From Academic Kids

This article is about the city in Spain. For the place in the U.S. state of Ohio see Seville, Ohio and for the automobile see Cadillac Seville.
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The Giralda Tower

Seville (Spanish: Sevilla) is the artistic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain, crossed by the river Guadalquivir. It is the capital of Andalusia and of the province of Sevilla. The inhabitants of the city are known as Sevillanos. Population of the city of Sevilla proper was 710,000 as of 2003 estimates. Population of the urban area was 1,043,000 as of 2000 estimates. Population of the metropolitan area (urban area plus satellite towns) was 1,294,000 as of 2003 estimates, ranking as the fourth-largest metropolitan area of Spain. As of 2005, the mayor of Seville is Alfredo Sánchez Monteseirín.



Roman Hispalis, in the province of Hispania Baetica, was renamed ʾIšbīliyyah (Arabic أشبيليّة) under the Moors. 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.

The architecture of the older parts of the city still reflects the centuries of Moorish control of the city, beginning in 711. In the 11th century, after a brief independence as one of the taifa principalities, when it was the seat of the Abbadids while the Caliphate collapsed. Seville 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.

Sculpted archway in the old town centre
Sculpted archway in the old town centre
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Night view of Bridge of Triana from Betis Street

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. Amerigo Vespucci died in Seville. 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, and 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 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.

Seville was a stronghold of the liberals during the Spanish Civil War, 1820-1823.

Modern Seville

It 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.


Main article: Seville cathedral.

The city's great cathedral was built from 14011519 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 representing Faith. The Giralda is the city's most famous symbol.

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1929 Exposition Building, the Plaza de España

The Alcázar facing the cathedral is the city's old Moorish Palace; construction was begun in 1181. Additional construction continued for over 500 years.

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" 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.

Sweets from Seville

Typical for this region are polvorones, pestiños, roscos fritos, magdalenas, yemas de San Leandro, amd Tortas de aceite, all of which are consumed throughout the year. Many of the sweets associated with Seville are made by nuns in the city's convents, and provide the convents with a source of revenue.



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 "gray" wastewaster.

Renowned people born in Seville


Home town of two rival soccer teams Sevilla FC and Real Betis Balompié.

Seville hosted the 7th Athletics World Championships in 1999.


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 did not abandon 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

See also

Seville is the setting for part of Dan Brown's novel 'Digital Fortress'. There is an exciting chase inside 'The Giralda Tower'.

External links

ca:Sevilla cs:Sevilla da:Sevilla de:Sevilla es:Sevilla eo:Sevilo fr:Séville hu:Sevilla it:Siviglia ja:セビリャ nl:Sevilla (stad) no:Sevilla pl:Sewilla pt:Sevilha ro:Sevilia simple:Seville fi:Sevilla sv:Sevilla zh:塞维利亚


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