The Seville photos were taken over a couple of years when I regularly went there to visit friends. As a city I liked it a lot. It is flat and easy to get around with it’s municipal bicycles and cycleways. The history is splendid and the tapas and food are great. My favourite tapa was the garbanzos con espinacas – chickpeas and spinach.
Seville is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville. It is on the Guadalquivir river and is the only river port in Spain, some 80km from the Atlantic. Seville also hits the record books for being the hottest city in western Europe. I have been there when the temperature at 22:30 at night was 44ºC+. In the sun during the day is almost unbearable.
It was founded by the Romans and called Hispalis and later conquered by the Arabs in 712 and became known as Ishbiliya. The town is probably at least 2,200 years old. Bits of the old Roman aqueduct can still be seen in town and the La Alameda de Hércules has Roman columns still standing and can be seen in the photos I have taken.
The old Arab remains include La Giralda. This has been extended and rebuilt during various rules but still stands out as the tallest building in Seville. In fact the law states that there can be no building higher than the Giralda. The most amazing thing about this building is that it was built with block-work and contains no cement.
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The town is on the same latitude as San Fransisco in the USA, a little south of Athens in Greece and on the same latitude as Seoul in South Korea. It is in the fertile lands of the Guadalquivir and the largest part of the town is situated on the east bank of the river. When the river started to silt up in the golden age of the spanish empire the trading moved from the port of Seville to the nearby towns of Cádiz and Huelva. Sevilla is said to be the hottest town in Europe with temperatures regularly reaching the upper 40ºC.
As a city of historic interest, Seville is incredible. It earned 3 UNESCO World Heritage Site statuses and includes the following places of interest.
- Catedral de Santa María de la Sede. Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world.
- The Alcázar, facing the cathedral, a previous Moorish Palace
- Torre del Oro, a watchtower and defensive barrier on the river with a chain was strung through the water from the base of the tower to prevent boats entering port.
- The Metropol Parasol, La Setas (the mushrooms), is the world’s largest wooden structure.
- Plaza de España, an outstanding example of Regionalist Revival Architecture, with a mixture of styles such as Art Deco and finished with typical glazed tiles of Spain.
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Photos of the “Espacio Metropol” – The Mushrooms or The Parasols
The Metropol Parasol is a wooden structure in the old Plaza de la Encarnación, in the old quarter of Seville, Spain. It was designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer and completed in April 2011 and is claimed to be the largest wooden structure in the world.
In their usual self demeaning way the Sevillanos refer to it as Las Setas – the Mushrooms. I far prefer that name.
The wood used was birch, imported from Finland, because of its straightness. An engineering company reported to the municipal council that “structural assumptions had not been tested and that the structure was technically infeasible as designed” and that the design appeared to violate the limitations of known materials.
I guess they were wrong?
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