You think it is beautiful, fantastic and impressive. Or just totally over the top and way too much fuss. Plaza de España in Seville may be the most beautiful square in the world, but according to my book, not everyone is enthusiastic. During 12 days of vacation in Europe, I visit Seville with my parents in 5 days. Slightly nervous, I look at my maps.me navigation and lead my parents from the cathedral toward María Luisa City Park. Where you will find Seville’s most famous square. I’ve read so much about it and secretly I totally love showing this to my parents. Now let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint…. Only 100 more meters to go, says my phone. And then suddenly we are there. My mouth falls open in amazement. Tears prick behind my eyes. Is this Plaza de España? It’s impressive and overwhelming. Truly a fairytale. And thus absolutely worth to have its own blog.
Plaza de España | Splendor in Seville
It is totally cliché and really true: Plaza de España must be seen if you are in Seville. A true pleasure during your vacations in Spain. It is so impressive that the question quickly came to my mind: who comes up with such a thing? Such a fairytale building, the shape, the size, the details, that canal, those boats…. How, what, who and when?
It is actually quite simple and perhaps not what you would expect. In fact, this particular structure has not existed for centuries, nor have kings lived there. It is simply the result of Seville architect Aníbal Gonzáles being asked to design several pavilions for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. With this, Seville wanted to impress the world. Aníbal designed the Archaeological Museum, among other things, but his masterpiece was the crescent-shaped Pavilion de España.
Like you’ve landed in a movie
Although the World’s Fair in the 1920s made Seville a bustling city, the expected spectacle of the exhibition did not materialize. In fact, Seville almost went bankrupt because of it. Aníbal Gonzáles died two weeks after the exhibition opened, having previously dropped out of the project.
Meanwhile, Plaza de España is an icon of Seville, and has succeeded after all. The square looks just like a movie set, so it is easy to understand that the square was actually used as a movie set several times. For example, you can see Plaza de España in Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones from 2002 and in The Dictator from 2012, among others.
The Pavilion de España
The pavilion is a mix of different architectural styles characteristic of Seville. Think gothic, mudejar, Renaissance and Spanish Baroque. It all comes together in this one structure. The pavilion consists of a long gallery of ochre-colored bricks. On either side you will find two tall towers and below the gallery you will find niches covered with azulejos and tile panels. Each niche represents a Spanish province with important historical events.
You can walk through the gallery and there are two places where you can go up the stairs for a beautiful view of the impressive square.
And did you know that…
…The square was renovated not long ago? In 2010, Plaza de España reopened after a renovation that cost a whopping 14 million euros.
…there are government services attached to the pavilion these days? If you walk through it, you will see which ones, but they are not open to the public. A very special workplace, by the way.
…You can rent a boat to go under the bridges? Seems to be a popular activity among Seville families who all go boat bumping in Plaza de España on weekends.
The square that makes your heart leap
I have seen seen quite a bit of the world but never before has a simple town square made such an impression. No matter where you stand, everything about this square is impressive. The canal, the towers, the colors, the details. My camera is running overtime. The fountain is also beautiful and coincidentally at the time we were standing there a rainbow appeared. There are many tourists and the horse and carriages make that tourist feeling even worse, but I can easily see through that in this case.
We walk the gallery and feast our eyes. The beautiful alcoves are great for sitting for a while and the shade of the gallery is pleasant to escape the scorching sun. We walk through the entire pavilion and go up the stairs twice for an even better view. You also have a beautiful view of the pavilion from the fountain and the entrance to María Luisa Park.
I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in one square this long before either. Here you just don’t get bored. Around four o’clock we decide to take a stroll through the adjacent park (which is also very beautiful, by the way), and then walk back to our apartment in beautiful Seville.
Plaza de España in Seville is also called the most beautiful square in the world. Totally understandable. This crescent-shaped square is so impressive, overwhelming and special that you won’t want to leave. An absolute must-see in beautiful Seville! Read more about Seville here.
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