Top Historic Sights in Seville, Spain

Explore the historic highlights of Seville

Seville Cathedral

Seville's cathedral, Santa Maria de la Sede, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage. After its completion in the early 16th century, Seville Cathedral supplanted Hagia Sophia as the largest cathedral in the world, a title the Byzantine church had held for nearly a thousand years. History The basilica occupies the site of the great Aljama mosque, built in the late ...
Founded: 1401 | Location: Seville, Spain

Archivo General de Indias

The Archivo General de Indias ('General Archive of the Indies'), housed in the ancient merchants" exchange of Seville, 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. This struc ...
Founded: 1584 | Location: Seville, Spain

Alcázar of Seville

The Alcázar of Seville is a royal palace, built for the Christian king Peter of Castile. It was built by Castilian Christians on the site of an Abbadid Muslim residential fortress destroyed after the Christian conquest of Seville. The palace, a pre-eminent example of Mudéjar architecture in the Iberian Peninsula, is renowned as one of the most beautiful. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal famil ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Seville, Spain

Plaza de España

The Plaza de España in the Parque de María Luisa was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It is a landmark example of the Regionalism Architecture, mixing elements of the Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival (Neo-Mudéjar) styles of Spanish architecture. The plaza complex is a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over the moat by numerous ...
Founded: 1928 | Location: Seville, Spain

Antiquarium

Situated in the basement of Metropol Parasol, Antiquarium is a modern, well-presented archaeological museum with sections of ruins visible through glass partitions, and underfoot along walkways. These Roman and Moorish remains, dating from the first century BC to the 12th century AD, were discovered when the area was being excavated to build a car park in 2003. It was decided to incorporate them into the new Metropol Par ...
Founded: 1st century BCE | Location: Seville, Spain

Casa Consistorial de Sevilla

The Casa consistorial de Sevilla is a Plateresque-style building in Plaza Nueva, currently home of the city"s government. The work begin under architect Diego de Riaño, who directed the work between 1527 and his death in 1534. He was commissioned to construct a stone building, durable and with a façade to the Plaza Mayor in front of the convent of San Francisco. He executed what is now the southern section of the ...
Founded: 1527 | Location: Seville, Spain

Maestranza

The Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla is a 12,000-capacity bullring in Seville, Spain. During the annual Seville Fair in Seville, it is the site of one of the most well-known bullfighting festivals in the world. It is a part of the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla, a noble guild established for traditional cavalry training. Construction began in 1749 of a circular ring on B ...
Founded: 1749 | Location: Seville, Spain

Salvador Church

The Salvador church was erected on the remains of the Ibn Adabba, the Great Mosque of Muslim Seville (9th century). This religious temple, as well as its surroundings, had great importance in the daily life of the people, which is why when the Christians conquered Seville, they allowed it to be used as a mosque in the beginning, but in 1340, it was converted into the parish of Salvador. In addition, it was agreed to main ...
Founded: 1674 | Location: Seville, Spain

Torre del Oro

The Torre del Oro ('Tower of Gold') is a dodecagonal military watchtower erected by the Almohad Caliphate in order to control access to Seville via the Guadalquivir river. Constructed in the first third of the 13th century, the tower served as a prison during the Middle Ages. Its name comes from the golden shine it projected on the river, due to its building materials (a mixture of mortar, lime and presse ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Seville, Spain

Palace of the Countess of Lebrija

The Lebrija Palace or Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija is a house-museum in central Seville. Dating to the 16th century and remodeled between the 18th and 20th centuries, the palace is characterised by its collection of art, including Roman mosaics and other antiquities as well as Asian art, paintings by European masters and European decorative arts. The interior of the palace is decorated in a palette of architectural s ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Seville, Spain

Casa de Pilatos

La Casa de Pilatos (Pilate"s House) serves as the permanent residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli. It is an example of an Italian Renaissance building with Mudéjar elements and decorations. This beautiful mansion is one of central Seville’s hidden treasures, and its exquisite gardens, though smaller in scale, match anything you’ll see in the Alcázar. The construction, which is adorned with precious azulejo tile ...
Founded: 1483 | Location: Seville, Spain

Seville Shipyard

The Seville Shipyard (Atarazanas) is a medieval shipyard. It was operative between the 13th and 15th centuries, and are built in Gothic style. They were specialized in the construction of galleys, which played an important role in the struggles for the control of the Strait of Gibraltar, as well as in the Castilian participation in the Hundred Years" War. The complex consisted of a building with seventeen naves next ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Seville, Spain

