Main Births etc
Clockwise from top: Seville Cathedral and Giralda, Plaza de España in the Maria Luisa Park, Metropol Parasol, the Isabel II ("Triana") bridge and the Torre del Oro.


Coat of arms
Motto: NO8DO (It [Seville] has not abandoned me)

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<div style="font-size: 90%; line-height: 110%; position: relative; top: -1.5em; width: 6em; Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[".">Seville
Location in Andalusia

Seville is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 37°22′38″N 5°59′13″W / 37.37722, -5.98694Coordinates: 37°22′38″N 5°59′13″W / 37.37722, -5.98694
Country Spain Spain
Autonomous Community Andalusia Andalusia
Province Flag of Diputacion de Sevilla Spain.svg Seville
Comarca Sevilla
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Body Ayuntamiento de Sevilla
 • Mayor Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez (PP)
 • City 140 km2 (50 sq mi)
Elevation 7 m (23 ft)
Population (2011) (INE)
 • City 703,021
 • Rank 4th
 • Density 5,002.93/km2 (12,957.5/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,519,639
Demonym Sevillan, Sevillian
sevillano (m), sevillana (f)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postcode 41001-41080

Seville ( /səˈvɪl/; Spanish: Sevilla, IPA: [seˈβiʎa], local pronunciation: [seˈβiʝa]) is a Spanish city, it is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir. The inhabitants of the city are known as sevillanos (feminine form: sevillanas) or hispalenses, after the Roman name of the city, Hispalis. Seville has a municipal population of about 703,000 as of 2011, and a metropolitan population of about 1.5 million, making it the fourth-largest city in Spain and the 30th most populous municipality in the European Union. Its Old Town, the third largest in Europe with an area of 4 square kilometres (2 sq mi), contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. The Seville harbour, located about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean, is the only river port in Spain.

Seville was founded as the Roman city of Hispalis, and was known as Ishbiliya[1] (Arabic:إشبيلية) after the Muslim conquest in 712. During the Muslim rule in Spain, Seville came under the jurisdiction of the Caliphate of Córdoba before becoming the independent Taifa of Seville; later it was ruled by the Muslim Almoravids and the Almohads until finally being incorporated into the Christian Kingdom of Castile under Ferdinand III in 1248.[2] After the discovery of the Americas, Seville became one of the economic centres of the Spanish Empire as its port monopolised the trans-oceanic trade and the Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) wielded its power, opening a Golden Age of arts and literature. In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan departed from Seville for the first circumnavigation of the Earth. Coinciding with the Baroque period of European history, the 17th century in Seville represented the most brilliant flowering of the city's culture; then began a gradual economic and demographic decline as silting in the Guadalquivir forced the trade monopoly to relocate to the nearby port of Cádiz.

The 20th century in Seville saw the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, decisive cultural milestones such as the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and Expo'92, and the city's election as the capital of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.

Name[edit | edit source]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Spal is the oldest known name for Seville. It appears to have originated during the Phoenician colonisation of the Tartessian culture in south-western Iberia, and according to Manuel Pellicer Catalán meant "lowland" in the Phoenician language (similar to the Hebrew Shfela).[3][4] During Roman rule, the name was Latinised as Hispalis. After the Moorish invasion, this name evolved into Ishbiliyya (Arabic أشبيليّة); since "p" does not exist in Arabic, the Latin place-name suffix -is was substituted for its direct Arabic equivalent -iyya, and stressed "a" /æ/ turned into "i" /i/, due to the phonetic phenomenon called imela.[5] Seville's English and Spanish names derive from Ishbiliyya.

Motto[edit | edit source]

"NO8DO" is the official motto of Seville. It is popularly believed to be a rebus signifying the Spanish "No me ha dejado", meaning "It [Seville] has not abandoned me", with the eight in the middle representing a madeja, or skein of wool. Legend states that the title was given by King Alfonso X, who was resident in the city's Alcazar and supported by the citizens when his son, later Sancho IV of Castille, tried to usurp him from the throne. In reality, the motto is most likely an abbreviation of the Latin In Nomine Domini ("in the name of the Lord"), though the popularity of the rebus and its accompanying legend has obscured these origins.[6] The emblem is present on the municipal flag and features on city property such as manhole covers, and Christopher Columbus's tomb in the Cathedral.

History[edit | edit source]

Seville is approximately 2,200 years old. The passage of the various civilisations instrumental in its growth has left the city with a distinct personality, and a large and well-preserved historical centre.

