Clockwise from top: St. Mary of the See Cathedral and Giralda, Plaza de España in the Maria Luisa Park, Metropol Parasol, the Isabel II ("Triana") bridge and the Torre del Oro.
|Motto: NO8DO (It [Seville] has not abandoned me)|
|Coordinates: / 37.37722; -5.98694 / 37.37722; -5.98694|
|• Body||Ayuntamiento de Sevilla|
|• Mayor (2015)||Juan Espadas (PSOE)|
|• City||140 km (50 sq mi)|
|Elevation||7 m (23 ft)|
|Population (2011) (INE)|
|• Density||5,002.93/km (12,957.5/sq mi)|
sevillano (m), sevillana (f)
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Seville (//; Spanish: Sevilla [seˈβiʎa], locally [seˈβi(ɟ)ʝa] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville, Spain. It is situated on the plain of the river Guadalquivir. The inhabitants of the city are known as sevillanos (feminine form: sevillanas) or hispalenses, after the Roman name of the city, Hispalis. Seville has a municipal population of about 703,000 as of 2011, and a metropolitan population of about 1.5 million, making it the fourth-largest city in Spain and the 30th most populous municipality in the European Union. Its Old Town, with an area of 4 square kilometres (2 sq mi), contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. The Seville harbour, located about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean, is the only river port in Spain. Seville is also the hottest major metropolitan area in the geographical Western Europe, with summer average high temperatures of above 35 °C (95 °F).
Seville was founded as the Roman city of Hispalis. It later became known as Ishbiliya (Arabic: إشبيلية) after the Muslim conquest in 712. During the Muslim rule in Spain, Seville came under the jurisdiction of the Caliphate of Córdoba before becoming the independent Taifa of Seville; later it was ruled by the Muslim Almoravids and the Almohads until finally being incorporated into the Christian Kingdom of Castile under Ferdinand III in 1248. After the discovery of the Americas, Seville became one of the economic centres of the Spanish Empire as its port monopolised the trans-oceanic trade and the Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) wielded its power, opening a Golden Age of arts and literature. In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan departed from Seville for the first circumnavigation of the Earth. Coinciding with the Baroque period of European history, the 17th century in Seville represented the most brilliant flowering of the city's culture; then began a gradual economic and demographic decline as silting in the Guadalquivir forced the trade monopoly to relocate to the nearby port of Cádiz.
The 20th century in Seville saw the tribulations of the Spanish Civil War, decisive cultural milestones such as the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and Expo '92, and the city's election as the capital of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.
Spal is the oldest known name for Seville. It appears to have originated during the Phoenician colonisation of the Tartessian culture in south-western Iberia and, according to Manuel Pellicer Catalán, meant "lowland" in the Phoenician language (similar to the Hebrew Shfela). During Roman rule, the name was Latinised as Hispalis. After the Umayyad invasion, this name was adapted into Arabic as Ishbiliyya (Arabic: إشبيلية) since p does not exist in Arabic, it was replaced by b, the Latin place-name suffix -is was replaced by its direct Arabic equivalent -iyya, and stressed a /æ/ turned into i /i/, due to the phonetic phenomenon called imāla.
"NO8DO" is the official motto of Seville. It is popularly believed to be a rebus signifying the Spanish "No me ha dejado", meaning "It [Seville] has not abandoned me" but pronounced with synalepha as [no ma ðeˈxaðo] . The eight in the middle represents a madeja [maˈðexa], or skein of wool. Legend states that the title was given by King Alfonso X, who was resident in the city's Alcázar and supported by the citizens when his son, later Sancho IV of Castille, tried to usurp the throne from him. The emblem is present on the municipal flag and features on city property such as manhole covers, and Christopher Columbus's tomb in the Cathedral.
Seville is approximately 2,200 years old. The passage of the various civilisations instrumental in its growth has left the city with a distinct personality, and a large and well-preserved historical centre.
The mythological founder of the city is Hercules (Heracles), commonly identified with the Phoenician god Melqart, who the myth says sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar to the Atlantic, and founded trading posts at the current sites of Cádiz and of Seville.
The city was known from Roman times as Hispalis. Important archaeological remains also exist in the nearby towns of Santiponce (Italica) and Carmona.
