The Plaza de España is one of the top highlights in Seville, Andalusia autonomous region in Spain. Spain has 17 autonomous regions in total and Andalusia is one of them and very popular among tourists, it is bordering Spain’s southern coast. Just to name a few very famous thing in Andalucia are the bullfighting, flamenco, fiesta and the gypsy art such as music and dance.
Purpose of Plaza de España
First question, what is Plaza de Espana built for? It was built for Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, which was held in the Andalusian capital and located in Maria Luisa Park. Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 was a world’s fair to promote the city and encourage tourism while displaying the city’s industrial and cultural heritage. Imagine that it took about 19 years for the city of Seville to prepare this Exposition. No wonder it is such a magical place with the style of Moorish and Renaissance architecture.
There are two tall towers at each end and connected to a central structure by a long colonnaded gallery. It is very interesting to see the curve facade follows the contours of a semicircular plaza, brilliant design.
Azulejos – Colorful Tiles
Colored ceramics feature heavily around Plaza de Espana, you will notice azulejos (Spain colored tiles) were used to cover and decorate the wall, benches and the bridges.
When you are traveling in Spain and Portugal, you will find azulejo tiles everywhere, they are being decorated inside and outside of the building. The blue-white version of azulejo is common in Portugal and one of Portuguese’s signature. Over here in Spain, Plaza de España Seville, you see a more colorful version of azulejo.
The word azulejo was from Arabic meaning “polished stone” because the original idea was from Byzantine & Roman mosaics. Seville has become the major center of the Hispano-Moresque tiles industry (style of a mixture of Islamic and European element of ceramic pottery).
Azulejos were applied on walls and used for paving floors.
There are a series of 58 benches that line the facade of the main structure. These 58 benches were covered with panels of azulejos, each painting in the bench representing the provinces of Spain.
Boats & Canal
What I like most about the plaza is, it is surrounded by a canal, where tourists are able to row the boats in the canals and passing through the beautiful arch bridges with colorful azulejo tiles.
Huge Fountain in the middle of the Square
In the center of the plaza square, there is a huge fountain. You can sit and relax; listen to the water of the fountain and watch the horse carriage carrying the happy tourists.
Plaza de España is huge and it is located in the Maria Luisa Park, total measures of 50,000 square feet so it is best if you can do it with a romantic horse-carriage ride through the park and the plaza.
Star Wars Movie Scene
Many movies used this Plaza for filming and one of them is Star Wars. I feel like Queen Amidala of Star Wars walking through the semi-circular gallery of the Plaza de Espana. In Seville, you can experience a film-based journey.
The Plaza de Espana is a must-see in Seville! Please take your time to enjoy the fine details of the azulejos tiles which would leave you speechless.