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Plaza de España

Plaza de España (39)

The Plaza de España is located inside the Parque de María Luisa and is a lit semicircle, 200 metres in diameter. Construction began under the guidance of architect Aníbal González in 1914, with the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 in mind, but was completed in 1928 by another architect, Vicente Traver, after González was dismissed. 

This was one of the most expensive projects built for the Ibero-American Exposition, and at one point a thousand men were working on it. Its semicircular shape symbolises Spain’s embrace of its former colonies, and in fact, the complex faces the river, which is precisely the route you follow to go to America. 

An artificial canal, 500 metres long, borders the interior area. This stream separates the central zone from a higher level, which you can reach by passing over four bridges decorated with tiles. These bridges represent the ancient kingdoms of Spain. 

You will see that the walls have a series of benches, each one within a different area. If you get closer, you’ll realise that each of these benches is dedicated to one of the Spanish provinces. These 48 provinces are ordered alphabetically and contain the shield, map and representations of the accomplishments and historical facts of each region.

Furthermore, on one of the upper floors, you can find a set of medallions portraying images of people who played important roles in Spain’s history and are named in chronological order, from Seneca to Sorolla.

You will also have noticed two towers standing at either side of the semicircle, which serve as the only baroque touch to this largely renaissance building. Keep in mind that you may also visit the central courtyard inside the building, noteworthy for its spectacular columns and arches. 

And if you are a lover of the cinema, you may be interested to know that this space has been the setting for scenes from films such as “Lawrence of Arabia” or “Attack of the Clones,” part of the Star Wars saga. 

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