Existing Roman features in Seville include the remnants of an aqueduct, a temple in Mármoles Street, the columns of La Alameda de Hércules, the remains exposed in situ in the underground Antiquarium of the Metropol Parasol building and the remains in the Patio de Banderas square near of the Seville Cathedral. The walls surrounding the city were originally built during the rule of Julius Caesar, but their current course and design were the result of Moorish reconstructions.
Following Roman rule, there were successive conquests of the Roman province of Hispania Baetica by the Vandals, the Suebi and the Visigoths during the 5th and 6th centuries.
Seville was taken by the Moors, Muslims from North of Africa, during the conquest of Hispalis in 712. It was the capital for the kings of the Umayyad Caliphate, the Almoravid dynasty first and after the Almohad dynasty (from Arabic al-Muwahhidun, i.e., "the monotheists" or "the Unitarians"), from the 8th to 13th centuries.
The Moorish urban influences continued and are present in contemporary Seville, for instance in the custom of decorating with herbaje and small fountains the courtyards of the houses. However, most buildings of the Moorish aesthetic actually belong to the Mudéjar style of Islamic art, developed under Christian rule and inspired by the Arabic style. Original Moorish buildings are the Patio del Yeso in the Alcázar, the city walls, and the main section of the Giralda, bell tower of the Seville Cathedral.
In 1247, the Christian King Ferdinand III of Castile and Leon began the conquest of Andalusia. After conquering Jaén and Córdoba, he seized the villages surrounding the city, Carmona Lora del Rio and Alcalá del Rio, and kept a standing army in the vicinity, the siege lasting for fifteen months. The decisive action took place in May 1248 when Ramon Bonifaz sailed up the Guadalquivir and severed the Triana bridge that made the provisioning of the city from the farms of the Aljarafe possible. The city surrendered on 23 November 1248.
The city's development continued after the Castilian conquest in 1248. Public buildings constructed including churches, many of which were built in the Mudéjar style, and the Seville Cathedral, built during the 15th century with Gothic architecture. The Moors' Palace became the Castilian royal residence, and during Pedro I's rule it was replaced by the Alcázar (the upper levels are still used by the Royal Family as the official Seville residence).
After the 1391 Pogrom, believed to having been instigated by the Archdeacon Ferrant Martinez, all the synagogues in Seville were converted to churches (renamed Santa María la Blanca, San Bartolome, Santa Cruz, and Convento Madre de Dios). The Jewish quarter's land and shops (sited in modern-day 'Barrio Santa Cruz') were appropriated by the church. Many were killed during the pogrom, although most were forced to convert.
The first tribunal of the Spanish Inquisition was instituted in Seville in 1478. At first, the activity of the Inquisition was limited to the dioceses of Seville and Córdoba, where Alonso de Hojeda had detected converso activity. The first Auto de Fé took place in Seville on 6 February 1481, when six people were burned alive. Alonso de Hojeda himself gave the sermon. The Inquisition then grew rapidly. The Plaza de San Francisco was the site of the 'autos de fé'. By 1492, tribunals existed in eight Castilian cities: Ávila, Córdoba, Jaén, Medina del Campo, Segovia, Sigüenza, Toledo and Valladolid; and by the Alhambra decree all Jews were forced to convert to Catholicism or be ejected from Spain.
Following the 1492 Christopher Columbus expedition to the New World (from the port of Palos de la Frontera), the results from his claiming territory and trade for the Crown of Castile (incipient Spain) in the West Indies began to profit the city, as all goods imported from the New World had to pass through the Casa de Contratacion before being distributed throughout the rest of Spain. A 'golden age of development' commenced in Seville, due to its being the only port awarded the royal monopoly for trade with the growing Spanish colonies in the Americas and the influx of riches from them. Since only sailing ships leaving from and returning to the inland port of Seville could engage in trade with the Spanish Americas, merchants from Europe and other trade centres needed to go to Seville to acquire New World trade goods. The city's population grew to more than a hundred thousand people.
In the late 16th century the monopoly was broken, with the port of Cádiz also authorised as a port of trade. The Great Plague of Seville in 1649 reduced the population by almost half, and it would not recover until the early 19th century. By the 18th century its international importance was in decline. After the silting up of the harbour by the Guadalquivir (river), upriver shipping ceased and the city went into relative economic decline.