Early periods[edit | edit source]

The mythological founder of the city is Hercules (Heracles), commonly identified with the Phoenician god Melqart, who the myth says sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar to the Atlantic, and founded trading posts at the current sites of Cádiz and of Seville.[7]

View of the Giralda from the Patio de Banderas (Courtyard of Flags), historic square with remains of Roman, Moorish and Castilian periods.

The city was known from Roman times as Hispalis. Important archaeological remains also exist in the nearby towns of Santiponce (Italica) and Carmona.

Existing Roman features in Seville include the remnants of an aqueduct, a temple in Mármoles Street, the columns of La Alameda de Hércules, the remains exposed in situ in the underground Antiquarium of the Metropol Parasol building and the remains in the Patio de Banderas square near of the Seville Cathedral. The walls surrounding the city were originally built during the rule of Julius Caesar, but their current course and design were the result of Moorish reconstructions.[8]

Following Roman rule, there were successive conquests of the Roman province of Hispania Baetica by the Vandals and the Visigoths during the 5th and 6th centuries.

Moorish era[edit | edit source]

Seville was taken by the Moors, Mohammedans from the North of Africa, during the conquest of Hispalis in 712. It was the capital for the kings of the Umayyad Caliphate, the Almoravid dynasty first and after the Almohad dynasty (from Arabic الموحدون al-Muwahhidun, i.e., "the monotheists" or "the Unitarians"), from the 8th to 13th centuries.

The Moorish urban influences continued and are present in contemporary Seville, for instance in the custom of decorating with herbaje and small fountains the courtyards of the houses. However, most buildings of the Moorish aesthetic actually belong to the Mudéjar style of Islamic art, developed under Christian rule and inspired by the Arabic style. Original Moorish buildings are the Patio del Yeso in the Alcázar, the city walls, and the main section of the Giralda, bell tower of the Seville Cathedral.[9]

Castilian rule[edit | edit source]

In 1247, the Christian King Ferdinand III of Castile and Leon began the conquest of Andalusia. After conquering Jaén and Córdoba, he seized the villages surrounding the city, Carmona Lora del Rio and Alcalá del Rio, and kept a standing army in the vicinity, the siege lasting for fifteen months. The decisive action took place in May 1248 when Ramon Bonifaz sailed up the Guadalquivir and severed the Triana bridge that made the provisioning of the city from the farms of the Aljarafe possible. The city surrendered on 23 November 1248.[10]

The city's development continued after the Castilian conquest in 1248. Public buildings constructed including churches, many of which were built in the Mudéjar style, and the Seville Cathedral, built during the 15th century with Gothic architecture.[11] The Moors' Palace became the Castilian royal residence, and during Pedro I's rule it was replaced by the Alcázar (the upper levels are still used by the Royal Family as the official Seville residence).

Courtyard of the Maidens in the Alcázar of Seville

In 1391, Archdeacon Ferrant Martinez closed all the synagogues in Seville, converting them to churches, as in the case of Santa María la Blanca, and also appropriated the Jewish quarter's land and shops (sited in modern-day 'Barrio Santa Cruz'). Thousands were killed during the pogrom, while others were forced to convert. The Plaza de San Francisco was the site of the 'autos de fé'. At first, the activity of the Inquisition was limited to the dioceses of Seville and Cordoba, where Alonso de Hojeda had detected converso activity. The first Auto de Fé took place in Seville on 6 February 1481, when six people were burned alive. Alonso de Hojeda himself gave the sermon. The Inquisition then grew rapidly. By 1492, tribunals existed in eight Castilian cities: Ávila, Cordoba, Jaén, Medina del Campo, Segovia, Sigüenza, Toledo and Valladolid.[12]

The Golden Age[edit | edit source]

Following the 1492 Christopher Columbus expedition to the New World (from Palos de la Frontera's port), the results from his claiming territory and trade for the Crown of Castile (incipient Spain) in the West Indies began to profit the city, as all goods imported from the New World had to pass through the Casa de Contratacion before being distributed throughout the rest of Spain. A 'golden age of development' commenced in Seville, due to its being the only port awarded the royal monopoly for trade with the growing Spanish colonies in the Americas and the influx of riches from them. Since only sailing ships leaving from and returning to the inland port of Seville could engage in trade with the Spanish Americas, merchants from Europe and other trade centers needed to go to Seville to acquire New World trade goods. The city's population grew to nearly a million people.[13]

Seville in the 16th century

In the late 16th century the monopoly was broken, with the port of Cádiz also authorised as a port of trade. The Great Plague of Seville in 1649 reduced the population by almost half, and it would not recover until the early 19th century.[14] By the 18th century its international importance was in decline. After the silting up of the harbour by the Guadalquivir (river), upriver shipping ceased and the city went into relative economic decline.

