“ Address: Plaza de Espana „
Plaza de España Seville.
The plaza de Espana can be found in the beautiful city of Seville. It was built for the 1929 Spanish-American exposition. This was the Spanish contribution to the exposition. Many South American countries built grand buildings and pavilions around the area around the Maria Louisa Park some of the buildings look incredible and have been either retained as Embassies or cultural centres such as the school for Flamenco dancing however these buildings are dwarfed by the magnificence of the Plaza de Espana which is the centre piece in the middle of the park.
Work started on building the plaza in 1914 and it was central to the exposition and took 14 years to build. It is a massive semi-circular building with two massive towers on either end and was built in red brick and partially covered with ceramic tiles. The building also has a covered walkway that spans the whole of the semi-circular building. At the base of the building are beautiful tiled ceramic seats and insignia depicting the 50-58 regional areas and provinces of Spain depending on which version you are told. It is quite ornate and in keeping with the local production of ceramic art. The central square is furnished with a canal running through the plaza, several bridges and a massive fountain in the centre of the plaza.
My first visit was during the evening and it was practically deserted apart from a local band who were practising in the plaza. They were quite loud and they practised in the park so as not to annoy the local residents as there are no dwellings nearby. They were actually quite good and it just added to the atmosphere of the plaza which is surrounded by the beautiful park. The building itself is illuminated at night and the square is lit up by the wrought iron lights around the square.
Unfortunately the fountains were not working when we visited at night and again in the morning as they were doing some repair work to the fountain but having seen pictures of it it was a shame that they were not working because it would have made the plaza even more spectacular. The Plaza was quite busy the next morning with lots of sellers trying to flog tat such as castanets and tea towels etc. You do have to be careful of pick pockets here as they place does teem with people and it is easy to lose concentration. It was quite nice to see horse and carts taking tourists around the plaza around the circular route beside the canal. The canal has several bridges spanning the canal which are covered in ceramics too. They do suffer from the elements and some are being restored. The heat in the summer often tops 45C during the daytime.
There have been several movies that used the building as a back ground in the films including star wars and Lawrence of Arabia. Currently the building is used as government offices and army administration centre so it is not possible to enter the building however to see the plaza is very worthwhile if you are in Seville.
Would I recommend a visit?
Absolutely I would it is a marvellous example of Gothic architecture which owes its existence to the architect Anibal Gonzalez who designed the plaza and the building. It is really well worth a visit and costs nothing to enter the park and the plaza. It is a permanent legacy left for future generations to enjoy and it is certainly enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. I would go as far as to say it is a must place to visit if you happen to be in the beautiful city of Seville.