The writer Miguel de Cervantes lived primarily in Seville between 1596 and 1600. Because of financial problems, Cervantes worked as a purveyor for the Spanish Armada, and later as a tax collector. In 1597, discrepancies in his accounts of the three years previous landed him in the Royal Prison of Seville for a short time. Rinconete y Cortadillo, a popular comedy among his works, features two young vagabonds who come to Seville, attracted by the riches and disorder that the 16th-century commerce with the Americas had brought to that metropolis.
During the 18th century Charles III of Spain promoted Seville's industries. Construction of the Real Fábrica de Tabacos (Royal Tobacco Factory) began in 1728, with additions to it over the next 30 years. It was the second largest building in Spain, after the royal residence El Escorial. Since the 1950s it has been the seat of the rectorate of the University of Seville, together with the Schools of Law, Philology, Geography and History.
Up to 153 operas have been set in the city, including those by such composers as Beethoven (Fidelio), Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni), Rossini (The Barber of Seville) and Bizet "(Carmen)".
Seville became the dean of the Spanish provincial press in 1758 with the publication of its first newspaper, the Hebdomario útil de Seville, the first to be printed in Spain outside Madrid.
Between 1825 and 1833, Melchor Cano acted as chief architect in Seville; most of the urban planning policy and architectural modifications of the city were made by him and his collaborator Jose Manuel Arjona y Cuba.
Industrial architecture surviving today from the first half of the 19th century includes the ceramics factory installed in the Carthusian monastery at La Cartuja in 1841 by the Pickman family, and now home to the El Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC), which manages the collections of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla. It also houses the rectory of the UNIA.
In the years that Queen Isabel II ruled directly, about 1843–1868, the Sevillian bourgeoisie invested in a construction boom unmatched in the city's history. The Isabel II bridge, better known as the Triana bridge, dates from this period; street lighting was expanded in the municipality and most of the streets were paved during this time as well.
By the second half of the 19th century Seville began an expansion supported by railway construction and the demolition of part of its ancient walls, allowing the urban space of the city to grow eastward and southward. The Sevillana de Electricidad Company was created in 1894 to provide electric power throughout the municipality, and in 1901 the Plaza de Armas railway station was inaugurated. The Museum of Fine Arts (Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla) opened in 1904.
In 1929 the city hosted the Ibero-American Exposition, which accelerated the southern expansion of the city and created new public spaces such as the Plaza de España and the Maria Luisa Park. Not long before the opening, the Spanish government began a modernisation of the city in order to prepare for the expected crowds by erecting new hotels and widening the mediaeval streets to allow for the movement of automobiles.
Seville fell very quickly at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. General Queipo de Llano carried out a coup within the city, quickly capturing the city centre. Radio Seville opposed the uprising and called for the peasants to come to the city for arms, while workers' groups established barricades. De Llano then moved to capture Radio Seville, which he used to broadcast propaganda on behalf of the Franquist forces. After the initial takeover of the city, resistance continued among residents of the working-class neighbourhoods for some time, until a series of fierce reprisals took place.
Under Francisco Franco's rule Spain was officially neutral in World War II (although it did collaborate with the Axis powers), and like the rest of the country, Seville remained largely economically and culturally isolated from the outside world. In 1953 the shipyard of Seville was opened, eventually employing more than 2,000 workers in the 1970s. Before the existence of wetlands regulation in the Guadalquivir basin, Seville suffered regular heavy flooding; perhaps worst of all were the floods that occurred in November 1961 when the River Tamarguillo, a tributary of the Guadalquivir, overflowed as a result of a prodigious downpour of rain, and Seville was consequently declared a disaster zone.
Trade unionism in Seville began during the 1960s with the underground organisational activities of the Workers' Commissions or Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), in factories such as Hytasa, the Astilleros shipyards, Hispano Aviación, etc. Several of the movement's leaders were imprisoned in November 1973. On 3 April 1979 Spain held its first democratic municipal elections after the end of Franco's dictatorship; councillors representing four different political parties were elected in Seville. On 5 November 1982, Pope John Paul II arrived in Seville to officiate at a Mass before more than half a million people at the fairgrounds. He visited the city again 13 June 1993, for the International Eucharistic Congress.
