Plaza de España was built for the Ibero-American exhibition of 1929. The original idea for this exhibition was to encourage tourism by hosting a cultural event of an international scope at a time when commercial fairs were in decline. The architect, Aníbal González, designed a series of buildings and pavilions to be constructed within the María Luisa Park, to create the twin monuments of the Plaza de España and the Plaza de América.
The Plaza de España is semi-circular in shape, has a diameter of 170 metres and is flanked by two 80 metre high towers. Bordering the Plaza is a canal, crossed by Venetian-style footbridges, adorned with balustrades of ceramics from Triana. All around the semi-circle are benches decorated with tiles illustrating historical episodes; one for each Spanish province.
The plaza is truly beautiful. Families and young couples row small boats through the canal and horses pull carriages of tourists around the fountain in the middle of the semi-circle.
On the main bridge leading to the building is where the Star Wars movie, Attach of the Clones, was filmed. The plaza was also used in the film Lawrence of Arabia.
Visitors can climb the nearby stairs and look down over the plaza and the María Luisa park from the balconies above. Around the park people selling fans and other souvenirs can usually be seen.
- Nuñez, J. (ed) n.d., Seville in Focus, EDILUX