Historically, Sevilla has been a melting pot of cultures and epochs, each leaving behind important footprints. The Phoenicians first recognized the potential of its strategic riverside location. Under the Roman Empire, the lucrative port started to flourish. The Visigoths oversaw Sevilla’s blooming as an important cultural center.
The exotic architecture that dominates much of modern Sevilla is only some of the traces left behind by the Muslims who ruled the city for more than 500 years after defeating and conquering the Visigoths. The Muslims bestowed upon the city the name, Ishbiliya, and unparalleled grandeur as they made Sevilla into the most important city of al-Andalus. Just take a look at the soaring Giralda and you will get an idea of the splendor of.
But history tells us that the Muslim rule eventually fell to the thirteenth century’s reconquista.King Fernando III recognized the opportunities of reacquiring city. In about 100 years, Sevilla became Christian Spain’s cosmopolitan hub.
The monopoly held by the city over international commerce following the fifteenth century discovery of America propelled it into economic and cultural prosperity, as evidenced by the wealth of works by genius authors and great artists as well as in the construction of sophisticated palaces, churches, and convents.
Sevilla’s natural charm attracted people from all walks of life. But, like many good things the city’s prosperity did not last. During the 1600s and 1700s, a series of unfortunate events, shattering plagues, and the rise of the neighboring Cádiz as the new “Port of the Indies” brought down Sevilla into one of its lowest points. This would last until the 1900s.
Like many other great cities, the steadfast optimism natural to Sevillanos survived the centuries of hardships. And with the 1929 Latin-American Exposition in Sevilla, the city saw rays of hope. Once again, beautiful buildings were constructed and lush parks sprawled across the city. Also, flocks of tourists began to appreciate the tranquil beauty Sevilla.
But Sevilla’s progress was once again put on a hiatus with the start of the bloody Spanish Civil War, after which the country fell under the 35-year dictatorship of Francisco Franco. Historic buildings in the city were torn down while other structures fell helplessly into ruin.
After Franco’s death in 1975, the ever-passionate and proud Sevillanos have brought their beloved city back up to its old glory. Many buildings of historic and artistic significance have restored to their former glory. Tourists began to flock to the city, and the Andalucian city is once very much alive and kicking.
To find more information about Spain, go to: https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2878.htm