In 1992, coinciding with the fifth centenary of the Discovery of the Americas, the Universal Exposition was held for six months in Seville, on the occasion of which the local communications network infrastructure was greatly improved: the SE-30 ring road around the city was completed and new highways were constructed; the new Santa Justa train station had opened in 1991, while the Spanish High Speed Rail system, the Alta Velocidad Española (AVE), began to operate between Madrid-Seville. The Seville Airport, (Aeropuerto de Sevilla), was expanded with a new terminal building designed by the architect Rafael Moneo, and various other improvements were made. The monumental Puente del Alamillo (Alamillo Bridge) over the Guadalquivir, designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava, was built to allow access to the island of La Cartuja, site of the massive exposition. Some of the installations remaining at the site after the exposition were converted into the Scientific and Technological Park Cartuja 93.
In 2004 the Metropol Parasol project, commonly known as Las Setas (English: The Mushrooms - due to the appearance of the structure), was launched to revitalise the Plaza de la Encarnación, for years used as a car park and seen as a dead spot between more popular tourist destinations in the city. The Metropol Parasol was completed in March 2011, costing just over €102 million in total, more than twice as much as originally planned. Constructed from crossed wooden beams, Las Setas is said to be the largest timber-framed structure in the world.
Seville has an area of 140 km (54 sq mi), according to the National Topographic Map (Mapa Topográfico Nacional) series from the Instituto Geográfico Nacional – Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica, the country's civilian survey organisation (pages 984, 985 and 1002). The city is situated in the fertile valley of the Guadalquivir River. The average height above sea level is 7 metres (23 feet). Most of the city is on the east side of the river, while Triana, La Cartuja and Los Remedios are on the west side. The Aljarafe region lies further west, and is considered part of the metropolitan area. The city has boundaries on the north with La Rinconada, La Algaba and Santiponce; on the east with Alcalá de Guadaira; on the south with Dos Hermanas and Gelves and on the west with San Juan de Aznalfarache, Tomares and Camas.
Seville is on the same parallel as United States west coast city San Jose in central California. In addition to that São Miguel, the main island of the Azores archipelago lies on the same latitude. Further east from Seville in the Mediterranean Basin, it is on the same latitude as Catania of Sicily, Italy and just south of Athens, the capital of Greece. Even further east, it is located on the same parallel as South Korean capital of Seoul. Seville is located not many miles inland from the Andalusian coast, but still sees a much more continental climate than the nearest port cities Cádiz and Huelva for example-although it is much too mild in winter to be described as a 'proper' continental area. It is at a relative distance from the three larger cities in the country, as well as Lisbon in Portugal, making it by far the largest city in the south of the Iberian peninsula.
Seville has a subtropical Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). Like most Mediterranean climates, Seville has a drier summer and wet winter. The annual average temperature is 25.4 °C (78 °F) during the day and 13 °C (55 °F) at night. Summer is the dominant season and lasts from May to October, the latter in spite of the dwindling daylight and inland position.
With an annual average of 19.2 °C (67 °F), Seville is the warmest city in Europe. After the city of Córdoba (also in Andalusia), Seville has the hottest summer in continental Europe among all cities with a population over 100,000 people, with average daily highs in July of 36.0 °C (97 °F). Average daily lows in July are 20.3 °C (69 °F) and every year the temperature exceeds 40 °C (104 °F) on several occasions. The coldest temperature extreme of −5.5 °C (22 °F) was registered by the weather station at Seville Airport on 12 February 1956. A historical record high (disputed) of 50.0 °C (122 °F) was recorded on 4 August 1881, according to the NOAA Satellite and Information Service. There is an unaccredited record by the National Institute of Meteorology of 47.2 °C (117 °F) on 1 August during the 2003 heat wave, according to a weather station (83910 LEZL) located in the southern part of Seville Airport, near the abandoned military zone. This temperature would be one of the highest ever recorded in Spain. On the very same day Amareleja in Portugal did reach an official maximum of 47.4° C, the highest European temperature in several decades. Which shows that at the day, circumstances were right to reach these extreme values. The average sunshine hours in Seville are approximately 3000 per year.
|Climate data for Seville Airport (1981-2010), extremes (1941-2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||24.2
|Average high °C (°F)||16.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||11.0
|Average low °C (°F)||5.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−4.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||66
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||6.1||5.8||4.3||6.1||3.7||1.3||0.2||0.5||2.4||6.1||6.4||7.5||50.5|
|Average relative humidity (%)||71||67||59||57||53||48||44||48||54||62||70||74||59|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||183||189||220||238||293||317||354||328||244||217||181||154||2,918|
|Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología|
Seville is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia. The historical edifice of the Palace of San Telmo is now the seat of the presidency of the Andalusian Autonomous Government. The administrative headquarters are in Torre Triana, in La Cartuja. The Hospital de las Cinco Llagas (literally, "Hospital of the Five Holy Wounds") is the current seat of the Parliament of Andalusia. Since 2015 the government of the autonomous community is a coalition between the centre-left Spanish Socialist Workers' Party or Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) and the centrist Ciudadanos; its president is Susana Díaz. Elections to the autonomous community are held every four years.
