The General Archive of the Indies is the central archive of Spain that deals with archiving documents concerning the Spanish colonial empire. The archive stock contains 43,000 files and more than 3,000 maps.
The Spanish colonial empire spanned a time of five centuries, starting in the 15th century and collapsing in the 20th century. It was, without a doubt, one of the largest empires the world has ever seen and one of the first on a global scale.
The archive is accommodated in the former building of trade and stock exchange of Seville, the Casa Lonja de Mercaderes. At the time the Spanish colonial empire was flourishing, the merchants and traders had established the rather unsavoury habit of doing business in front of the cathedral. Much to the regret of the local clergy, the cathedral was even used as a trading place when the weather was bad. Due to this the construction of a trading building was ordered to allow a separate space for trading. When the economic strength of Spain started to decrease and had a negative affect on trade in general, merchants and traders disappeared as well. The only thing left was an abandoned building. That's why it was decided to collect the scattered documents and store them in one place.
How to get there
The General Archive of the Indies lies in the centre of the historical old town. It is sited just next to the cathedral and close to Alcázar.