The Extraordinary and Mysterious district of Triana
Triana is one of 11 districts in the municipality of Sevilla.
Once a Roman colony founded by Trajan, the Roman emperor born in Itálica, Trajana-Triana, and according to some authors, the name also comes from the Celtiberian word Tri (three) and the Roman word Ana (river) since in that area the river was divided into three.
Others, such as Justino Matute Gavira deduce the name comes from Trans amnem, expression with which the Latins meant what is beyond the river, of perhaps it comes from the Arabic Ma-Wara -Fnahr, although more commonly called Atrayana or Athriana.
In 1171 a bridge joining Seville and Triana was built from boats and facilitated the passage to the Aljarafe. It took 36 days to build it and was inaugurated by the Caliph Abu Yacoub Yusuf.
The bridge of boats began a new period of urban growth for the neighborhood, and Fernando III took control of Triana slightly thereafter and was called the guardian of Seville.
The palace al Zahir (Castle of St. George) became a Christian fortress, and In 1481 this castle became the seat of the Court of the Inquisition, left temporarily in 1626 because of flooding and definitively in 1785. Today you can visit a museum of dedicated to human rights in what remains of the castle’s foundation.
Triana was also an ethnicly mixed neighborhood where Moors, Gypsies, and Christians lived together. Immigration and emigration have formed the unique personality of the community. Sometimes locals call it “Triana: Republica Independiente” (The Independent Republic of Triana) ☺
Triana is also called the Birthplace of Flamenco and Toreros
The origins of flamenco dance and music in Seville dates back to the 15th century when Roma people settled here and brought with them many traditions, namely, blacksmithing (the aristocrats of the community) , cattle raising, bullfighting and Flamenco. Since the 18th century flamenco was performed in every corner of Triana. Although once an intimate family affair, it made it’s way into public venues, and it is no coincidence that the other side of the Guadalquivir river has its own specific style known as La Solea de Triana.
The businessman Silverio Franconnetti (1831-1881) popularized and monetized Flamenco as an artform in theatres and cafes- tablaos beginning in the mid 19th century.
4 Legendary Women from Triana
According to the mythology, the goddess Astarte, fleeing from the amorous pursuit of Hercules (mythological founder of the city of Seville) came to take refuge on the western shore of the Guadalquivir river and founded Triana.
The Princess of Cava
Cava was the daughter of the Visigoth Count Don Julian, and Ruderico, Duke of Betica’s lover. When the Duke ascended to the title of Rex Gothorum, Princess Cava was not chosen by Ruderico as his wife and queen. Legend says that she then conspired with the supporters of Witiza to bring the Moors to Spain.
Santa Justa and Santa Rufina
Although the first Christian communities lived in Triana, it was customary to celebrate VEnus annually with a pagan festival in which the death of Adonis was also remembered. Justa and Rufina were two Triana sisters from a modest family of clandestine Christians who as orphans dedicated themselves to the craft of pottery. Triana has historically been linked to ceramic history because of the availability of Barro Azul, a particular type of terra cotta clay that comes from the riverbanks. Legend has it that while the girls were selling their wares one day they were shown a vision of Venus, mourning her Adonis. As a procession to the goddess followed they were asked for a donation to her to be placed at the feet of a ceramic effigy. Being the good christian girls that they were, they refused and even denied that the clay that the effigy was made from could have come from the same riverbank as their own.
A dispute ensued, and the sculpture of the goddess fell to the ground and broke into pieces. The girls were arrested and eventually became martyrs of the catholic church for their defiance in the face of paganism!
The venerable Bishop Sabino was the one who collected the remains of both sisters and gave them a Christian burial in the cemetery that today is called the church of the PP. Capuchins, in the Round of Capuchins. In this same spot there was formerly a smaller temple that was called "The Basilica of the Holy Justa and Rufina".
Today, Triana is a bustling metropolis, full of noise and excitement from morning till night. It is a city within the city. Here tourists and residents mingle, the locals frequent the same bars and put their cold beers on tab. As we melt into the buzzing crowd, we hear laughter, flamenco, heartfelt conversations and cheers for their beloved football teams! One of the most loved and prized districts in the city… Triana demands a visit from you soon.
Our Triana Market Experience has a great selection of teas and spices from the local market, as well as an indepth guide to local music and ceramics... check it out here
And let us know if you will be in Sevilla, as we would love to show you around to our favorite spots for food or ceramics!
For even more on the district, you can check out the website of one of our sources.