|001 Seville cathedral||002 Alcazar||003 Arena|
|004 Plaza de Espana||005 Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija||006 Torre del Oro|
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View of the Cathedral of Seville and the Archivo de Indias
The distinctive cloaks and hoods of the Easter Holy Week processions
Night view of Bridge of Triana from Betis Street
1929 Exposition Building, the Plaza de España
Seville AVE Railway Station
Alamillo Bridge, designed by Santiago Calatrava
The old wall.
Seville (Spanish: Sevilla, see also different names) is the artistic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain, irrigated by the river Guadalquivir (37°22′38″N, 5°59′13″W). It is the capital of Andalusia and of the province of Sevilla. The inhabitants of the city are known as Sevillanos (feminine form: Sevillanas). The population of the city of Seville proper was 704,154 as of 2005 (INE estimate). The population of the urban area was 1,043,000 as of 2000 estimates. Population of the metropolitan area (urban area plus satellite towns) was 1,317,098 as of 2005 (INE estimate), ranking as the fourth-largest metropolitan area of Spain.
Roman Hispalis (Ἵσπαλις in Greek sources; and Hispal in some sources (Mela ii. 6, Sil. Ital. iii. 392), in the province of Hispania Baetica. Though Greeks and Romans repeated a founding myth connected with Heracles' visit to the Hesperides the historical site was occupied by the Tartessos in the 8th or 9th century BCE. Later it was a trading colony occupied by the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians, who destroyed the city in 216 BCE. In 206 BCE, Scipio Africanus founded Italica nearby, to settle his wounded veterans, and began the reconstruction of Hispalis. It was made a colony by Julius Caesar; and although an attempt seems to have been made to exalt the neighbouring colony of Baetis above it, the very site of which is now doubtful, it ranked, in Strabo's time, among the first cities of Turdetania, next after Corduba (modern Córdoba) and Gades (modern Cádiz); and afterwards even advanced in dignity, so that, in the time of Ptolemy, it had the title of metropolis, and under the Vandals and Goths it ranked above Corduba, and became the capital of Southern Spain. In the Roman Empire it was the seat of a conventus juridicus, and bore the titles of Julia Romula and Colonia Romulensis. Its ancient coins have been described and catalogued by Enrique Florez. (Strab. iii. pp. 141, 142; Hirt. Bell. Alex. 51, 56; Dion. Cass. xliii. 39; Plin. iii. 3; Itin. Ant. pp. 410, 413, 416; Geog. Rav. iv. 45; Philostr. Vit. Apoll. v. 3, 6; Auson. Clar. Urb. 8; Isidor. Etym. xv. 1; Inser. ap. Gruter, pp. 201, 257, Orelli, vol. ii. p. 396; Florez, Esp. S. vol. ix. pp. 89, 90; Coins ap. Florez, Med. de Esp. vol. ii. p. 543; Mionnet, vol. i. p. 24, Suppl. vol i. p. 42; Eckhel, vol. i. p. 28.)
Hispalis became ʼIšbīliyyah (Arabic أشبيليّة) under the Moors. The architecture of the older parts of the city still reflects the centuries of Moorish control of the city, beginning in 711. After a brief independence as one of the taifa principalities, from 1023 to 1091, when it was the seat of the Abbadids while the Caliphate of Cordoba collapsed, Seville then fell to the Reconquista of Ferdinand III of Castile in 1248.
Seville was governed from Cordoba but as a port it retained strategic importance: Emir Abd ar-Rahman II built a fleet and arsenal at Seville in the mid-9th century.
Seville the port
The city sits well inland, but a mere 6 meters above sea level. Seville was long an important sea port, prior to the silting up of the Guadalquivir. From Seville Ferdinand Magellan obtained the ships for his circumnavigation. Much of the Spanish Empire's silver from the New World came to Europe in the Spanish treasure fleet that landed in Seville. The city was home to the Casa de Contratación, the government agency which oversaw all overseas trade. Seville holds the most important archive of the Spanish administration in the Americas (the Archivo General de Indias). The American riches made it a magnet for people around Spain, ranging from latifundia nobles and foreign merchants (who were brokered by Spanish cargadores) to an active petty crime scene, pictured in the picaresque genre. The American silver was rapidly transhipped to Antwerp or Genoa, seat of the bankers who had advanced steady funds to the Spanish Crown. Other treasures of the Americas passed first through Seville: the first commercial shipment of chocolate from Veracruz arrived in Seville in 1585.