Seville is the capital of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, according to Article 4 of the Statute of Autonomy of Andalucía of 2007, and is the capital of the Province of Seville as well.
The Common Council of Seville has 33 councillors and a mayor, with elections every four years. Since 2011, the government of the city has been by the conservative People's Party or Partido Popular (PP), and Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez has been mayor. The City Hall is on the Plaza Nueva, in the El Arenal neighbourhood. The administration of the City is decentralized into 11 districts.
Seville has 11 districts, further divided into 108 neighbourhoods.
The Alcázar, the Cathedral, and the Archivo General de Indias (General Archive of the Indies) are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The St. Mary of the See Cathedral was built from 1401–1519 after the Reconquista on the former site of the city's mosque. It is among the largest of all medieval and Gothic cathedrals, in terms of both area and volume. The interior is the longest nave in Spain, and is lavishly decorated, with a large quantity of gold evident. La Giralda is a tower attached to the Cathedral that dates back to the twelfth century. It was originally built as part of a mosque when the Moors ruled in Spain and was later added onto by the Christians. Tourists today can climb the tower by walking up a series of ramps that were previously used by officials who rode their horses to the top of the tower. La Giralda gets its name from the weathervane attached to the very top of it, as "gira" means "turning one" in the Spanish language.
The Alcázar facing the cathedral was developed from a previous Moorish Palace. Construction was started in 1181 and continued for over 500 years, mainly in the Mudéjar style, but also in the Renaissance style. The popular TV show Game of Thrones has shot many scenes at this location.
The Torre del Oro was built as a watchtower and defensive barrier on the river. A chain was strung through the water from the base of the tower to prevent boats from traveling into the river port.
The City Hall was built in the 16th century in high Plateresque style by master architect Diego de Riaño. The façade to Plaza Nueva was built in the 19th century in Neoclassical style.
The Palace of San Telmo, formerly the University of Sailors, and later the Seminary, is now the seat for the Andalusian Autonomous Government. It is one of the most emblematic buildings of baroque architecture, mainly to its world-renowned churrigueresque principal façade and the impressive chapel.
The Royal Tobacco Factory is housed on the original site of the first tobacco factory in Europe, a vast 18th century building in Baroque style and the purported inspiration for the opera Carmen.
The Metropol Parasol, in La Encarnación square, is the world's largest wooden structure. A monumental umbrella-like building designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer, finished in 2011. This modern architecture structure houses the central market and an underground archaeological complex. The terrace roof is a city viewpoint.
The General Archive of the Indies, is the repository of extremely valuable archival documents illustrating the history of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and the Philippines. The building itself, an unusually serene and Italianate example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, was designed by Juan de Herrera.
The Plaza de España, in Maria Luisa Park (Parque de Maria Luisa), was built by the architect Aníbal González for the 1929 Exposición Ibero-Americana. It is an outstanding example of Regionalist Revival Architecture, a bizarre and loftily conceived mixture of diverse historic styles, such as Art Deco and lavishly ornamented with typical glazed tiles.
The neighbourhood of Triana, situated on the west bank of the Guadalquivir River, played an important role in the history of the city and constitutes by itself a folk, monumental and cultural center.
On the other hand, La Macarena neighbourhood is located on the northern side of the city centre. It contains some important monuments and religious buildings, such as the Museum and Catholic Church of La Macarena or the Hospital de las Cinco Llagas.
The most important art collection of Seville is the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville. It was established in 1835 in the former Convent of La Merced. It holds many masterworks by Murillo, Pacheco, Zurbarán, Valdés Leal, and others masters of the Baroque Sevillian School, containing also Flemish paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Other museums in Seville are:
The impressive 32-metres-high bronze sculpture, The Birth of a New Man (popularly known as Columbus's Egg, el Huevo de Colón), by the Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, is located in its northwestern sector.
The Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the Feria de Sevilla (Seville Fair), also known as Feria de Abril (April Fair), are the two most well-known of Seville's festivals. Seville is internationally renowned for the solemn but decorative processions during Holy Week and the colourful and lively fair held two weeks after. During the Feria, families, businesses and organisations set up casetas (marquees) in which they spend the week dancing, drinking, and socialising. Traditionally, women wear elaborate flamenco dresses and men dress in their best suits. The marquees are set up on a permanent fairground in the district of Los Remedios, in which each street is named after a famous bullfighter.
The tapas scene is one of the main cultural attractions of the city: people go from one bar to another, enjoying small dishes called tapas (literally "lids" or "covers" in Spanish, referring to their probable origin as snacks served on small plates used to cover drinks). Local specialities include fried and grilled seafood (including squid, choco (cuttlefish), swordfish, marinated dogfish, and ortiguillas), grilled and stewed meat, spinach with chickpeas, Jamón ibérico, lamb kidneys in sherry sauce, snails, caldo de puchero, and gazpacho. A sandwich known as a serranito is the typical and popular version of fast food.
Typical desserts from Seville include pestiños, a honey-coated sweet fritter; torrijas, fried slices of bread with honey; roscos fritos, deep-fried sugar-coated ring doughnuts; magdalenas or fairy cakes; yemas de San Leandro, which provide the city's convents with a source of revenue; and tortas de aceite, a thin sugar-coated cake made with olive oil. Polvorones and mantecados are traditional Christmas products, whereas pestiños and torrijas are typically consumed during the Holy Week.
Bitter Seville oranges grow on trees lining the city streets. Formerly, large quantities were collected and exported to Britain to be used in marmalade. Today the fruit is used predominantly as compost locally, rather than as a foodstuff. According to legend, the Arabs brought the bitter orange to Seville from East Asia via Iraq around the 10th century to beautify and perfume their patios and gardens, as well as to provide shade. The flowers of the tree are a source of neroli oil, commonly used in perfumery and in skin lotions for massage.
Seville had a vibrant rock music scene in the 1970s and 1980s with bands like Triana, Alameda and Smash, who fused Andalusia's traditional flamenco music with British-style progressive rock. The punk rock group Reincidentes and indie band Sr Chinarro, as well as singer Kiko Veneno, rose to prominence in the early 1990s. The city's music scene now features rap acts such as SFDK, Mala Rodríguez, Dareysteel, Tote King, Dogma Crew, Bisley DeMarra, Haze and Jesuly. Seville's diverse music scene is reflected in the variety of its club-centred nightlife.
The city is also home to many theatres and performance spaces where classical music is performed, including Teatro Lope de Vega, Teatro La Maestranza, Teatro Central, the Real Alcazar Gardens and the Sala Joaquín Turina.
Despite its name, the sevillana dance, commonly presented as flamenco, is not thought to be of Sevillan origin. However, the folksongs called sevillanas are authentically Sevillan, as is the four-part dance performed with them. Seville, and most significantly, the western district of Triana, was a major centre of the development of flamenco.
Seville is the most populated city in southern Spain, and has the largest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of any in Andalusia, accounting for one quarter of its total GDP. All municipalities in the metropolitan area depend directly or indirectly on Seville's economy, while agriculture dominates the economy of the smaller villages, with some industrial activity localised in industrial parks. The Diputacion de Sevilla (Deputation of Seville), with provincial headquarters in the Antiguo Cuartel de Caballería (Old Cavalry Barracks) on Avenida Menendez Pelayo, provides public services to distant villages that they can not provide themselves. The University of Seville and the University Pablo de Olavide are important centres of learning in western Andalusia as they offer a wide range of academic courses; consequently the city has a large number of students from Huelva and Cádiz.
The economic activity of Seville cannot be detached from the geographical and urban context of the city; the capital of Andalusia is the centre of a growing metropolitan area. Aside from traditional neighbourhoods such as Santa Cruz, Triana and others, those further away from the centre, such as Nervión, Sevilla Este, and El Porvenir have seen recent economic growth. Until the economic crisis of 2007, this urban area saw significant population growth and the development of new industrial and commercial parks.
During this period, availability of infrastructure in the city contributed to the growth of an economy dominated by the service sector, but in which industry still holds a considerable place.
