Seville is the largest city and capital of the autonomous region Andalusia and the fourth biggest city in Spain with a population of about 700,000 people. Because the city is situated beside the Guadalquivir river, Seville is home to the only river port in the whole of Spain, which was considered one of the most important ports in Europe up until the 18th century. In spite of the 50 miles distance (80km) to the Atlantic Ocean, until the 16th century the way through the port was in fact the only possibility for merchant ships and trading vessels to get their goods from the colonies onto the European market. You can imagine how that effected Seville: The city managed to flourish into one of the major trade centers of the world. The monopoly of Seville was only broken when transatlantic ships were able to enter at the city of Chadiz as well.
The next time Seville got attention on the global scale was with the Expo 1992. It is not only the extended transport system that the city gained from the exhibition, but also the Seville airport, a major highway nearby the city and a speed train connection to the capital Madrid. However, with major investments came a mountain of debt weighing down the capital of Andalusia. Moreover, there were many modern constructions built that stand alone and are unused today.
Nevertheless, Seville is still considered as being one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Many different cultures have left their marks here during the rich history of the city. Especially the old town is shaped by picturesque alleys, impressive buildings, palaces and squares that make Seville so unique. Numerous buildings have even reached UNESCO World Heritage status, such as the cathedral, the Almohad Alcázar of Seville and the General Archive of the Indies. The skyline is characterized by many old towers that give the city the special silhouette.
Lively festivals, extraordinary tourist attractions and a buzzing nightlife all make Seville one of the best places to visit in Spain. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that Seville's scenery was a theme in many famous operas: Among them are Bizet's “Carmen”, Rossin's “The Barber of Seville”, Mozart's “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro”, plus Beethoven's “Fidelio”, only to name a few.