The city was the biggest of Spain in 16th and 17th centuries, with a population of 130,000 in 1649, the year of the Great Plague of Seville. It was the beginning of the city's fall from importance, but Seville was an important artistic center of the baroque.
Seville was a stronghold of the liberals during the Spanish Civil War, 1820-1823.
Due to its proximity to Africa, during the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, Seville fell soon to the insurgent army led by Francisco Franco.
Seville was the home of Expo 92 World's Fair. The showpiece Alamillo bridge spanning the Guadalquivir designed by Santiago Calatrava, was built for this occasion. Seville hosted the European Summit in June 2002; this was met with a counter-summit by those opposing neoliberalism and the tightening of European regulations on immigration. The final assembly and the test flights of the Airbus A400M military aircraft will be done in the new EADS-CASA plant built near the San Pablo Airport.
Today Seville is a stronghold of the Socialist Party (PSOE). In the 2004 Spanish general election, they had a majority of 30.4% over their nearest rivals - higher than in any other Spanish provincial capital city. The mayor of Seville is Alfredo Sánchez Monteseirín.
The city's cathedral was built from 1401–1519 after the Reconquista on the former site of the city's mosque. It is the largest of all medieval and Gothic cathedrals, in terms of both area and volume. The interior, with the longest nave in Spain, is lavishly decorated, with a large quantity of gold evident. The Cathedral reused some columns and elements from the mosque, and most famously the Giralda, originally a minaret, was converted into a bell tower. It is topped with a statue, known locally as La Giraldilla, representing Faith. The Giralda is the city's most famous symbol.
The Alcázar facing the cathedral is the city's old Moorish Palace; construction was begun in 1181, continued for over 500 years, mainly in Mudéjar style, but also in Renaissance. Its gardens are a blend of Moorish Andalusian and Christian traditions.
The Torre del Oro was built by the Almohad dynasty as 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 Town Hall, built in the 16th century in Plateresque Style by Diego de Riaño. The Façade to Plaza Nueva was built in the 19th century in Neoclassical style.
The Parque Maria Luisa was built for the 1929 Exposición Ibero-Americana World's Fair, and remains landscaped with attractive monuments and museums.
The Easter Holy week, "Semana Santa", and the Seville Fair, "La Feria de Sevilla" (also Feria de Abril, "April Fair") are the two most well-known of Seville's festivals. Seville is internationally renowned for the solemn but beautiful processions during Semana Santa, and the colourful and lively fair held two weeks after. During Feria families set up casetas or tents in which they spend the week dancing, drinking and socializing with their whole extended families. The women wear elaborate flamenco dresses and the men dress in their best suits. The fair grounds are set up like a type of village in which each street is named after a famous torero, or bull fighter.
Cakes and Sweet Pastry from Seville
Typical of this province are polvorones and mantecados from the town of Estepa, a sort of shortcake made with almonds, sugar and lard; Pestiños, a honey-coated sweet fritter; Roscos fritos, deep-fried sugar-coated ring doughnuts; magdalenas or fairy cakes; yemas de San Leandro, made by nuns in the city's convents, providing the convents with a source of revenue; and Tortas de aceite, a thin sugar-coated cake made with olive oil.
All of these are consumed throughout the year.
University of Seville
Pablo de Olavide University
Seville is known for its hot summer weather, reaching even 50.0°C (122.0°F) on August 4, 1881, the record heat for Europe.
The Sevillana flamenco dance, the one most people think of when they think "flamenco" is not actually of Sevillan origin. But the folksongs called Sevillanas are authentically Sevillan, as is the four-part dance that goes with them.
The Seville oranges that dot the city landscape, too sour for modern tastes, are the best for making marmalade; they are irrigated with "grey" wastewater.
Kansas City, Missouri's Country Club Plaza was designed to mimic downtown Seville, including a scaled replica of the Giralda.
The world-famous picaresque novel Rinconete y Cortadillo by Miguel de Cervantes takes place in the city of Seville. Cervantes started to write and think about his masterpiece Don Quixote while he was incarcerated in a Seville prison.
