- 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.
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.
Seville was named Ishbiliya under the Moors and Hispalis under the Romans. Legend has it that it was founded by the equally legendary Greek hero, Hercules. Historians believe it was founded by the Tartessos in the 8th or 9th century BCE. Later it was occupied by the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians, who destroyed the city in 216 BCE. In 206 BCE, Scipio Africanus founded Italica nearby 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.
The city was long an important sea port, prior to the silting up of the Guadalquivir. It sits well inland, but a mere 6 meters above sea level. Much of the Spanish Empire's treasures from the New World came to Europe via Seville, and Seville still holds the most important archive of the Spanish administration in the Americas, the Archivo de Indias. The American riches made it an attractor for people around Spain, ranging from latifundia nobles and foreign merchants (brokered by Spanish cargadores) to an active crime scene, pictured in the picaresque genre.
It was the home of Expo 92 World's Fair. The showpiece bridge across the Guadalquivir, designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, was built for this occasion. Seville also 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.
Seville is known for its hot summer weather, reaching even 51 degrees Celsius in the hottest days of the summer.
Renowned People Born in Seville
The city's great Cathedral was built from 1401 - 1519 after the Reconquista on the former site of the city's mosque. The interior is lavishly decorated, with a large quantity of gold evident. The Cathedral reused some columns and elements from the old 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.
The Alcazar 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 now is landscaped with attractive monuments and museums.
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
- Seville hosts the legend of Don Juan
- Seville is the primary setting of Bizet's opera Carmen, and also of Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville
- Beethoven's Fidelio is also placed there.
- Seville is the setting of the novel and film Nadie conoce a nadie, which incorporates the elaborate Sevillian processions during Holy Week.
- The Plaza de España in the Parque de María Luisa appears in George Lucas' Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
- Seville appears in John Woo's Mission: Impossible II, but it's tremendously altered. The ambience in the film is South American, and the strange celebration seen in the street is nowhere to be seen in Seville, it's purely an invention for the movie.
Night view of Bridge of Triana from Betis street.
view of Seville from the Giralda tower next to the cathedral.
Sculpted archway, old town centre
1929 Exposition Building, the Plaza de España
- City councils (http://www.sevilla.org/) (in Spanish only)