The 1990s saw massive growth in investment in infrastructure in Seville, largely due to its hosting of the Universal Exposition of Seville in 1992. This economic development of the city and its urban area is supported by good transportation links to other Spanish cities, including a high-speed AVE railway connection to Madrid, and a new international airport.
Seville has the only inland port in Spain, located 80 km (50 mi) from the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. This harbour complex offers access to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and allows trade in goods between the south of Spain (Andalusia, Extremadura) and Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The port has undergone reorganisation. Annual tonnage rose to 5.3 million tonnes of goods in 2006.
Cartuja 93 is a research and development park. employing 15,000 persons. The Cajasol Tower skyscraper is under construction in the park for the Spanish bank Cajasol's headquarters and offices. The tower was started in March 2008 and is expected to be finished in 2015. With a height of 180.5 metres (592 feet) and 40 floors, it will be the tallest building in Andalusia.
Seville has conference facilities, including the Congress Palace. Its Parque Tecnológico y Aeronáutico Aerópolis (Technological and Aeronautical Park) is focused on the aircraft industry. Outside of Seville are nine PS20 solar power towers which use the city's sunny weather to provide most of it with clean and renewable energy.
The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas en Sevilla (CSIC) is based in the former Pavilion of Peru in the Maria Luisa Park. In April 2008 the city council of Seville provided a grant to renovate the building to create the Casa de la Ciencia (Science Center) to encourage popular interest in science. The internationally recognised company Neocodex has its headquarters in Seville; it maintains the first and largest DNA bank in Spain and has made significant contributions to scientific research in genetics. Seville is also considered an important technological and research centre for renewable energy and the aeronautics industry.
The output of the research centres in Sevillan universities working in tandem with city government, and the numerous local technology companies, have made Seville a leader among Spanish cities in technological research and development. The Parque Científico Tecnológico Cartuja 93 is a nexus of private and public investment in various fields of research.
Principal fields of innovation and research are: telecommunications, new technologies, biotechnology (with applications in local agricultural practices), environment and renewable energy.
Seville is served by the TUSSAM (Transportes Urbanos de Sevilla) bus network which runs buses throughout the city. The Consorcio de Transportes de Sevilla communicates by bus with all the satellite towns of Seville.
Two bus stations serve transportation between surrounding areas and other cities: Plaza de Armas Station, with destinations north and west, and Prado de San Sebastián Station, covering routes to the south and east. Plaza de Armas station has direct bus lines to many Spanish cities and with Lisbon, in Portugal.
The Seville metro ("Metro de Sevilla" in Spanish) is a light metro network serving the city of Seville and its metropolitan area. The system is totally independent of any other rail or street traffic. All stations were built with platform screen doors.
It was the sixth Metro system to be built in Spain, after those in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and Palma de Mallorca. Currently, it is the fifth biggest Metro company in Spain by number of passengers carried (more than 12,000,000 in 2009).
The metro of Sevilla has 1 line with 22 stations and is currently expanding, with 3 more different lines projected.
MetroCentro is a surface tramway serving the centre of the city. It began operating in October 2007.
The service has just five stops: Plaza Nueva, Archivo de Indias, Puerta de Jerez, Prado de San Sebastián and San Bernardo, all as part of Phase I of the project. It is expected to be extended to Santa Justa AVE station, including four new stops: San Francisco Javier, Eduardo Dato, Luis de Morales and Santa Justa. This extension was postponed although the City Council had made expanding the metro lines a priority.
The Santa Justa Train Station is served by the AVE high-speed rail system, operated by the Spanish state-owned rail company Renfe. A five-line commuter rail service (Cercanías) joins the city with the Metropolitan area. Seville is on the Red Ciudades AVE, a net created with Seville next to 17 major cities of Spain with high-speed rail.
The Sevici community bicycle programme has integrated bicycles into the public transport network. Bicycles are available for hire around the city at low cost and green bicycle lanes can be seen on most major streets. The number of people using bicycles as a means of transport in Seville has increased substantially in recent years, multiplying tenfold from 2006 to 2011. As of 2015, an estimated 9 percent of all mechanized trips in the city (and 5.6 percent of all trips including those on foot) are made by bicycle.
The city council signed a contract with the multinational corporation JCDecaux, an outdoor advertising company. The public bicycle rental system is financed by a local advertising operator in return for the city signing over a 10-year licence to exploit citywide billboards. The overall scheme is called Cyclocity by JCDecaux, but each city's system is branded under an individual name.