The writer Miguel de Cervantes lived primarily in Seville between 1596 and 1600. Because of financial problems, Cervantes worked as a purveyor for the Spanish Armada, and later as a tax collector. In 1597, discrepancies in his accounts of the three years previous landed him in the Royal Prison of Seville for a short time. Rinconete y Cortadillo, a popular comedy among his works, features two young vagabonds who come to Seville, attracted by the riches and disorder that the 16th-century commerce with the Americas had brought to that metropolis.

18th century[edit | edit source]

Royal Tobacco Factory, today rectorate of the University of Seville.

During the 18th century Charles III of Spain promoted Seville's industries. Construction of the Real Fábrica de Tabacos (Royal Tobacco Factory) began in 1728, with additions to it over the next 30 years. It was the second largest building in Spain, after the royal residence El Escorial. Since the 1950s it has been the seat of the rectorate of the University of Seville.

Many operas have been set in the city, including those by such composers as Beethoven (Fidelio), Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni), Rossini (The Barber of Seville) and Bizet "(Carmen)".[15]

Seville became the dean of the Spanish provincial press in 1758 with the publication of its first newspaper, the Hebdomario útil de Seville, the first to be printed in Spain outside Madrid.

19th and 20th centuries[edit | edit source]

The Isabel II bridge, better known as the Triana Bridge

Between 1825 and 1833, Melchor Cano acted as chief architect in Seville; most of the urban planning policy and architectural modifications of the city were made by him and his collaborator Jose Manuel Arjona y Cuba.[16]

Industrial architecture surviving today from the first half of the 19th century includes the ceramics factory installed in the Carthusian monastery at La Cartuja in 1841 by the Pickman family, and now home to the El Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC),[17] which manages the collections of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla.[18] It also houses the rectory of the UNIA.[19]

In the years that Queen Isabel II ruled directly, about 1843–1868, the Sevillian bourgeoisie invested in a construction boom unmatched in the city's history. The Isabel II bridge, better known as the Triana bridge, dates from this period; street lighting was expanded in the municipality and most of the streets were paved during this time as well.[20]

By the second half of the 19th century Seville began an expansion supported by railway construction and the demolition of part of its ancient walls, allowing the urban space of the city to grow eastward and southward. The Sevillana de Electricidad Company was created in 1894 to provide electric power throughout the municipality,[21] and in 1901 the Plaza de Armas railway station was inaugurated. The Museum of Fine Arts (Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla) opened in 1904.

The "Fountain of Hispalis (Roman Seville)" and the Alfonso XIII Hotel, built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, in Puerta de Jerez.

In 1929 the city hosted the Ibero-American Exposition, which accelerated the southern expansion of the city and created new public spaces such as the Plaza de España and the Maria Luisa Park. Not long before the opening, the Spanish government began a modernisation of the city in order to prepare for the expected crowds by erecting new hotels and widening the mediaeval streets to allow for the movement of automobiles.[22]

Seville fell very quickly at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. General Queipo de Llano carried out a coup within the city, quickly capturing the city centre.[23] Radio Seville opposed the uprising and called for the peasants to come to the city for arms, while workers' groups established barricades.[23] De Llano then moved to capture Radio Seville, which he used to broadcast propaganda on behalf of the Franquist forces.[23] After the initial takeover of the city, resistance continued among the working-class areas for some time, until a series of fierce reprisals took place.[24]

Under Francisco Franco's rule Spain was officially neutral in World War II, and like the rest of the country, Seville remained largely economically and culturally isolated from the outside world. In 1953 the shipyard of Seville was opened, eventually employing more than 2,000 workers in the 1970s. Before the existence of wetlands regulation in the Guadalquivir basin, Seville suffered regular heavy flooding; perhaps worst of all were the floods that occurred in November 1961 when the river Tamarguillo overflowed as a result of a prodigious downpour of rain, and Seville was consequently declared a disaster zone.

Trade unionism in Seville began during the 1960s with the underground organisational activities of the Workers' Commissions or Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), in factories such as Hytasa, the Astilleros shipyards, Hispano Aviación, etc. Several of the movement's leaders were imprisoned in November 1973. On 3 April 1979 Spain held its first democratic municipal elections after the end of Franco's dictatorship; councillors representing four different political parties were elected in Seville. On 5 November 1982, Pope John Paul II arrived in Seville to officiate at a Mass before more than half a million people at the fairgrounds. He visited the city again 13 June 1993, for the International Eucharistic Congress.

