METROPOL PARASOL Las Setas de Sevilla

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What started out as a controversial project to rejuvenate one of central Sevilla’s main squares, has turned into the city’s most impressive modern monument. The Metropol Parasol, or Setas de Sevilla (mushrooms of Seville) as it is locally called, is a massive geometric structure in the shape of interconnected mushrooms. Rising up above the entire square, these mushroom-shaped shades are almost 30m (100ft) tall and support a skywalk that offers some of the best views of Sevilla, especially at sunset.

Opening Times icon indicating when the monument is open
OPENING TIMES - LOOK OUT DECK

Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 10:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am to 11pm

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PRICE – LOOK OUT DECK

General: 5€
Free: residents of Seville

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ADDRESS

Plaza de la Encarnación, 41003 Sevilla

VIEW MAP
Metropol Parasol seen from the streets of Sevilla, Spain
Metropol Parasol seen from the street

Besides two concrete columns that hold the elevator shaft, the structure is made almost entirely out of wood. In fact, with measurements of 150m x 70m x 28m, it is said to be the world’s largest wooden structure. Over 3,500 pieces of Finnish pine were used, weighing a total of 1,300,000 kilograms. That is equal to approximately 260 adult elephants! All of this wood is held together by 16 million screws and nails.

Walkway on top of Metropol Parasol – Sevilla, Spain
Walkway on top of Metropol Parasol

In 2004, in a bid to renew the derelict Plaza de la Encarnación, the city of Seville opened an international design competition. The Metropol Parasol project from German architect Jürgen Mayer won. In 2005, at a cost of 50 million euros, the construction began. A few years into the build, the project’s engineers revealed that the due to the complex nature of the structure, it would not be possible to complete. Years passed and eventually a solution was found. In 2011, the Setas de Sevilla finally opened – but the total construction cost had “mushroomed” to an estimated 100 million euros.

Views from the look out deck at Las Setas de Sevilla, Spain
Views from the look out deck at Las Setas de Sevilla

The Metropol project was controversial when it was being built and that controversy continued even after it was inaugurated. Many found it to be entirely too expensive and others thought it was just plain ugly. The contrast between such a futuristic design and the historic buildings found in the square was just too much to swallow for some.

Contrast of old and new in Seville's Encarnación square, Spain
Contrast of old and new in Seville's Encarnación square

The first time I saw these massive geometric shades hovering above the square, I thought that it was rather hideous and didn’t fit in with the surrounding. But that is actually what intrigued me about it. I shook my head in dismay and said, “Who thought this was a good idea?”

But it seems that with the pass of time, locals and visitors have warmed up to the Setas. I sure have. I’ve even come to love it’s quirky contrast. In fact, it is one of my favorite places in all of Seville! It has a special character that is truly unique.

Life around Plaza de la Encarnación – Seville, Spain
Life around Plaza de la Encarnación

Take time to explore the Encarnación square and relax on one of the many terraces with views up to the mushrooms. Then take the stairs to the underground level where you will find the elevator that takes you to the lookout deck with a 360º view of Seville (5€ ticket fee). There’s even a bar on the top level!

Roman mosaics at the Antiquarium – Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain
Roman mosaics at the Antiquarium

But there’s another bonus to the Setas. In the underground level, you will find the Antiquarium (2€ entrance fee), a Roman ruin with building foundations and tile mosaics dating back to the 1st century. The site was discovered in the 1990’s when an underground parking garage was being built. Needless to say, the parking garage had to be moved.

Stylish room at Hotel Casa de Indias – Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain
Stylish room at Hotel Casa de Indias

Are you looking for a hotel close to the Setas de Sevilla? How about right in front of it? Casa de Indias is one of our favorite hotels in Seville and it has rooms that look directly out onto the mushrooms. Besides being very centrally located and having great views, the hotel is simply beautiful. It’s sophisticated but unpretentious. And it has a rooftop terrace with a pool that is to die for.

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