Sevilla is the Hispanic word for the province (and capital city of the said province) in southern Spain that the Anglo-Saxon world knows as Seville.
Brief History and origins
The exact origins of Sevilla are like most places lost in the sands of time.
The general consensus is that it is thought to have started as a tartessian settlement called Ispal sometime in the [800} b.c., it was raised on a small mount by the shore of the river Guadalquivir.
This settlement quickly flourished due to its strategic location and unique sailable river.
This settlement soon turned into a major city and by the year 500 b.c. was on of the major commerce centres for the area.
But during the course of the Second Punic War it fell to Carthage. Taking advantage of its already well-established routes they formed strong bonds between themselves, Sevilla, and the Phoenicians and Greeks.
Much later during the domination of the Romans, it was turned into the capital of the Betic state.
It was during this period that its true military value became apparent and alongside Cordoba became the hub of western Mediterranean civilisation.
During the Visigoths times Sevilla was constantly embroiled in civil dispute between the Arians and the Christians.
This unrest even though lengthy and damaging to the city, lay the first stones for the basis of Christianity throughout the southern delta
In 712, Sevilla was finally conquered by the Arabs and renamed to Isbiliya, which is the root of the word, as we know it now.
During the Caliphate, even though still an important city it was lead to be o dependent on Cordoba, the capital of the Al-Andalus*.
Due to their close proximity this dependency also meant that Sevilla became inundated with culture and science.
The 23rd of November 1248 after a long siege, Sevilla fell into the hands of Fernando of Castille and was appointed the bosom of the court.
Once in hands the Christians Sevilla flourished with business and exportation, with the discovery of America this city was turned into the only port of entrance to the country with goods from the New World.
The catholic kings monopolised this position even more in 1503, by establishing ‘La Casa De La Contratacion’ (The Contractor House) which dealt exclusively with all the business transactions and voyages related to America.
This move turned Sevilla into one of most important cities of the Western world and it remained that way until the 17th century in which slowly the balance of power was reallocated to Cadiz.
Now, it is the capital of the province of same name and even though it holds no special powers it is still considered one of the most important cities of Andalucia and is the one of the cultural capitals of southern Spain.
Notable recent events
Main rivers and mountains
- Guadalquivir – Thanks to this river Sevilla boasts Spain’s only inland commercial marine port.
- It is bordered by the Sierra Betica on the north.
* Al Andalus is the name fiven to the majority of the lands of the Arabic caliphate in Spain. The vast majority of the lands it covered now are part of the community Andalucia.
- El Alcazar – An important fortress in Arabic times and later reconverted into a palace for the monarchs it is settled in between the river Guadalquivir and Tagarete.
- La Giralda - The tower of the mesquite of the city. It was built originally as an astronomic observatory.
- La Catederal de Sevilla - The cathedral was raised in the place that the mesquite used to stand (the Giralda is all the remains of it now). It was one of the main cathedrals of the Christian faith when it was built in 15th century.
- La Torre de Oro (the Tower of Gold) - So called because of the whites tiles embedded in the roof reflected the sun to cause the illusion of a golden cover on the tower.
- University of Sevilla – Dating form the 15th century this was a monastery and church reconverted for academic purposes.
- Isla de la Cartuja – As an important industrial island it is was home to the Expo ’92 and now houses a massive theme park
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. My Memory
Thanks for the help to Gritchka
for the clarification and to my mentor wertperch
for his help and support.