark to be seen in Carmona, also in the Roman Necropolis, is the Tomb of Sirvilia, which stands out for its monumentality. It is a reproduction of a luxurious Hellenistic style mansion. Paintings on its walls allude to the resurrection of the god Osiris. The Visitors’ Centre and the Archaeological Museum complete the complex. The space allows visitors to admire objects obtained by Jorge Bonsor during his excavations. It also has a viewpoint and a terrace with great views.