Plaza de España – The Seville Plaza May be Ostentatious But It’s Also Stylish:
Seville’s Plaza de España is a semi-circle of buildings built in theatrical style on the edge of Parque de María Luisa. The complex looks grand and antique, but it was only built some 84 years ago as a centrepiece of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.
The Ibero-American Exposition
The Ibero-American Exposition was a world fair held in Seville in 1929 to improve Spain’s relations with the countries in attendance, many of which were former colonies of Spain. Although it was smaller than the International Exposition held in Barcelona in that same year, it was nevertheless stylish and built to show off Seville’s building and industrial talents to the countries attending.
Plaza de España
Plaza de España was designed by Aníbal González who adopted a combination of 1920s Art Deco and mock-Mudéjar, Neo-Mudéjar styles for this Seville plaza. Buildings frame the huge semi-circle and in front of the buildings, following the curve of the building façade, is a 500-metre canal with four bridges crossing it. In the centre of it all is the Plaza itself with a fountain. A either end of the Plaza is a tower, tall enough to be visible around the city. If one of these landmarks look a little familiar, it is a look-alike of La Giralda.
Plaza de España looks ostentatious and gives the impression that it was the folly of some past Spanish ruler. But love it or hate it, it is nevertheless impressive especially when you look at the exquisite tilework, especially those on the bridges and the 48 alcoves representing each of Spain’s provinces. The alcoves are a popular backdrop for Spanish visitors wanting to take a picture in front of their home province alcove.
Although it was thought that many of the foreign buildings would be used as consulates after the closing of the Expo, today the Plaza de España mainly houses various government offices.
The Plaza is known as “the Venice of Seville” and you can rent small boats to row in the canal. But more interestingly, Plaza de España has been used as film sets for a number of major movies, such as Star Wars II, Lawrence of Arabia, and Sasha Baron-Cohen’s latest film The Dictator.
Plaza de España
Parque Maria Luisa
41013 Seville, Spain
Map of Seville: