Are you planning a trip to Andalusia and the beautiful city of Seville? Here is everything you need to know before you visit Plaza de España!
Standing majestically along the banks of the Guadalquivir, Seville is the cultural heart of Andalusia. Loved for its warm and festive atmosphere, the city boasts a seductive mix of age-old heritage and breathtaking architecture. During your trip to Seville, be sure to visit Plaza de España (“Spain Square,” in English), one of the city’s most spectacular landmarks and situated just minutes away from the two other most iconic sights, the Alcazar Palace and the Cathedral of Seville.
Also read : The 11 best things to do in Seville
The Plaza de España
Due to its scale and grandiose nature, the Plaza de España of Seville is one of the best known and most impressive examples of regional architecture. Designed by the architect Anibal Gonzalez, it was built for the Exposición Iberoamericana (Ibero-American exhibition) held in Seville in 1929. The construction works began in 1914 and were completed in 1928. The architect, Anibal Gonzalez, designed this square to impress other exhibitors and visitors from Spain and Latin America, but also to showcase Seville’s talents in industry and crafts.
A world-famous landmark, this vast semicircular complex is 200 meters wide in diameter and extends over a surface of 50,000 square meters (about five football fields). It symbolizes Spain’s embrace of its former colonies and is oriented towards the Guadalquivir River, the path to America.
On a side note, the Plaza de España in Seville has been used as a filming location, including scenes for the film Lawrence of Arabia. The building was also used as a location in the Star Wars movie series Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, and it also featured in the 2012 film The Dictator starring Sacha Baron Cohen.
What to see in the Plaza de España?
The central palace. The square mainly consists of a large central palace. This brick building – a subtle blend of Renaissance, Neo-Mudéjar, almost Art Deco styles – is an archetypal illustration of regional architecture, adorned with ceramics, woodwork, wrought iron, and carved marble… A pure wonder! The palace comprises a central building and two wings at the end of which stands a towering, 80-meter tower. All along the walls, by the canal, are a series of 48 alcoves, each representing a province of Spain. Replete with benches, every alcove displays a province-specific tableau with the coat of arms, and a map rendered in colorful azulejos (painted ceramic tiles).
The canal. Along the semicircular palace, runs a 500-meter long canal, where visitors can enjoy boat rides. This is why some have dubbed Plaza de España the “the Venice of Seville.” You can cross the canal via the four majestic ceramic-adorned bridges, representing the four ancient kingdoms of Spain: Castile, Aragon, Navarre, and Leon.
The central fountain. In the center of the Plaza, the fountain designed by Vicente Traver seems to connect everything from a visual perspective. Its purpose has nevertheless been questioned several times as it breaks the logic of an empty square.
Parque de María Luisa (María Luisa Park). Home to the immense Plaza de España, Maria Luisa Park is the largest park in Seville and is really worth a visit. Seville’s principal green area, the park stretches along the Guadalquivir river. Typically Andalusian in style, the park boasts an eyeful of lush vegetation, palm trees, and ceramic ponds. It is the ideal place to stroll and enjoy its quiet and pleasant atmosphere.
How to get to the Plaza de España?
Time to visit Plaza de España! This must-see square is located outside the city center, in the Parque de María Luisa, next to Avenida Isabel la Católica.
To get to the Plaza de España, you can walk there from the center: it will take you less than 30 minutes.
The easiest way is to take the tram to the Prado de San Sebastian stop as it is only 10 minutes away from the Plaza.
If you chose to rent a car in Seville, we suggest you leave it in its parking lot for this outing
Don’t wait any longer! Head for Seville, enjoy an intoxicating mix of cultural attractions under the Iberian sun and be sure to visit Plaza de España.
The Plaza de España: rates and opening hours
Access to the plaza itself is free and open to all. It is a public plaza with no tickets or opening hours, though keep in mind that the square closes at 10 pm to prevent vandalism.
If you are interested in a tour of Maria Luisa Park and Plaza de Espana, you can book one in advance. They start at 7pm every Sunday and last two hours.
You can also get on a bicycle tour of Seville which will go through Plaza de Espana, this tour lasts 3 hours and starts at 10am. Both will feature guides who will be able to provide context and explanations about the many statues and features of the Plaza.
– As you know, during the summer season in Andalusia, average temperatures can reach sweltering highs. To avoid the blazing heat, we recommend that you visit Plaza de España in the morning or during the late afternoon.
– Though the building now houses the Central Government of Andalusia and the general office of the regional army, it is still possible to access the balconies of the first floor and enjoy the view.
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