Starcat 1 by my favourite artist

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A Sunday Stroll...

... is a good way to arrange your thoughts, enjoy a good read in a park and prepare yourself for the rigours of the working week.

It can also be full of surprises, good or bad. This Sunday's surprise was indeed a pleasant one. The Nervión quarter of Seville is a mix of the modern and the traditional as far as architecture is concerned. There are areas of low-rise houses and others of the usual modern dreck, all jostling cheek by jowl.

To get to a local park I decided to walk parallel to the modern avenues, through the smaller, turn-of-the 20th-century streets and found this:

Once a carpenter's, now a restaurant 
 As we can see from the tiling at the top of the façade, the ground floor was originally a carpentry. Probably the other floors were flats occupied by the business owner's family. This was quite common in Seville - a whole bourgeois family building, owning and occupying a large building with the commerce on the ground floor and the others being given over to accommodation. In fact, I have a friend who is the member of one such family. This hearkens back to the medieval days of the merchant living above the shop with his whole household of family, servants and apprentices.

This particular business was built in what is known as the regionalist style - a reinterpretation of the traditional Andalusian / Moorish architecture - hence the arched windows and the square-roofed tower to the right. On the left we can also see a smaller, domed, tower - the dome being covered in tiles.

I did not go in, but I assume that the restaurant will occupy what was once an open courtyard with a fountain in the middle

A rather grand entrance - and probably 
eminently practical when the carpentry was in
Surprisingly, the building is in a narrow street  that is only  wide enough to allow a single lane of traffic and had it not been facing another perpendicular street, I would not have been able to take the picture of the whole façade. 
Strangely enough, the street has no name on Google  maps. If you are interested, it is the street behind, and parallel to, Luis de Morales and is called Santo Domingo de la Calzada.

1 comment:

  1. It is fun and interesting to come upon these little gems in any city and to work out how they were used and what role they played in people's lives.

    Today we expect big businesses to reside in the grander streets but I think in the past they often occupied what we would today consider to be side streets. Whether this was for reasons of cost or because there was not the same prestige attached to being established on main roads, I do not know.

    In the case of this building, it may be that it is its location that has allowed it to survive. Had it been in a more prominent position, it might have been demolished for road-widening or to make way for a flashier modern structure.