In 1992, coinciding with the fifth centenary of the Discovery of the Americas, the Universal Exposition was held for six months in Seville, on the occasion of which the local communications network infrastructure was greatly improved: the SE-30 beltway around the city was completed and new highways were constructed; the new Santa Justa train station had opened in 1991, while the Spanish High Speed Rail system, the Alta Velocidad Española (AVE), began to operate between Madrid-Seville. The Seville Airport, (Aeropuerto de Sevilla), was expanded with a new terminal building designed by the architect Rafael Moneo, and various other improvements were made. The monumental Puente del Alamillo (Alamillo Bridge) over the Guadalquivir, designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava, was built to allow access to the island of La Cartuja, site of the massive exposition.

Some of the installations remaining at the site after the exposition were converted into the Scientific and Technological Park Cartuja 93.

Metropol Parasol by the German architect Jürgen Mayer
Metropol Parasol by the German architect Jürgen Mayer

Geography[edit | edit source]

Topography[edit | edit source]

Seville has an area of 140 km2 (54 sq mi), according to the National Topographic Map (Mapa Topográfico Nacional) series from the Instituto Geográfico Nacional – Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica, the country's civilian survey organisation (pages 984, 985 and 1002). The city is situated in the fertile valley of the Guadalquivir River. The average height above sea level is 7 metres (23 feet). Most of the city is on the east side of the river, while Triana, La Cartuja and Los Remedios are on the west side. The Aljarafe region lies further west, and is considered part of the metropolitan area. The city has limits on the north with La Rinconada, La Algaba and Santiponce; on the east with Alcalá de Guadaira; on the south with Dos Hermanas and Gelves and on the west with San Juan de Aznalfarache, Tomares and Camas.

Climate[edit | edit source]

Skyline of Seville from the top of the Giralda

Seville has a subtropical climate, or more precisely, a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa).[25] The annual average temperature is 25 °C (77 °F) during the day and 13 °C (55 °F) at night.

After the city of Cordoba (also in Andalusia), Seville has the hottest summer in the European continent (among all cities with a population over 100,000 people), with average daily highs in July of 35.3 °C (96 °F). Average minimum temperatures in July are 19.4 °C (67 °F) and every year the temperature exceeds 40 °C (104 °F) on several occasions. The coldest temperature extreme of −8.2 °C (17 °F) was registered by the weather station at Seville Airport on 28 January 2005. A historical record high (disputed) of 50.0 °C (122 °F) was recorded on 4 August 1881, according to the NOAA Satellite and Information Service.[26] There is a non-accredited record by the National Institute of Meteorology of 47.2 °C (117 °F) on 1 August during the 2003 heat wave, according to a weather station (83910 LEZL) located in the southern part of Seville Airport, near the abandoned military zone. This temperature would be one of the highest ever recorded in Spain and Europe after the European record of 48.0 °C (118 °F) recorded in Athens on 10/07/1977.

  • Winters are mild: January is the coolest month, with average maximum temperatures of 15.9 °C (61 °F) and minimum of 5.2 °C (41 °F).
  • Precipitation varies from 400 to 800 mm (15.7 to 31.5 in) (23.5–31.5 in) per year, concentrated in the period October to April. December is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 95 millimetres (3.7 in). On average there are 52 days of rain, 120.75 days of sun and four days of frost per year.
  • Average number of days above 32 °C (89.6 °F) is 88, average number of nights below 0 °C (32 °F) is 6. Average morning relative humidity: 84%, average evening relative humidity: 46%.
Climate data for Seville
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 15.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 10.6
Average low °C (°F) 5.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 65
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 6 6 5 7 4 2 0 0 2 6 6 8 52
Mean monthly sunshine hours 179 183 224 234 287 312 351 328 250 218 186 154 2,898
Source: World Meteorological Organization[27] Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[28]

Government[edit | edit source]

Seville is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia. The historical edifice of the Palace of San Telmo is now the seat of the presidency of the Andalusian Autonomous Government. The administrative headquarters are in Torre Triana, in La Cartuja. The Hospital de las Cinco Llagas (literally, "Hospital of the Five Holy Wounds") is the current seat of the Parliament of Andalusia. Since 2012 the government of the autonomous community has been a coalition between the leftist Spanish Socialist Workers' Party or Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) and the United Left, or Izquierda Unida (IU); its president is Jose Antonio Griñán Martínez. Elections to the autonomous community are held every four years.

Status[edit | edit source]

Palace of San Telmo, seat of the presidency of the Andalusian Autonomous Government.

Seville is the capital of the Autonomous Community of Andalusía, according to Article 4 of the Statute of Autonomy of Andalucía of 2007, and is the capital of the Province of Seville as well.

