Plaza Espana Seville | An Absurdly Wondrous Square

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The grandiose Plaza Espana Seville | Spain

Written by: Georgina | We may earn a commission from affiliate links

A grandeur of Spanish architecture, the spectacular Plaza Espana Seville is a magically captivating sight with its lavishness which some may say, a little over-the-top for a set of government offices. Nevertheless, this is an absurdly wondrous square with ornate details and opulence at every step that may blow you away!

This post gives a brief overview, along with highlights, to ensure you do not miss anything, on this astounding place in Seville.

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Planning a trip to Seville?

You may find the following tips useful to your visit:

Alcazar, Cathedral & Giralda
Giralda Tower

A brief overview of Plaza Espana Seville

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Plaza Espana or Spain Square (in English) sits within the Parque de Maria Luisa (Maria Luisa Park) in Seville, Spain. The most famous square in Seville is a prime example of the magnificence of Spanish architecture, encompassing Baroque, Renaissance and Moorish neo-elements. It covers an area of 200 metres in diametre. Some say its big enough to fit in five full size football pitches!

Designed by the Spanish architect Aníbal González, Plaza Espana Seville was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929. The Exhibition encompassed other pavilions dotted around the Maria Luisa Park and was curated as a symbolic peace with Spain’s former American colonies.

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The Plaza Espana Seville is designed in a semi-circular shape. It is home to buildings, two towers, pretty mosaic benches, a large fountain, the Vicente Traver in the centre, encircled by a canal with bridges. The four bridges represent the four ancient kingdoms of SpainCastille, Aragon, Navarre and Leon.

This infamous Spain Square underwent extensive restoration between 2007 and 2010. Using photographs archived in the central library, the restoration team worked on pieces such as the ceramic streetlights, benches and the pavements. What you see today is an immensely grandiose square open to the public 7-days a week.


Discover the best of Seville along with its history while you eat through the city in 3.5 hours …


What to see and do at Plaza Espana Seville

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1 | Home to central government offices

Along with the restoration project, the compelling semi-circular structure was renovated and adapted as the new home for the central government offices. Flanked by two towers, at either end which marks as landmarks for this fabulous square.

2 | Magnificent views

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This sumptuous building has a 1st floor terrace and a ground level atrium. The first floor terrace has an handrail and its balcony stretch along its full length.

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With easy access by grand staircases, you get to see the entire sweep of the semi-circular structure. The central balcony is absolutely magnificent. The balconies make an excellent spot for that memorable picture perfect photos.

3 | Beautiful provincial alcoves

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At the foot and following the wall of the semi-circular curve of the building, are fifty-two alcoves with benches. Each alcove represent one each of the Spanish provinces with a map. The alcoves are beautifully designed and decorated with Andalusia tiles, the famed Azulejos (painted ceramic tiles).

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These splendid alcoves are very popular photo spots especially with Spanish tourists who are only too happy to have their photographs taken on their home province’s bench.

4 | “Venice of Seville”

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Following the curve of the imposing structure is a 500-metre canal. The moat can be crossed over by any of its four-bridges, which represents the ancient kingdoms of Spain.

You can experience the Venice of Seville by renting small boats to navigate the canal. This is a popular tourist activity.

5 | Watch a flamenco dance

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The Square is very lively with street performers. You might hear the sounds of a lone performer playing a Spanish classical guitar coming from somewhere. If you are lucky, you will see the street performers doing an open-air Flamenco dancing. It is free but any contribution is highly welcomed.

6 | Just chill, read or people watch …

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Grab your spot on one of the beautifully curated provincial benches, bathe in the sultry sunshine or just chill over a soft ice-cream while people watching.

If you want moments to yourself or just to catch-up on some reading, grab one of the beautiful benches away from the crowds on the opposite side of the building. It is secluded, quiet and away from all the chatter.

7 | Take a ride

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While opinions may differ, for most, a horse and carriage ride is a must-do activity. Seville is popular for its horse and carriage rides. The Plaza Espana is usually the finishing or the starting point of a 45-minute ride around the city.

**Georgina: While we do not support and therefore did not embark on this experience, we respect that each is to their own. We share information only with a view to support your travel itinerary if you wish to include a horse and carriage ride.

8 | A famous filming location

Given its breathtaking architecture, it is no wonder that Plaza Espana Seville was used for several filming locations and a backdrop to a video set. Here are several which I discovered after my visit to Seville:

i | Lawrence of Arabia in 1962;

ii | Star Wars Series > Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones in 2002;

iii | The Dictator (2012).

Was also used as a backdrop to the video of Simply Red’s song: “Something Got Me Started”

How to reach Plaza Espana Seville

Spain Square is located within the Maria Luisa Park, next to the pedestrianised Avenida Isabella La Catolica. You could access it via Teatro Lope de Vega and/or Fabrica de Tabaco.

Public transport – metro bus and tram are accessible via the nearest Prado de San Sebastian.


What to do in Seville?