San Pablo Airport is the main airport for Seville and is Andalusia's second busiest airport, after Malaga. The airport handled 4,051,392 passengers and just under 5,000 tonnes of cargo in 2009. It has one terminal and one runway.
It is one of many bases for the Spanish low cost carrier Vueling, and from November 2010 Ryanair will base two aircraft at the airport.
Seville is the only commercial river port of Spain, and the only inland city in the country where cruise ships can arrive in the historical centre. On 21 August 2012, the Muelle de las Delicias, controlled by the Port Authority of Seville, hosted the cruise ship Azamara Journey for two days, the largest ship ever to visit the town. This vessel belongs to the shipping company Royal Caribbean and can accommodate up to 700 passengers.
Seville has one ring road, the SE-30, which connects with the dual carriageway of the south, the A-4, that directly communicates the city with Cádiz, Cordoba and Madrid. Also there is another dual carriageway, the A-92, linking the city with Estepa, Antequera, Granada, Guadix and Almeria. The A-49 links Seville with Huelva and the Algarve in the south of Portugal.
Seville is home to three public universities: the University of Seville, founded in 1505, the Pablo de Olavide University, founded in 1997, and the International University of Andalusia, founded in 1994.
Additionally, there is the School of Hispanic American Studies, founded in 1942, the Menéndez Pelayo International University, based in Santander, which operates branch campuses in Seville, and Loyola University Andalusia. The University Loyola Andalucía is a Jesuits private university located in the campus of Palmas Altas, close to the Seville Port. The university offers a wide range of social science degrees, such as Business Administration, International Relations, Economics, for instance, as well as, engineering and law degrees, and postgraduate degrees. The educational institution was founded 4 years ago, in 2013, but its educational background has been existing since 1963, with the campus of Córdoba in the past ETEA University. Currently, this university is formed by two different campus located in Seville and Cordoba. The institution offers a high-quality formation thanks to its formed professors. The internalization is an important aspect of this university which maintain a large number of agreements with different universities around the world. Within all the different program this University offers, the Dual Business Degree is the most prestigious one. This international program provides, for only 20 business students each year, the possibility to obtain a Business Administration degree by the Universidad Loyola Andalucía as well as by the Loyola University of Chicago. During the freshmen year, these students spend all the academic year studying on the Campus of Seville or Córdoba. The second year, they spend their first semester studying in the John Felice Rome Center, which is a university center of the Loyola University of Chicago located in Rome. Then, the second semester the students return to Spain and continue there their studies. During the junior year, they travel to Chicago and studying in Loyola University of Chicago for the whole year. Finally, in the senior year, the students return to Spain and finish their careers there. Apart from the great academic qualification, explained before, this program provides to their candidates a fantastic opportunity to develop themselves as an adult person, and opening their minds for the currently global reality.
International primary and secondary schools:
Seville is also home to many international schools and colleges that cater to American students who come to study abroad
Seville is the hometown of two rival association football teams: Real Betis Balompié and Sevilla Fútbol Club, both teams are playing in the Liga BBVA. Both teams have only won the league once each: Betis in 1935 and Sevilla in 1946. Only Sevilla has won European competitions, winning consecutive UEFA Cup finals in 2006 and 2007 and the UEFA Europa League in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Sevilla's stadium, the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, was a venue during the 1982 FIFA World Cup and four years later hosted the 1986 European Cup Final. Seville's Olympic Stadium on the Isla de La Cartuja was the venue for the 2003 UEFA Cup Final.
Seville housed the tennis Davis Cup final in 2004 and 2011, and the 7th Athletics World Championships. The city unsuccessfully bid for the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, for which the 60,000-seat Estadio de La Cartuja was designed to stage. Seville has one important basketball club, the CB Sevilla, that plays in ACB League. Seville's Guadalquivir river is one of only three FISA approved international training centres for rowing and the only one in Spain; the 2002 World Rowing Championships and the 2013 European Rowing Championships were held there.
Seville is twinned with the following cities: The relationship between Seville and Kansas City is due to a small replica of the Giralda tower, Sevilla's cathedral belltower, that exists in Kansas City.
Seville has been given titles by Spanish monarchs and heads of state throughout its history.
La presencia de fenicios en la antigua Sevilla parece constatada por el topónimo Spal que en diversas lenguas semíticas significa "zona baja", "llanura verde" o "valle profundo"
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