Seville and Triana, a love divided in two: two banks, two cities. Triana has long been considered its own city and when crossing the bridge you don’t head to the other side but to Seville. According to legend, the goddess Astarté, who was being pursued by Hercules, who was blinded by love for her, escaped to the other side of the river and there founded Triana. Triana has been populated since antiquity, but it wasn’t until 1171 that the neighbourhood started to flourish. That’s when the floating bridge built on boats was constructed in order to join the two shores, and the castle Castillo de San Jorge was built to protect the bridge and later served as the seat for the Spanish inquisition. The castle has long been destroyed and partially buried except for the ruins under the Triana market, which you still can visit today.
The history behind the namen Triana is disputed. Some believe the name derives from the words ‘Tri’, three in Latin and ‘Ana’, river in the Celtiberian language, since the river separates in the parts in the area. Others claim it comes from the Roman empereror Trajan, for the Arabs was Atrayana or Athriana, and theTraiana-Trajan-Triana evolution came to name this block.
Triana is the birth place of bullfighters, singers, artists, potters and sailors. With a constant flow of immigration and emigration from the sea has shaped its particular character. It’s the best past and present place for pottery and 90% of all the ceramics that can be seen around the city was made in Triana. This was because of the proximity to the river but also because the toxic fumes would then not reach Seville. Nowadays it’s an excellent place to buy the beautiful tiles and ceramics typical of Seville, Andalusia and Spain.
Many of the famous bullfighters were born in Triana and this is also one of the places where the Flamenco is said to have been born. Flamenco is a mix of Andalusian and Romani music. Still today, a large number of the Flamenco artists are Romani and those who aren’t, most are Andalusian or at least Andalusian descendants. This makes Flamenco an Andalusian art form through and through. Therefore, this is the place to see a Flamenco show or learn about Flamenco. Every year, thousdands of people come to Seville to learn to dance or play Flamenco guitar. Singing Flamenco is somewhat more difficult however, not only do you need to be fluent in Spanish but you need to possess the specific raspy voice in order to sing it.
Calle Betis, Betis being the old name for the river Guadalquivir, is known as the most photographed, charismatic and symbolic streets in the city. With its colourful facades with the river just in front and the beautiful Triana bridge right next to it. It’s not only in the eye of the beholder its advantageous, if you’re enjoying a refreshing drink and tapas you will have the view of Seville with the Giralda Tower and Torre del Oro. Parallell to the river by the Triana bridge was the place for soap making in the past. This place was also vulnerable to floods but is today a market at the weekends with art and crafts by local artists. Triana isn’t that know among tourists but is well worth a visit to take part of the true Andalusia.