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Built in 1929 for the Ibero-American Exhibition, the Plaza de España is a monumental building that radiates with Sevillian & Andalusian character. Renaissance & Neo-Moorish elements are found in abundance – impressive tile work, exposed red brick, porticoes and elaborate balustrades. The colossal semi-circular structure along with the square occupy 50,000 m2 (12 acres), equal to that of almost 8 football fields. Besides exploring the square on foot you can also rent a row boat to paddle around the canal or even hop in a carriage pulled by Andalusian thoroughbred horses.

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From November to March:
Everyday from 8am to 10pm

From April to October:
Everyday from 8am to 12am

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Plaza de España,41013 Sevilla

Plaza de España (Spain Square) & fountain in Seville, Spain
Plaza de España & its fountain

The Plaza de España was conceived by local architect Aníbal González who was also the chief architect for the Ibero-American Exposition. The Maria Luisa park houses several other buildings he designed, however, the Plaza de España is his most emblematic work. The plaza’s building has an open semi-circular shape that was meant to symbolize a welcoming hug from Spain to its Latin American guests. The structure is also looking in the direction of the Guadalquivir River – the same river that ultimately connected the New and Old Worlds together.

The construction of the square was not without its fair share of problems and setbacks. There was opposition to the height of the towers that many thought would rival the Giralda tower. The 515m long canal was also controversial since Seville experiences a very dry climate and the canal was seen as a waste of water.

Sunset at Plaza de España – Seville, Spain
Sunset at Plaza de España

Building did however commence in 1914 and the estimated budget of 600,000 pesetas ended up ballooning to 17 million before it was all said and done. Aníbal Gonzalez fought for more money to be used for the project’s completion, but in 1926, he resigned due to budget cuts. He was replaced by Vicente Traver y Tomás who added the fountain to the center of the square (which was also heavily criticized) and saw the project through to its completion in 1929 – more than a decade after it began.

When the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII first saw the Plaza de España after its completion, he reportedly said “Gentlemen, I knew it was going to be beautiful... But I did not know it would be this beautiful!”

Detail of the building in Plaza de España – Seville, Spain
Detail of the building

The Plaza de España’s building is a celebration of the entire country of Spain. The building can be accessed by four different bridges that span the canal – each bridge represents one of the four ancient kingdoms of Spain: Leon, Castile, Aragon and Navarre.

At the base of the building is a collection of 48 alcoves – one for each province of the country (excluding Seville). The alcoves are decorated with tiles made in the local Triana neighborhood and feature depictions of important historical events. Among the alcoves are a collection of busts of famous characters from Spanish history such as King Charles V, writer Francisco de Quevedo and painter Diego Velázquez.


Plaza de España has appeared in several movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, the second episode of Star Wars (Attack of the Clones) and, more recently, The Dictator from Sacha Baron Cohen.

Walkway that appears in Star Wars, Plaza de España – Seville, Spain
Walkway that appears in Star Wars

After the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929, it was planned that the building would be used by the University of Seville. But instead, it became the seat of the military government before eventually coming under the control of Andalusia’s central government.

Besides being used for government offices, there is a section that houses a Military Museum. It is located next to the Aragon Gate and is spread across 3 floors and 10 rooms. Entrance to the museum is free and it is opened Mon - Fri 9:30AM - 2PM, Sat 10AM - 2PM. It is closed Sundays, Holidays and for the month of August. For more information visit their official website.

Canal with row boats in Plaza de España – Seville, Spain
Canal with row boats


The Plaza de España is situated in a corner of the Maria Luisa Park, the largest and most beautiful park in the city. Originally, the park belonged to the private gardens of the San Telmo Palace which was owned by the Duke of Montpensier Antoine d’ Orléans and his wife, the Infanta María Luisa Fernanda de Borbón. In 1893, three years after the duke’s death, Maria Luisa donated most of the gardens to the city.

Restorations of the gardens started in 1911 in preparation for the Ibero-American Exhibition. The renowned French landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, whose works can be found in Paris, Havana and Buenos Aires, was chosen to fashion the remarkably large green space. Instead of imposing his characteristic French classic style, Forestier took inspiration from the gardens of Alcazar de Sevilla and Granada’s Alhambra. There is a distinct Sevillian touch found throughout the park’s tile work and water features.

Archeological Museum in the Maria Luisa Park – Seville, Spain
Archeological Museum in the Maria Luisa Park

The Plaza de España is not the only space in the park with amazing architecture. There are several over noteworthy buildings scattered throughout the 34 hectares that were constructed for the Ibero-American Exhibition:

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