Famous people born in Seville and Seville province
Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian were born in Italica
Renaissance composer Cristóbal de Morales
16th century novelist Mateo Alemán
Playwrights Lope de Rueda Hermanos Alvarez Quintero
Historian of New Spain Bartolomé de Las Casas
Explorer Juan Díaz de Solís, born in Lebrija
Spanish Linguist and Grammarian Antonio de Nebrija, born in Lebrija
Baroque painters Velázquez, Valdes Leal and Murillo
Explorer and astronomer Antonio de Ulloa
Romantic poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
Bullfighters Juan Belmonte, Curro Romero, José Antonio Morantes de La Puebla and Joselito el Gallo
20th century poets:
Vicente Aleixandre (Nobel Laureate)
Manuel Machado, his brother
Composer Joaquín Turina
Actors Paco Leon, Manuel Luna
Actresses Carmen Sevilla and Paz Vega, Conchita Bautista
Dancers Antonio, el bailarin, Realito, Farruquito
Singers Isabel Pantoja, Juanita Reina, Lole y Manuel, Paquita Rico, El Caracol, and a large etcetera...
Comedians Paco Gandía, Josele, Pepe da Rosa and the Cadaval brothers, Jorge and Cesar, better known as Los Morancos.
Football (soccer) players Rafael Gordillo, Antonio Ramiro, "Antoñito" and Jose Antonio Reyes, Fernando Muñoz, "Nando", Ricardo Serna, Sergio Ramos
Track and field runner Antonio Jiménez Pentinel (European Champion in 3000-meters steeplechase)
Olympic swimmer Fátima Madrid
Rower Beatriz Manchon
Politicians Felipe González, President of the Government of Spain from 1982 to 1996, and Alfonso Guerra, vice president from 1982 to 1991
Seville is the hometown of two rival football (soccer) teams: Real Betis Balompié and Sevilla Fútbol Club.
Seville also unsuccessfully bid for the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, which it lost to Athens and Beijing, respectively. For political reasons, it was unable to bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics as Madrid was also interested in submitting its own bid. Seville had already shown its ability to cope with other international sport events such as the Tennis Davis Cup in 2004 and the 7th Athletics World Championships in 1999.
Seville also hosted in 2003 the UEFA Cup Final in the new Olympic stadium. The final was between Celtic F.C. (Scotland) and Futebol Clube do Porto (Portugal). The match finshed in extra time 3–2 to Porto after a 2-2 draw at 90 minutes.
Seville FC are the 2006 UEFA Cup Champions, their first European trophy after an emphatic 4-0 victory over Middlesbrough FC (England) in the final, played at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven on May 10th 2006. They are also the holders of the European Supercup which they won with another emphatic 0-3 defeat of F.C. Barcelona (Spain) in Stade Louis II in Monaco on August 26th 2006.
Seville's Motto on a manhole cover.
The motto of Seville is "NO8DO". The "8" is shaped like a wool hank, in Spanish madeja. This makes the motto, as a rebus, read "NO madeja DO," which is a pun on "no me ha dejado" = "it has not abandoned me". This refers to the city's support for king Alphonse X in the war with his son Don Sancho in the 13th century. This motto is seen throughout Seville, inscribed on manhole covers.
Seville in fiction
Seville is the setting for the legend of Don Juan (inspired by the real aristocrat Don Miguel de Mañara).
Seville is the primary setting of many operas, the best known of which are Bizet's "Carmen," Rossini's "The Barber of Seville," Verdi's "La Forza del Destino," Beethoven's "Fidelio," Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and "The Marriage of Figaro," and Prokofiev's "Betrothal in a Monastery."
The episode "The Grand Inquisitor" in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov is set with Christ's return to Seville.
Seville is the setting of the novel and film Nadie conoce a nadie, which incorporates the elaborate Sevillian processions during Holy Week.
Seville is the setting of the novel "The Seville Communion" by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.
The Plaza de España in the Parque de María Luisa appears in George Lucas' Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones as well as in Lawrence of Arabia.
Seville appears in the first chapter of science fiction novel Ringworld by Larry Niven.
Seville is both the location and setting for much of the 1985 Doctor Who television serial The Two Doctors.
Seville is given as the setting of part of the action on Tom Cruise's Mission Impossible II, but wasn't shot there. The portray of the Holy Week in the film holds no link to reality.
The Patio de los Naranjos in the Catedral appears in Kingdom of heaven.
Seville is also used as one of the locations in Dan Brown's "Digital Fortress". According to the author he started to think about writing his The Da Vinci Code when he was doing a course on Art History at the University of Seville.
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