The monuments of Seville are one of the most recognizable symbols not only of the Seville capital but also of all of Spain. Truly, its antiquity and beauty testify to the great importance that this Andalusian city has had throughout history.
The Giralda, the Palacio de las Dueñas, the Real Alcázar… Certainly, Seville’s monumental heritage is one of the most valuable in Spain. Moreover, it is one of the main tourist attractions of the Andalusian capital. Do you dare to discover it?
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Seville Monuments Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
Cathedral of Santa María de la Sede
Seville Cathedral has the honor of being the largest Gothic church in the world. Likewise, it is the third largest Church in all of Christianity, being only surpassed by Saint Peter in the Vatican and Saint Paul in London. Thus, it is not surprising that it is among the monuments of Seville declared Universal Heritage of Humanity in 1987.
Construction of the Cathedral of Santa María de la Sede began in the 15th century on the site occupied by the Aljama Mayor of Seville. . In fact, important vestiges of the old mosque are still preserved: the Giralda, the Patio de los Naranjos and the Puerta del Perdón.
The temple includes beautiful Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical elements. Among the treasures it keeps, its altarpiece (the largest in Christianity) stands out. It also has invaluable paintings, stained glass windows and goldsmith works; not to mention the distinguished characters that lie buried here (such as Christopher Columbus or Alfonso X the Wise).
Real Alcázar: One of the Main Monuments of Seville
Of all the European royal palaces that are currently in use, the Real Alcázar of Seville is the oldest. It is here that the King and Queen of Spain stay every time they visit the Andalusian capital. In addition, its incomparable beauty has earned it the setting for many film and television productions (such as Lawrence of Arabia or The Kingdom of Heaven).
The Real Alcázar is a group of palaces that began to be built in the 10th century, having added new buildings throughout history. One of the characters who most influenced this emblematic monument was King Pedro I of Castile (artificer of the Mudejar palace).
The gardens of the Real Alcázar are one of its main attractions. In them you will be able to discover the different styles of gardening typical of each historical period (from the Renaissance to Naturalism). Did you know that its 6 hectares are home to more than 170 different plants?
Archivo General de Indias
The Archivo de Indias was created in 1785 by order of King Carlos III. Its objective was to centralize in a single building all the documents related to the discovery and conquest of America (previously scattered in the archives of Cádiz, Simancas and Seville).
It is one of the most important archives in all of Spain, since it preserves no less than 43,000 files, 80 million pages and 8,000 maps. In addition, throughout the year it has a wide cultural agenda full of exhibitions and activities related to the discovery of the New World.
Beyond its valuable content, the Archivo General de Indias also stands out for its architectural beauty. What’s more, it is located in a beautiful Renaissance building designed by Juan de Herrera.
Other Famous Monuments In Seville Worth Visiting
Hospital de los Venerables
Located in the famous neighborhood of Santa Cruz, this building (designed by Leonardo de Figueroa) is a perfect example of Sevillian baroque. The Diego Velázquez Center is located there: an institution that analyzes and disseminates the work of this famous Sevillian painter.
Iglesia del Salvador
The Collegiate Church of the Divino Pastor occupies a prominent place among the monuments of Seville, since it is the second most important temple in the capital. The building, built in the 17th century, sits on what was once a Roman forum and an important mosque. It is worth noting the valuable sculptures that it keeps inside.
Casa de Pilatos
Casa de Pilatos is a palace built in the 16th century that includes the best of Renaissance and Mudejar architecture. The beauty of its patio and its two gardens, as well as its pictorial collection are some of its main attractions. As with the Real Alcázar, it has served to set important film and television shoots.
Palacio de las Dueñas
The Palacio de las Dueñas cannot be missing from any list dedicated to the monuments of Seville. This 15th century manor house belonging to the Casa de Alba was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1931. Here, in addition to a beautiful architectural complex, you will find an impressive collection of works of art.
Torre del Oro: One of the most famous monuments in Seville
There is no doubt that the Torre del Oro is one of the greatest symbols of Seville. With its 36 meters high, this tower was integrated into the defensive system of Seville. Inside it you can visit the naval museum, whose collection will delight any lover of nautical arts.
Santa Paula Convent
Many of Seville’s monuments are cloistered convents, with Santa Paula being a magnificent example of them. In it you will find precious tiles by Niculoso Pisano and works by painters such as Domingo Martínez or Alonso Cano. All this without forgetting the delicious sweets made by hand by the nuns.
San Luis de los Franceses
This baroque church (former headquarters of the Jesuit novitiate) is considered the masterpiece of Leonardo de Figueroa. Special mention deserves the set of altarpieces created by Pedro Duque Cornejo and the dome painted by Lucas Valdés.
Castle of San Jorge: Essential when you visit the monuments of Seville
The castle of San Jorge has witnessed our history since the time of the Visigoths. This old Almohad castle served as the headquarters of the Holy Spanish Inquisition between 1481 and 1785. Its facilities provide a great opportunity to reflect on this dark historical period.
Basilica of the Macarena
Holy Week in Seville is unique in the world and, to understand it, you have to visit the Basilica de la Macarena, which houses the famous virgin of Esperanza Macarena. In addition, it has a museum full of processional and liturgical paraphernalia that its prestigious Brotherhood has kept during its more than 400 years of existence.
Palace of the Marqueses de la Algaba
This palace currently serves as the headquarters of the Mudéjar Interpretation Center, to the point that its own façade is an excellent example of this architectural style. More than a hundred pieces make up its collection (vessels, plasterwork, household items…), being perfect to get to know this art in depth.
Andalusian Center for Contemporary Art
It is located in the Cartuja monastery (founded in 1400 to honor Santa María de las Cuevas). The mortal remains of Christopher Columbus were housed there for three decades. When it lost its religious character, it was transformed into a pottery factory, (which is why ovens and chimneys were added). Finally, it served as the Royal Pavilion at Expo 92.
If you want to know more about the monuments of Seville, we encourage you to download the PDF guide published by the City Council. Would you like visiting them to become an unforgettable experience? Then rent a bike or take a bike tour of the city. You will have a great time!