Seville is one of the jewels in the crown of Western civilisation. Inhabited for almost 3,000 years, its historic city centre the largest in Europe.

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Seville, monumental city

Seville, monumental city

Seville is one of the jewels in the crown of Western civilisation. Inhabited for almost 3,000 years, its historic city centre is the largest in Europe.

The history of the city goes back to the eighth century BC, to the biblical kingdom of Tartessos, which developed an extraordinary civilisation. Its ships sailed as far as the British Isles and ventured down the West African coast. Trade with Greeks and Phoenicians flourished and they founded prosperous factories. The Battle of Ilipa in 206 BC marked the triumph of Rome over Carthage and the Roman presence for the following seven centuries left a profound mark on the personality of Seville.

Seville Cathedral

The Cathedral of Seville was constructed on the Great Almohad Mosque. In 1401, the Chapter decided “to build another church so great that there is no other that is equal, so that the authority of Seville and its Church is considered and obeyed as reason commands”. It is the third-largest Cathedral in the world after St Peter’s in the Vatican and St Paul’s in London.

www.catedraldesevilla.es

Archive of the Indies

In 1785, by command of Charles III, the General Archive of the Indies was established with the mission of bringing together in one single repository all of the documents referring to the Indies which were, until then dispersed between Simancas, Cadiz and Seville. The driving force behind the project was José de Gálvez, Secretary of the Indies, and it was carried out by the academic and historian, Juan Bautista Muñoz, Head Cosmographer of the Indies. The splendid building, the old Casa Lonja, or commodity exchange, of Seville, constructed in the times of Philip II to plans by Juan de Herrera, is today the home of the Archive.

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