The Common Council of Seville has 33 councillors and a mayor, with elections every four years. Since 2011, the government of the city has been by the conservative People's Party or Partido Popular (PP), and Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez has been mayor. The City Hall is on the Plaza Nueva, in the El Arenal neighbourhood. The administration of the City is decentralized into 11 districts.

Districts and Neighbourhoods[edit | edit source]

Seville has 11 districts, further divided into 108 neighborhoods.

Main sights[edit | edit source]

The Alcázar, the Cathedral, and the Archivo General de Indias (General Archive of the Indies) are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Landmarks[edit | edit source]

The Giralda

The Cathedral of St. Mary was built from 1401–1519 after the Reconquista on the former site of the city's mosque. It is among the largest of all medieval and Gothic cathedrals, in terms of both area and volume. The interior is the longest nave in Spain, and is lavishly decorated, with a large quantity of gold evident.

The Alcázar facing the cathedral was developed from a previous Moorish Palace. Construction was started in 1181 and continued for over 500 years, mainly in the Mudéjar style, but also in the Renaissance style.

The Torre del Oro was built as a watchtower and defensive barrier on the river. A chain was strung through the water from the base of the tower to prevent boats from traveling into the river port.

The City Hall was built in the 16th century in high Plateresque style by master architect Diego de Riaño. The façade to Plaza Nueva was built in the 19th century in Neoclassical style.

The Palace of San Telmo, formerly the University of Sailors, and later the Seminary, is now the seat for the Andalusian Autonomous Government. It is one of the most emblematic buildings of baroque architecture, mainly to its world-renowned churrigueresque principal façade and the impressive chapel.

The Royal Tobacco Factory is housed on the original site of the first tobacco factory in Europe, a vast 18th century building in Baroque style and the purported inspiration for the opera Carmen.

The Metropol Parasol, in La Encarnación square, is the world's largest wooden structure.[29] A monumental umbrella-like building designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer, finished in 2011. This modern architecture structure houses the central market and an underground archaeological complex. The terrace roof is a city viewpoint.[30]

The General Archive of the Indies, is the repository of extremely valuable archival documents illustrating the history of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and the Philippines. The building itself, an unusually serene and Italianate example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, was designed by Juan de Herrera.

The Plaza de España, in Maria Luisa Park (Parque de Maria Luisa), was built by the architect Aníbal González for the 1929 Exposición Ibero-Americana. It is an outstanding example of Regionalist Revival Architecture, a bizarre and loftily conceived mixture of diverse historic styles, such as Art Deco and lavishly ornamented with typical glazed tiles.[31][32]

The neighbourhood of Triana, situated on the west bank of the Guadalquivir River, played an important role in the history of the city and constitutes by itself a folk, monumental and cultural center.

On the other hand, La Macarena neighbourhood is located on the northern side of the city center. It contains some important monuments and religious buildings, such as the Museum and Catholic Church of La Macarena or the Hospital de las Cinco Llagas.

Plaza de España, panoramic view.
Plaza de España, panoramic view.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Museum of Fine Arts of Seville

The most important art collection of Seville is the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville. It was established in 1835 in the former Convent of La Merced. It holds many masterworks by Murillo, Pacheco, Zurbarán, Valdés Leal, and others masters of the Baroque Sevillian School, containing also Flemish paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Other museums in Seville are:

Parks and gardens[edit | edit source]

Pergola in María Luisa Park

  • The Parque de María Luisa (María Luisa Park), is a monumental park built for the 1929 World's Fair held in Seville, the Exposición Ibero-Americana. The so-called Jardines de las Delicias (literally, Delighting Gardens), closer to the river, are part of the Parque de María Luisa.
  • The Alcázar Gardens, within the grounds of the Alcázar palace, consist of several sectors developed in different historical styles.
  • The Gardens of Murillo and the Gardens of Catalina de Ribera, both along and outside the South wall of the Alcázar, lie next to the Santa Cruz quarter.
  • The Parque del Alamillo y San Jerónimo, the largest park in Andalusia, was originally built for Seville Expo '92 to reproduce the Andalusian native flora. It lines both Guadalquivir shores around the San Jerónimo meander. The impressive 32-meters-high bronze sculpture, "Birth of the New World" (popularly known as Columbus's Egg, el Huevo de Colón), by the Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli,[33] is located in its northwestern sector.
  • The American Garden, also completed for Expo '92, is in La Cartuja. It is a public botanical garden, with a representative collection of American plants donated by different countries on the occasion of the world exposition.
The Alcázar Gardens
The Alcázar Gardens

Culture[edit | edit source]

Festivals[edit | edit source]

Jesus of the Great Power (Juan de Mesa, 1620), in the Holy Week Madrugá

The Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the Feria de Sevilla (Seville Fair), also known as Feria de Abril (April Fair), are the two most well-known of Seville's festivals. Seville is internationally renowned for the solemn but decorative processions during Holy Week and the colourful and lively fair held two weeks after. During the Feria, families, businesses and organisations set up casetas (marquees) in which they spend the week dancing, drinking, and socialising. Traditionally, women wear elaborate flamenco dresses and men dress in their best suits. The marquees are set up on a permanent fairground in the district of Los Remedios,[34] in which each street is named after a famous bullfighter.