Museo de Bellas Artes

The Museum of Fine Arts of Seville has a collection of mainly Spanish visual arts from the medieval period to the early 20th century, including a choice selection of works by artists from the so-called Golden Age of Sevillian painting during the 17th century, such as Murillo, Zurbarán, Francisco de Herrera the younger, and Valdés Leal. The building itself was built in 1594, but the museum was founded in 1839, after the ...
Founded: 1839 | Location: Seville, Spain

Archeological Museum of Seville

The Archeological Museum of Seville is housed in the Pabellón del Renacimiento, one of the pavilions designed by the architect Aníbal González. These pavilions at the Plaza de España were created for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. The museum"s basement houses the El Carambolo treasure, discovered in Camas in 1958. The treasure comprises 2950 grams of 24 carat gold and consists of golden bracelets, a go ...
Founded: 1929 | Location: Seville, Spain

Monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas

The Monastery of Santa María de las Cuevas, also known as the Monastery of the Cartuja hosts today The Andalusian Contemporary Art Center (The Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo). Legend holds that the area, in Moorish times, was honeycombed with caves made by potters for ovens and to obtain clay, and that after the capture of the city by Christians in the thirteenth century, an image of the virgin was revealed ins ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Seville, Spain

Walls of Seville

The Walls of Seville are a series of defensive walls surrounding the Old Town. They were built in times of Julius Caesar, approximately between the years 68 and 65 BC, when he was quaestor of the city. This new fortification was aimed at replacing the old Carthaginian stockade of logs and mud. The walls were expanded and refined during the rule of his son Augustus due to the growth of the city. The city has been surround ...
Founded: 68-65 BCE | Location: Seville, Spain

Royal Tobacco Factory

The Royal Tobacco Factory, an 18th-century industrial building was, at the time it was built the second largest building in Spain, second only to the royal residence El Escorial. It remains one of the largest and most architecturally distinguished industrial buildings ever built in that country, and one of the oldest such buildings to survive. Since the 1950s it has been the seat of the rectorate of the University of Sev ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Seville, Spain

Palacio de las Dueñas

Palacio de las Dueñas (Palace of the Dukes of Alba) currently belongs to the House of Alba. It was built in the late 15th century in the Renaissance style with Gothic and Moorish influences. The palace is one of the major historic homes in the city of great architectural and artistic heritage. Today it is one of the most visited monuments in Seville. The palace consists of a series of courtyards and buildings. The style ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Seville, Spain

Santa María Magdalena Church

Santa María Magdalena was built in 1691-1709 under design of architect Leonardo de Figueroa, above a medieval church built after the Christian conquest of the city in 1248. The façade has three portals, one featuring a sculpture of 'St. Dominic' by Pedro Roldán. Above the portals are an oculus, sided by two blue spheres symbolizing the mystery of the rosary, and a bell-gable (1697). All the exterior of ...
Founded: 1691-1709 | Location: Seville, Spain

Palacio de San Telmo

The Palace of San Telmo is today the seat of the presidency of the Andalusian Autonomous Government. Construction of the building began in 1682 outside the walls of the city, on property belonging to the Tribunal of the Holy Office, the institution responsible for the Spanish Inquisition. It was originally constructed as the seat of the University of Navigators (Universidad de Mareantes), a school to educate orphane ...
Founded: 1682 | Location: Seville, Spain

Church of Saint Louis of France

The Society of Jesus arrived in Seville in 1554 and constructed a church, a professed house and a novitiate. At the beginning of the 17th century, Lucia de Medina donated land for a new, larger building and a new church with the conditions that she would be buried in the chapel and that the church be dedicated to her patron saint, Saint Louis (Louis IX of France, medieval king and first brother of King Ferdinand III of C ...
Founded: 1699 | Location: Seville, Spain

Caños de Carmona Roman Aqueduct

The Caños de Carmona (Pipes of Carmona) are the remains of a Roman aqueduct 17.5 kilometres long, later rebuilt by the Almohads, which connected the cities of Carmona and Seville, and which was fully operational until its demolition in 1912. It was primary constructed from bricks, and consisted of approximately 400 arches standing on pillars, with additional upper arcade sections in some places. It is believed to be the ...
Founded: 68-65 BCE | Location: Seville, Spain

Santa Paula Convent

Seville has many enclosed religious complexes, but few are accessible. This is one of them, a convent set up in 1475 and still home to 40 nuns. The public is welcome to enter through two different doors in the Calle Santa Paula. Knock on the brown one, marked number 11 to look at the convent museum. Steps lead to two galleries, crammed with religious paintings and artifacts. The windows of the second look onto the nuns&qu ...
Founded: 1475 | Location: Seville, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.