Known for its many festivals, Moorish architectural flourishes and, of course, flamenco, the capital of Spain’s Andalusia region is a buoyant city whose many cultures are reflected in its cuisine, buildings, art, and history.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Known as “Las setas” (“The Mushrooms”), the Metropol Parasol is the largest wooden structure in the world. Opened in 2011, the work of German architect Jürgen Mayer is 85 feet tall. The structure is made up of six large parasols in the shape of mushrooms, and it affords fantastic views of Seville from the walkway/viewing point. There is also a restaurant. The Antiquarium is situated in the basement, containing important Roman archaeological remains. The area in which it is built includes a market and a raised square where different kinds of events take place.
MARÍA LUISA PARK
This is Seville’s great urban park designed by the French landscape gardener Forestier for the Ibero-american Exhibition in 1929. The park is an example of Spanish style of gardening, which was influenced by Neo-Sevillian or Neo-Arab styles of the third century. A large part of its squares, circuses, and monuments are dedicated to national literary figures, such as Bécquer, Cervantes, Hermanos Machado circuses, etc. and undoubtedly one of its characteristics is the widespread use of fountains, ponds, and furniture made from brick and ceramic tiles.
REAL ALCÁZAR PALACE OF SEVILLE
The Real Alcázar in Seville is a group of palaces surrounded by a wall. Peter the Cruel rebuilt the old Almohad building to establish a royal residence in the 14th century. This was the setting for the wedding between Charles V and Isabella of Portugal. The use of the Upper Palace, on the upper level of the Mudejar Palace, is administered by National Heritage. It includes the foyer, built in the times of the Catholic Monarchs; the oratory of the Catholic Monarchs; the banquet all built during the reign of Philip II of Spain; the viewpoint of the Catholic Monarchs, influenced by Granada and built subsequent to 1492, the bedroom of Peter of Castile, which is one of the rooms from the 14th-century Mudejar palace; and the official or audience chamber. Visits to it are managed by the Board of Management for the Real Alcázar Palace of Seville.
LA TORRE DEL ORO
This iconic tower is the symbol of Seville. It was given its name (“gold tower”) because it was originally covered in golden tiles. It forms part of the original city walls and stands on the banks of the river. It dates from the year 1220 and houses the Naval Museum, containing models, navigation charts, compasses, and ancient documents.
PLAZA DE ESPAÑA SQUARE
Built for the Ibero-american Exhibition of 1929, the Plaza de Espana Square is a cultural meeting place for the people of Seville. Painted ceramic benches arranged around the square represent all of Spain’s provinces. Designed by Aníbal González, the semicircular architecture is flanked by two towers with a network of galleries in between and a majestic fountain in front.