Gastronomy[edit | edit source]

Andalusian Gazpacho

The tapas scene is one of the main cultural attractions of the city: people go from one bar to another, enjoying small dishes called tapas (literally "lids" or "covers" in Spanish, referring to their probable origin as snacks served on small plates used to cover drinks). Local specialities include fried and grilled seafood (including squid, choco (cuttlefish), swordfish, marinated dogfish, and ortiguillas), grilled and stewed meat, spinach with chickpeas, Jamón ibérico, lamb kidneys in sherry sauce, snails, caldo de puchero, and gazpacho. A sandwich known as a serranito is the typical and popular version of fast food.

Typical desserts from Seville include pestiños, a honey-coated sweet fritter; torrijas, fried slices of bread with honey; roscos fritos, deep-fried sugar-coated ring doughnuts; magdalenas or fairy cakes; yemas de San Leandro, which provide the city's convents with a source of revenue; and tortas de aceite, a thin sugar-coated cake made with olive oil. Polvorones and mantecados are traditional Christmas products, whereas pestiños and torrijas are typically consumed during the Holy Week.

Bitter Seville oranges grow on trees lining the city streets. Formerly, large quantities were collected and exported to Britain to be used in marmalade. Today the fruit is used predominantly as compost locally, rather than as a foodstuff. According to legend, the Arabs brought the bitter orange to Seville from East Asia via Iraq around the 10th century to beautify and perfume their patios and gardens, as well as to provide shade.[35] The flowers of the tree are a source of neroli oil, commonly used in perfumery and in skin lotions for massage.

Music[edit | edit source]

Flamenco dancers

Seville had a vibrant rock music scene in the 1970s and 1980s with bands like Triana, Alameda and Smash, who fused Andalusia's traditional flamenco music with British-style progressive rock. The punk rock group Reincidentes and indie band Sr Chinarro, as well as singer Kiko Veneno, rose to prominence in the early 1990s. The city's music scene now features rap acts such as SFDK, Tote King, La Mala Rodríguez, and Dogma Crew. Seville's diverse music scene is reflected in the variety of its club-centred nightlife.

The city is also home to many theatres and performance spaces where classical music is performed, including Teatro Lope de Vega, Teatro La Maestranza, Teatro Central, the Real Alcazar Gardens and the Sala Joaquín Turina.

Despite its name, the sevillana dance, commonly presented as flamenco, is not thought to be of Sevillan origin. However, the folksongs called sevillanas are authentically Sevillan, as is the four-part dance performed with them. Seville, and most significantly, the western district of Triana, was a major centre of the development of flamenco.

Economy[edit | edit source]

Avenida de la Constitución in Christmas

Seville is the most populated city in southern Spain, and has the largest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of any in Andalusia,[36] accounting for one quarter of its total GDP.[36] All municipalities in the metropolitan area depend directly or indirectly on Seville's economy, while agriculture dominates the economy of the smaller villages, with some industrial activity localised in industrial parks. The Diputacion de Sevilla (Deputation of Seville), with provincial headquarters in the Antiguo Cuartel de Caballería (Old Cavalry Barracks) on Avenida Menendez Pelayo, provides public services to distant villages that they can not provide themselves.[37] The University of Seville and the University Pablo de Olavide are important centres of learning in western Andalusia as they offer a wide range of academic courses; consequently the city has a large number of students from Huelva and Cádiz.

The economic activity of Seville cannot be detached from the geographical and urban context of the city; the capital of Andalusia is the centre of a growing metropolitan area. Aside from traditional neighborhoods such as Santa Cruz, Triana and others, those further away from the centre, such as Nervión, Sevilla Este, and El Porvenir have seen recent economic growth. Until the economic crisis of 2007, this urban area saw significant population growth and the development of new industrial and commercial parks.[38]

During this period, infrastructure available in the city contributed to the growth of an economy dominated by the service sector,[39] but in which industry still holds a considerable place.[40]

Infrastructure[edit | edit source]

Schindler Tower in the technological and scientific complex Cartuja 93.

