History , Seville: Guide Seville: Spain - Nozio 0%

Author: goldmund100

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Seville History, Spain

Legend says that Hercules founded Seville, but it makes more sense to say that the Roman victory over the Carthaginians opened the doors to the Empire that, by order of Julius Caesar, made the inhabitants of ancient Hispalis citizens of Rome in 45 AD and spread Christianity in Andalusia.

After the invasion of the Visigoths and the brutal sacking of Seville in 426 AD, centuries of cultural and commercial development followed, soon forgotten with the arrival of the Arabs and the Almohad dynasty, which made the city the capital of the Caliphate of Cordoba.

This was a period of splendor for Seville, symbolized by the construction of the fortress of Alcazar, the spectacular mosque, the famous minaret (the Giralda) and the Torre de Oro (Golden Tower).

The invasion of Castile by Ferdinand III (1248) brought Seville back to Catholicism and the extraordinary cathedral of today was built in place of the mosque, while the Alcazar became the seat of the Kingdom of Castile and proof of the Reconquest of Seville.

The discovery of the Americas further reinforced the role of Seville which, with access to the sea guaranteed by the navigability of the Guadalquivir, welcomed the increased traffic and housed the Casa de Contratación (House of Trade), the main commercial institute of the kingdom of Isabella the Catholic and later Charles V.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Seville was the third city in the western world for population density and commercial wealth. This came to an end with the cover-up of the Guadalquivir and the terrible epidemics that later hit Europe.

After two centuries that made it known to the world as a tourist destination ("Carmen" by Bizet was set right here), Seville went back briefly to being the center of the world with the prestigious Universal Exposition of 1929 before suffering the violence of the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship.

The new urban image created by EXPO is manifested in the wondrous Plaza de España and Plaza America but it was the 1992 Exposition - which commemorated the 5th centennial of the discovery of the Americas – that renewed it with avant-garde buildings, the Alamillo bridge that leads to the Cartuja 93 Scientific and Technological Park and the high speed rail system.

Today Seville seems to be in perfect balance between the past and the present, with an extended historic center that is almost all pedestrian and the futuristic Metro line 1 that takes you over 22 km to every corner of the city.


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