This exuberant and magnificent place is located in María Luisa Park. It was one of the main constructions and symbols of the Ibero-American Exposition World’s Fair that took place in Seville in 1929.
Nowadays, it remains a magical place with a style that recreates de Arab constructions of 10 centuries ago and that emphasizes the regions of Spain and its union with America.
Although it is quite easy to find it because of its huge size, the Plaza de Espana is located near the entrance of the Park that is just in front of the University of Seville. From the Puerta de Jerez, walk along the University until you reach a big square with a statue of the Cid Campeador on his horse. Cross the square and enter the Park following the Avenida de Isabel la Católica. The Plaza de Espana is 5 minutes walking ahead on your left hand side (map location).
You can get there after a nice stroll across the city center. Or you can do something unique – a ride in a horse-drawn carriage from the Plaza de San Francisco and the Cathedral to the Plaza de Espana and the Parque de María Luisa. The carriage travels at a slow trot while you sit back and relax. Nobody will believe you did this!
Discover Seville On A Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour »
Origins Of The Plaza De España
The Plaza de Espana was originally designed and built as the ultimate symbol and the most ambitious project of the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition World’s Fair. The initial idea of holding a World Fair in Seville was promoted in 1909 with the aim of opening the city and, especially, to modernize it. It would be the perfect occasion to achieve civil works, thus improve employment, promote the tourism, enhance the image of Seville and strengthen relationships with American countries.
The Fair was initially going to be inaugurated on April 1st, 1911. It was then delayed to 1914 but World War I (1914-1918) and political issues between Morocco and Spain delayed it further on. It was finally held from May 9th, 1929 to June 21st, 1930.
The works of the Plaza de Espana began in 1914 and where supervised by its creator, the Sevillian architect Aníbal González. He was also the architect chief of the event and designed other buildings such as the Mudejar Pavilion (better known today as the Museo de Artes y Costumbres), the Fine Arts Pavilion (transformed later in the Archaeological Museum) and the Royal Pavilion. All of them can be found in the María Luisa Park, at the America Square (Plaza de América).
It was the most expensive and hard construction of the fair, employing at some point more than 1,000 workers. Obviously, the project went through aesthetical critics and financial difficulties, especially because Seville was in very bad economic shape.
In 1926 Aníbal González resigned from his position and the Plaza de Espana was finished in 1928 by Vicente Taverner, who added the central fountain. It was also the place where Alfonso XIII inaugurated the Fair.
Post written by Seville-traveller