Guadalquivir River, Isabel II Bridge and Cajasol Tower on the Isla de La Cartuja, designed by the architect César Pelli (Under construction)

The 1990s saw massive growth in investment in infrastructure in Seville, largely due to its hosting of the Universal Exposition of Seville in 1992. This economic development of the city and its urban area is supported by good transportation links to other Spanish cities, including a high-speed AVE railway connection to Madrid, and a new international airport.

Seville has the only inland port in Spain, located 80 km (50 mi) from the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. This harbour complex offers access to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and allows trade in goods between the south of Spain (Andalusia, Extremadura) and Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The port has undergone reorganisation. Annual tonnage rose to 5.3 million tonnes of goods in 2006.[41]

Cartuja 93 is a research and development park.[42] employing 15,000 persons. The Cajasol Tower skyscraper is under construction in the park for the Spanish bank Cajasol's headquarters and offices. The tower was started in March 2008 and is expected to be finished in early 2013. With a height of 180.5 metres (592 feet) and 40 floors, it will be the tallest building in Andalusia.

Seville has conference facilities, including the Congress Palace. Its Parque Tecnológico y Aeronáutico Aerópolis (Technological and Aeronautical Park) is focussed on the aircraft industry. Outside of Seville are nine PS20 solar power towers which use the city's sunny weather to provide most of it with clean and renewable energy.

Seville harbour.

Heineken brewery in Seville

Research and development[edit | edit source]

The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas en Sevilla (CSIC) is based in the former Pavilion of Peru in the Maria Luisa Park. In April 2008 the city council of Seville provided a grant to renovate the building to create the Casa de la Ciencia (Science Center) to encourage popular interest in science.[43] The internationally recognised company Neocodex has its headquarters in Seville; it maintains the first and largest DNA bank in Spain and has made significant contributions to scientific research in genetics.[44] Seville is also considered an important technological and research centre for renewable energy and the aeronautics industry.[45][46]

The output of the research centres in Sevillan universities working in tandem with city government, and the numerous local technology companies, have made Seville a leader among Spanish cities in technological research and development. The Parque Científico Tecnológico Cartuja 93 is a nexus of private and public investment in various fields of research.[47]

Principal fields of innovation and research are: telecommunications, new technologies, biotechnology (with applications in local agricultural practices), environment and renewable energy.

Transportation[edit | edit source]

Bus[edit | edit source]

Seville is served by the TUSSAM (Transportes Urbanos de Sevilla) bus network which runs buses throughout the city. The Consorcio de Transportes de Sevilla communicates by bus with all the satellite towns of Seville.

Two bus stations serve transportation between surrounding areas and other cities: Plaza de Armas Station, with destinations north and west, and Prado de San Sebastián Station, covering routes to the south and east. Plaza de Armas station has direct bus lines to many Spanish cities and with Lisbon, in Portugal.

Metro[edit | edit source]

The Seville metro ("Metro de Sevilla" in Spanish) is a light metro network serving the city of Seville and its metropolitan area. The system is totally independent of any other rail or street traffic. All stations were built with platform screen doors.

It was the sixth Metro system to be built in Spain, after those in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and Palma de Mallorca. Currently, it is the fifth biggest Metro company in Spain by number of passengers carried (more than 12,000,000 in 2009).

Tram[edit | edit source]

Old tram on display in San Francisco Square

MetroCentro is a surface tramway serving the centre of the city. It began operating in October 2007.

The service has just five stops: Plaza Nueva, Archivo de Indias, Puerta de Jerez, Prado de San Sebastián and San Bernardo, all as part of Phase I of the project. It is expected to be extended to Santa Justa AVE station, including four new stops: San Francisco Javier, Eduardo Dato, Luis de Morales and Santa Justa. This extension was postponed although the City Council had made expanding the metro lines a priority.

Train[edit | edit source]

The Santa Justa Train Station is served by the AVE high-speed rail system, and is operated by the Spanish formerly state-owned rail company Renfe. A five-line commuter rail service (Cercanías) joins the city with the Metropolitan area. Seville is on the Red Ciudades AVE, a net created with Seville next to 17 major cities of Spain with high-speed rail.

Bicycle[edit | edit source]

Sevici Bicycle station

The Sevici community bicycle program has integrated bicycles into the public transport network. Bicycles are available for hire around the city at low cost and green bicycle lanes can be seen on most major streets. The number of people using bicycles as a mean of transport in Seville has increased substantially in recent years, multiplying tenfold from 2006 to 2010. These are unique results in comparison with other cities; now more than 7% of all trips in the city are made by bicycle.

The city council signed a contract with the multinational corporation JCDecaux, an outdoor advertising company. The public bicycle rental system is financed by a local advertising operator in return for the city signing over a 10-year licence to exploit city-wide billboards. The overall scheme is called Cyclocity[48] by JCDecaux, but each city's system is branded under an individual name.

