This town in the province of Seville is located 30 kilometres from the capital, along the road that connects Seville with Cordoba. It is a town of great cultural legacy where numerous civilizations have passed, making it one of the most touristic cities of Spain.
Carmona's history dates back to the Neolithic, as the city tells its story from its profuse sites. The urban structure was largely inherited from the Roman period, with numerous monuments of this period, Carmona being a place where passed the famous Via Augusta.
Carmona was, at one stage of its history, the capital of a Moorish Taifa kingdom, and the prolonged presence of the Moors on its soil can today be appreciated not only in the charming Patio de los Naranjos or Orange Tree Patio adjoining the Church of Santa María and in the horseshoe arches of the Almohad Puerta de Sevilla Alcazar, but also in the town's street plan and whitewashed buildings.
The Middle Ages made a significant contribution to present-day Carmona. It was much loved by King Peter I, who gave the town a renovated Mudéjar Alcazar, which stands in the upper part of the town, now refurbished as a Parador de Turismo, a state-run hotel.
The Mudéjar period also bequeathed some of Carmona's most beautiful, evocative churches, such as the Church of San Felipe, and a number of houses and palaces. The town flourished in the Gothic period, the finest example of which is Carmona's main church, Santa María, which is of cathedral - like proportions featuring high - ceiling naves and the inevitable presence of other styles: the altar, for example, is an impressive contribution from the Plateresque period.
The entire spectrum of styles and schools is represented in this town dotted with splendid palaces and convents. One of these, the Convent of Santa Catalina, is now a striking market square, an enormous porticoed patio, where the redness of the stone and the whiteness of whitewashed walls dominate, as they do throughout Carmona.
Another is the Convent of Santa Clara, whose tuns, remaining faithful to tradition, preserve the well-kept secret of medieval confectionary under niveous arches. San Bartolomé also dates from the Gothic period.
This is a town which must be seen on foot and without haste by entering the old quarter through the Puerta de Sevilla Alcazar, after having gone up to its battlements for an impressive view of the town and the surroundings, dotted with hermitages. There is a succession of churches and palaces, including the houses of the Rueda, Domínguez, Aguilar and Lasso families and the Marquis de las Torres, many of which are classical in style.
There are also beautiful distinctly Andalusian patios, squares, cupolas, rows of balconies studded with potted plants, steep streets and picturesque corners. Nor is there any lack of sights to see in the outlying arrabal quarter, the area of post-medieval expansion. Here stands the church of San Pedro, with its solid tower reminiscent of Seville's Giralda tower.
Brickwork is masterfully used for both towers and palatial facades - an example is the house of the Baron of Garcia Real - and wall tiles are a recurrent feature. Santiago, located in the higher part of the town, is yet antoher suggestive church, featuring a slender Mudéjar tower and a charming adjoining square. Examples from the Baroque period abound, as elsewhere in Andalusia, and include the mian altarpiece in the Church of San Blas and the one in the Las Descalzas Covent.
Another outstanding example is the San Pedro Sacramental Chapel and the alterations to the Roman Puerta de Córdoba or Cordova Gate, which configure its present appearance. More modern periods have also left their mark on the town, for example, the family orientated Alamada de Alfonso XIII avenue and the peaceful San Fernando Square, which with a fine iron lamp in the centre and surrounded by unique houses, is the heart of the upper part of the town.
The road route passes through the municipalities of Antequera, Estepa and Osuna until getting to Carmona. By car, the 195 kilometres journey lasts about 2 hours.
In the map below you can see the chosen route to go to Carmona in Seville: