Two-Dimensional Ideas

A tour of the graphics kept at the Archive of the Province of Seville

By Andalusian Archives

Archivo Histórico Provincial de Sevilla

The attack of Francis Drake against Cartagena de Indias (1591) by Tordesillas, Juan de.Andalusian Archives

Among the millions of documents stored in the archives, a small part includes graphics with special characteristics that set them apart from the rest.

The main one is that they represent a physical reality or idea using lines and colors that enable us to position ourselves in an urban space, construction, object, or past event.

Church. The church bulding is in the square. Esquivel (Alcalá del Río) (01/12/1951-31/12/1951)Andalusian Archives

Maps and plans

Maps and plans are scale representations of spaces, buildings, works, and objects that provide interesting data for territorial distribution and urban planning. Location plans are drawn up for building and renovation projects to locate a construction or building within a certain area.

During the Franco regime, the Spanish National Institute for Colonization (INC) developed a colonization policy for irrigated land that required planimetrics to plan new colony towns, including housing, schools, and buildings. Esquivel (Alcalá del Río) was planned by Alejandro de la Sota in 1952.

The tower or bell tower of the parish church, San José Obrero (1953), is the most prominent vertical element.

Settlers house. Sacramento (Las Cabezas de San Juan) (01/04/1965-30/04/1965)Andalusian Archives

Sacramento (Las Cabezas de San Juan) was planned in 1965 by Fernando de Terán Troyano.

The INC allocated colonists a home and plot of land that became their property after guardianship and amortization periods.

Elevation and main floor plan for a colonist single-story family home.

Public Buildings. Arroyo Salado (Morón de la Frontera) (01/05/1949-31/05/1949)Andalusian Archives

Guadalema de los Quintero (Utrera) in the Arroyo Salado de Morón region was created in 1948 and is the imaginary town that appears in certain comedies by the Álvarez Quintero brothers. It is, in fact, named after these dramatists and poets from Utrera.

Homestead. Cortijo Uceda (Carmona) (1944)Andalusian Archives

The Uceda Estate lies within the Municipality of Carmona (Seville).

This is an elevation and floor plan of the main farmhouse on the estate.

Sketch of Chapel. Torre Rubia (Alcalá del Río) (01/05/1950-31/05/1950)Andalusian Archives

The Torre Rubia Estate on Las Torres land is in Alcalá del Río (Seville), in the lower Guadalquivir Valley.

This is a sketched plan of the chapel on the estate.

Schools and teacher´s houses. Torre Rubia (Alcalá del Río) (15/09/1948)Andalusian Archives

The National Institute for Colonization (INC) also created schools in the new towns to give colonists' children an adequate education and, consequently, housing for teachers working at the schools, as can be seen here on the Torre Rubia Estate.

School chapel. Torre Rubia (Alcalá del Río) (01/10/1950-31/10/1950)Andalusian Archives

The new schools created by the National Institute for Colonization (INC) also had chapels, such as the one shown on this plan belonging to a school on the Torre Rubia Estate.

Tobacco factory of Seville (1591)Andalusian Archives

Construction and factories

Cartographic documents do not just show the skills and creativity of the engineers and architects involved in the planning and development of infrastructure, objects, and buildings. They also reveal those of masters and artisans in different trades.

When it was built in 1620, the Royal Tobacco Factory in Seville was located in Plaza de San Pedro, in the "casas de la Galera" where Plaza Cristo de Burgos stands today. In the 18th century, it was moved to the building on Calle San Fernando and at the end of the 19th century the factory moved to the Los Remedios neighborhood.

Since then, the old building has seen huge transformation to make it suitable for its current role as the home of the University of Seville.

Tobacco factory of SevilleAndalusian Archives

Detail of the cast iron fence at the Royal Tobacco Factory in Seville, which separates the building's main facade from Calle San Fernando.

It was erected around 1860 by Seville foundry Portilla Hermanos y White and based on a model used inside the Crystal Palace at London's 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park.

Isabel II Bridge (1903-05-19/1903-05-19)Andalusian Archives

Elevation, floor, and cross-section plan of the Isabel II Bridge, popularly known as the Triana Bridge, showing engineer José María Castrillo's widening project for the bridge and its access ramps.

This work was not carried out until 1916 under a new project by Félix Ramírez Doreste.

This bridge connecting central Seville with the Triana district is thought to be the oldest iron bridge in Spain and is a good example of 19th-century industrial architecture.

It was built between 1845 and 1852 to replace the old Barcas Bridge and built by French engineers Ferdinand Bernadet and Gustave Steinacher, who were inspired by the Pont du Carrousel in Paris.

Isabel II Bridge (detail) (1903-05-19/1903-05-19)Andalusian Archives

In this detail from the plan for replacing the boat passage arch with two metal sections (1903), we can see the cross-section of an original finial on the Triana Bridge deck.

These beautiful artistic finials disappeared from 1918, when the bridge's appearance altered: it was given cantilevered pedestrian sidewalks and the original deck was later changed.

Altozano Square. Triana (detail) (1919-09-15/1919-09-15)Andalusian Archives

Sketch elevation of public toilet kiosk in Plaza del Altozano in Seville's Triana neighborhood.

Letter patent of nobility (30/01/1764) by González de Andía y Palacios, José.Andalusian Archives

Heraldic shields

Heraldic shields or coats of arms, so called because they were placed on arms (weapons) and military insignia, depicted distinctive elements of a person, lineage, city, or entity. They emerged in Europe during the Middle Ages, became hereditary, and were mainly decorated according to the seniority, merit, and power of their owner.

Coat of arms from the Patent of Nobility of brothers Don Miguel Luis and Don Antonio del Valle Caviedes, part of a notarial deed dating from 1807.

Patents of Nobility were judicial documents issued by the chambers of the noblemen of the Chancelleries of Granada and Valladolid containing the judgment granting the status of nobleman on the petitioner.

Letter patent of nobility (30/01/1764) by González de Andía y Palacios, José.Andalusian Archives

Family tree of the Caviedes brothers, Don Miguel Luis and Don Antonio del Valle Caviades, part of the Patent of Nobility for both.

Title of earl of Miraflores de los Ángeles (28/11/1689)Andalusian Archives

Detail of the Count of Miraflores de los Ángeles' coat of arms. The Spanish nobleman and soldier's title shield was granted by King Carlos II to Juan de Torres de Navarra y de la Vega Ponce de León, who previously held the title Vizconde (Viscount) de la Vega.

This title was presented as proof of conviction in an dossier at an extensive trial in 1989 brought by his heirs.

Drawing for the gravestone by Hernando Colón (1539-07-12/1539-08-17) by Castellanos, Pedro de.Andalusian Archives

Hernando or Fernando Columbus (1488–1539), son of Christopher Columbus, was an outstanding bibliographer and cosmographer who owned one of the most important libraries of his time.

He died in Seville in 1539, and was buried in the main nave of the city's cathedral.

In his will, he specified his gravestone design, stating it should bear the phrase "To Castile and León a new world given by Colón" (Colón being the Spanish form of Columbus). He also said the wording should be framed by four open books with the epigraphs "Authors, Sciences, Epitomes, and Subjects": the various catalogs for organizing his book collection.

Retablo (1611) by Ríos, Francisco de los.Andalusian Archives


Often located among archival documents are artistic depictions that visually develop the content of a specific text and some are outstandingly beautiful with fabulous attention to detail. They are usually found in protocols, lawsuits, or administrative files.

Urn (06/01/53) by Quesada, Gabriel José de.Andalusian Archives

Drawing found in a notarial deed of an urn with a cross and angels belonging to the Brotherhood of the Holy Cross, of the Triana Bakers' Guild, in the old Convent of Our Lady of Victory in Seville.

Mill (20/02/30) by Ocampo, Francisco de.Andalusian Archives

Drawing of a mill found in a notarial deed dated 1630, done by Spanish sculptor Francisco de Ocampo y Felguera.

Drawing of knife and sheath (1852-07-09/1853-07-30) by Ramos y Vázquez, Joaquín.Andalusian Archives

Drawing of a knife and sheath found in a dossier from a judicial file in the War and Navy Clerk's Office archives.

Mill (1788) by Lucas Cintora.Andalusian Archives

Vertical elevation drawing of a mill and water wheel built on the banks of the Viar River (Seville) from the archives of the Real Audiencia appellate court.

Credits: Story

Two-Dimensional Ideas

Organized by:
Ministry of Culture of the Regional Government of Andalusia

Curator and texts: Francisco Fernández López y Susana Cano García
Historical Archive of the Province of Seville
Photography: Laura Pérez Vega
Historical Archive of the Province of Seville
Digital Exhibition: Charo Andreu Abrio.
Directorate General of Cultural Innovation and Museums.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Google apps