Airport[edit | edit source]

Boeing 717-2BL at San Pablo Airport

San Pablo Airport is the main airport for Seville and is Andalusia’s second airport. The airport handled 4,051,392 passengers and just under 5,000 tonnes of cargo in 2009.[49] It has one terminal and one runway.

It is one of many bases for the Spanish low cost carrier Vueling, and from November 2010 Ryanair will base two aircraft at the airport.[50]

Port[edit | edit source]

Seville is the only commercial river port of Spain, and the only inland city in the country where cruise ships can arrive in the historical centre. On 21 August 2012, the Muelle de las Delicias, controlled by the Port Authority of Seville, hosted the cruise ship Azamara Journey for two days, the largest ship ever to visit the town. This vessel belongs to the shipping company Royal Caribbean and can accommodate up to 700 passengers.[51]

Roads[edit | edit source]

Seville has one ring road, the SE-30, which connects with the dual carriageway of the south, the A-4, that directly communicates the city with Cádiz, Cordoba and Madrid. Also there is another dual carriageway, the A-92, linking the city with Estepa, Antequera, Granada, Guadix and Almeria. The A-49 links Seville with Huelva and the Algarve in the south of Portugal.

Education[edit | edit source]

View of Pablo de Olavide University campus.

Seville is home to three public universities: the University of Seville, founded in 1505, originally was a tobacco factory and the one in which Carmen worked in the opera Carmen, the Pablo de Olavide University, founded in 1997 and the International University of Andalusia, founded in 1994.[52]

Additionally, there is the School of Hispanic American Studies, founded in 1942, the Menéndez Pelayo International University, based in Santander, which operates branch campuses in Seville.[53]

Famous natives[edit | edit source]

Sport[edit | edit source]

La Cartuja Olympic Stadium

Seville is the hometown of two rival association football teams: Sevilla Fútbol Club and Real Betis Balompié, both in Spain's highest division, the Liga BBVA. Both teams have only won the league once each: Betis in 1935 and Sevilla in 1946.[54] Only Sevilla has won European competitions, winning consecutive UEFA Cup finals in 2006 and 2007.[55] Sevilla's stadium, the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, was a venue during the 1982 FIFA World Cup[56] and four years later hosted the 1986 European Cup Final.[57] Seville's Olympic Stadium on the Isla de La Cartuja was the venue for the 2003 UEFA Cup Final.[58]

San Pablo Arena

Seville housed the tennis Davis Cup final in 2004 and 2011, and the 7th Athletics World Championships. The city unsuccessfully bid for the 2004[59] and 2008 Summer Olympics,[60] for which the 60,000-seat Estadio de La Cartuja was designed to stage. Seville has one important basketball club, the CB Sevilla, that plays in ACB League. Seville's Guadalquivir river is one of only three FISA approved international training centres for rowing (sport) and the only one in Spain; the 2002 World Rowing Championships and the 2013 European Rowing Championships were held there.

In fiction[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit | edit source]

Seville is twinned with the following cities:[61]

Partnerships[edit | edit source]

Titles[edit | edit source]

Seville has been given titles by Spanish monarchs and heads of state throughout its history.[71]

  • Very Noble, by King Ferdinand III of Castile after his reconquest of the city.
  • Very Loyal, by King Alfonso X of Castile for supporting him against a rebellion. See also the Motto "NO8DO".
  • Very Heroic, by King Ferdinand VII of Spain by Royal Document on 13 October 1817 for support against the French invasion.
  • Invictus (Invincible in Latin), by Queen Isabella II of Spain for the city's resistance against General Van Halen's asedium and bombing in 1843.
  • Mariana, by General Francisco Franco in 1946 for the city's devotion to the Virgin Mary.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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  2. ^ Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History. Volume 4 (1200–1350). BRILL. 3 August 2012. p. 9. ISBN 978-90-04-22854-2. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  3. ^ SPAL: Revista de prehistoria y arqueología de la Universidad de Sevilla. Secretariado de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Sevilla. 1998. p. 93. Retrieved 8 February 2013. "La presencia de fenicios en la antigua Sevilla parece constatada por el topónimo Spal que en diversas lenguas semíticas significa "zona baja", "llanura verde" o "valle profundo"" 
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  6. ^ Carrillo Benito, Emilio (2005). El NO8DO de Sevilla: significado y origen. Sevilla: RD Editores. 
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  42. ^ Note
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  51. ^ El Puerto de Sevilla acogerá el mayor crucero de su historia 6/25/2012
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