Cover photo full
Plaza de España
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Plaza de España is a plaza located in Maria Luisa Park in Seville, Spain. It is one of the city’s most popular gathering places due to its immense beauty and extensive open areas. It was built in 1928 as the centerpiece of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 , a world’s fair that united exhibitions from countries throughout the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula.
ArchitectureThe Plaza de España is a spectacular example of the Renaissance Revival architectural style in Spain. Its building was designed by Aníbal González, a famous Spanish architect in the early 20th century, using a combination of the Art Deco and Neo-Mudéjar architectural styles. The large semicircular building surrounding the plaza symbolizes an embrace between Spain and its former colonies. It faces the Guadalquivir River, Spain’s greatest navigable river, to show the path that was taken to reach the Americas.
HistoryThroughout the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, the building was used to showcase Spanish exhibits related to technology and industry. It also contained a large exhibit called the Salón del Descubrimento de América, or the “Room of the Discovery of America” in English. It featured priceless documents, maps, and artifacts related to the discovery of the Americas, as well as detailed dioramas of important historical events. Highlights of the exposition included a set of letters that belonged to Christopher Columbus and the last testament of Hernán Cortés .
Originally, the building was intended to become part of the University of Seville after the exposition, but was instead used by the military as a headquarters. Today, it holds government offices.
Things to See & DoThe Plaza de España is a must-see attraction if you visit Seville. It’s the perfect place to go for a relaxing afternoon walk in the sunshine or just to pass through while on a horse-drawn carriage tour.
The FountainThe plaza’s gorgeous central fountain was designed by Vicente Traver, a Spanish architect who designed several famous buildings throughout Seville. On a hot summer day, it’s refreshing to stand near the fountain and enjoy its cool mists.
Explore the Canal by BoatThe canal that runs around the plaza can be crossed using four different bridges, which represent the four ancient kingdoms of Spain: León, Castilla, Aragón, and Navarra. While it was dry for many years, it has recently been refurbished so that you can now rent rowboats to take out on the canal for a small fee.
The Tiled Alcoves and BenchesOne of the most famous aspects of the Plaza de España is the series of 48 tiled alcoves and benches that represent each of Spain’s provinces as well as its two archipelagos: the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. Each alcove features tile representations of the coat of arms, a map, and important historical events that took place there. If you’re looking for a particular province, it should help to know that they’re presented in alphabetical order.
Horse-Drawn Carriage RidesA popular way to explore the city or simply reach the Plaza de España in style is by going on a horse-drawn carriage ride. Most carriages hold between 4 and 6 people, and are driven by friendly drivers who will tell you all about Seville’s monuments as well as interesting trivia and stories. You’ll find the carriages all over the city, but the most common places to climb aboard them are located near major attractions such as the Plaza de España, Torre del Oro, Seville Cathedral, and the Maestranza bullring. The ride is especially beautiful in the evening, making it perfect for a date night.
TriviaThe Plaza de España has been used as a filming location in several famous movies throughout its history. Most notably, it was used to depict the British Army’s headquarters in the 1962 film, Lawrence of Arabia.
More recently, the plaza was used in scenes of the planet of Naboo in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in 1999 and 2002. It also featured as the mansion owned by the titular character in the 2012 comedy film The Dictator.
Practical InformationThe Plaza de España is located in the heart of Maria Luisa Park, a large public park that stretches along the Guadalquivir River. The easiest way to reach the Plaza de España is by walking through the park, though it is also possible to take a horse-drawn carriage there. Maria Luisa Park is easily accessible by car or by various city bus routes.
Address: Avenida de Isabel la Católica, 41004 Seville, Spain
Similar LandmarksOther famous plazas in Seville include the Plaza Nueva and the Plaza de San Francisco, which are both located next to the historic city hall building.
Many other Spanish cities have large plazas that are regularly used for celebrations as well, including the Plaza Mayor in Madrid, the Plaza Mayor de Salamanca, and the Plaza de España Madrid.
Do you see any omissions, errors or want to add information to this page? Sign up.
Author: ehuttner. Last updated: Jun 09, 2015