There are so many activities and hidden gems in this city, just waiting to be explored. The following articles may provide a good guide to curate your itinerary:

Finally …

Rich architecture and colours feature heavily around the astounding Plaza Espana Seville. From provincial alcoves covered in Azulejos ceramics to ornate bridges also covered in Azulejos tiles. Blue, yellow, orange are all the prominent colours around the Plaza soothe by the waters of the canal – this is a place where one would either love it or hate it.

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Magnificent, fabulous, grandiose, absurdly wondrous and I am running out of superlatives to describe this place – I loved it here and wished I could have stayed longer. You can literally spend hours looking at the details of each of the ceramic alcoves. The entire Plaza Espana makes a perfect backdrop to any photos. I highly recommend the Spain Square in Seville as an attraction which must be visited. You will only take away wonderful memories and many incredible photos!

xoxo

Spain Travel Advice

Seville Spain 37.3891° N, 5.9845° W
Seville Spain
37.3891° N, 5.9845° W

OUR BEST SELLING ACTIVITIES FOR SEVILLE

1 | For an all-round experience of the sultry city, opt for a food walking tour

2 | Buy a combo ticket to visit the Royal Alcazar, Seville Cathedral + Giralda.

3 | Enjoy timeless experiences on the Guadalquivir River.

4 | Tapas hopping tours

5 | Flamenco & Tapas Experience in Triana



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The noble Torre del Oro Seville

torre de oro seville

The noble Torre del Oro, Seville

Written by: Georgina | We may earn a commission from affiliate links

Standing gallantly along the Guadalquivir River in Seville, Southern Spain is a simple-looking twelve sided tower called Torre del Oro. This incredibly deceptive tower once stood watch over the city, ready to defend against enemy invasion by the river. Built in the 13th century by the Almohad rulers, Torre del Oro was recognised as a historic symbol of the city of Seville in 1931. The tower is presently a maritime museum. The panoramic terrace offers great views over the city.

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1 | The history of Torre del Oro | Tower of Gold in Seville

torre del oro | tower of gold | seville | Torre del Oro on the left bank of the Guadalquivir River Seville
the noble Torre del Oro on the left bank of the Guadalquivir River Seville

Located on the left bank of the River Guadalquivir, the noble Torre del Oro or the Tower of Gold was constructed between 1220 and 1221 by then rulers of Seville, the Almohad Caliphate. Its purpose was a military watchtower to protect the city of Seville from the Castilian fleet during the Reconquista. As a watchtower, it also served as one of the two anchor points for a large chain that would have blocked any on-coming enemy ships in the River.

While protecting the land from the river entrance, the tower also stood defence by protecting the city area of industrial activities.

The Tower of Gold was built using mortar, lime and hay. The combination of these materials projected a subtle golden shine against the river waters, hence it inherited the name, in Arabic, Borg al-Dsayeb or ‘Tower of Gold’ in English.

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explore Seville by night: the Gold Tower

Interestingly, not all of what we see today of the 36 metres tower was built in the 13th century. The Torre del Oro has three levels.

The first twelve-sided level was built in 1220 – 1221. Added to this dodecagonal structure was a further 8 metres of the same design, built by the King Pedro 1, (‘Peter the Cruel’) in the 14th century. The third and the uppermost circular level were added in 1760. This incredible tower has been honoured with the title of a historic-artistic monument since 1931.

During its very many years, the Gold tower had been a chapel, a noble prison, a gunpowder warehouse and a strategic post of Naval Command.

The Torre del Oro today is home to a small naval museum occupying two floors along with a panoramic terrace.

2 | The Maritime Museum at The Torre del Oro in Seville today

torre del oro | tower of gold seville
Torre del Oro | Tower of Gold | Seville

Opened in 1944, the Tower of Gold is home to the Maritime Museum of the Torre del Oro in Seville. There are a series of exhibitions in this monument, beginning with its history, and view of the tower before the walled enclosure of 1760. A model of ‘Real Fernando‘, the first steamboat built in Spain.

You will also find ancient marine charts and documents along with compasses, nautical mechanisms, and fossilised marine debris.

A visit to the Tower of Gold also affords access to the panoramic terrace, with views of Seville city and the Guadalquivir River.

3 | Practical tips on how to visit the Maritime Museum of Seville

You can find the Tower of Gold located at:

Paseo Cristobal Colon s/n41001, Seville

Visiting times:

Monday to Friday: 9:30 am to 7:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday: 10:30 am to 7:00 pm

A voluntary contribution of €3.00 is recommended.

Free entry on Mondays

Fundación Museo Naval

4 | Sightseeing tips for Seville

Tower of Gold Seville

Accessing and visiting the Tower of Gold is easy and it does not really take too long to enjoy what the Naval Museum of Seville has to offer. We recommend that you combine this quick visit with one of the many popular boat tours of the Guadalquivir River. Enjoy a different view of Seville from the famous waters of Guadalquivir River. Torre del Oro is ideally located and is the departure point for many of the river cruises in Seville.

The Guadalquivir River one-hour city cruise runs regularly from the Torre del Oro and starts from just £12.50 per person (Feb. 2022).


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