When I first set foot in Seville, it immediately felt of its place. That might sound a bit odd, but the narrow streets, the orange trees, the humidity, the scent it gave off… although I had never been here before, it was unmistakably Seville. Although all of the city that I was able to explore felt this way, one of the places I most wanted to visit, the Plaza de España, was so new relative to the historic city I wasn’t sure if it would have that same feeling. Built in the late 1920s for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and mixing a number of Spanish architectural styles, it felt like it had been here for centuries.
I really shouldn’t have questioned if this place would feel like an authentic part of Seville, even with its most avant garde architecture of the city, everything in the city feels like it fits. Standing in the centre of Parque de María Luisa, these now mostly governmental buildings feel like they’ve been here much longer than ninety years.
The south wing of buildings matches the curve of a built in river of the public square. To give a sense of scope and size, the curved buildings run the length of five soccer fields laid end to end.
The Plaza de España, built in a horseshoe shape, is anchored at its north and south ends by impressive matching towers.
When my wife and I visited, it was on another on and off rainy day. The sheltered walkways in the front of the Plaza de España were a great place to take in the architecture of the buildings when the rains came.
My favourite features of this site were the elaborately tiled alcoves running along the front of the Plaza.
There are 48 alcoves, one dedicated to each of Spain’s provinces. The colourful azulejos included a map and representative scenes from that province. Walking along here was like taking a quick history, cultural and geography lesson, and a very beautiful one at that.
We both got a little wet on our exploration, but it was well worth it. Visiting this site was a great way to spend a few hours one morning.