Seville, 500 years later

Join us as we explore the city of Seville in 2019, 500 years after the Magellan-Elcano expedition set sail—the first to travel all the way around the world.

By Seville City Council

Seville City Council

El Arenal District (2019)Seville City Council

On August 10, 1519, Magellan set sail from Seville along the Guadalquivir River on a quest to circumnavigate the globe for the first time in history. Large companies sprung up in Seville, which was a global hive of activity, and it continues to be an inspirational city today.

Join us on a stroll around Seville, visiting places that will take you back to the time when Magellan was planning his journey.

Las Muelas Port (2019)Seville City Council

Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano set off from the Muelle de las Mulas dock, overlooked by what is now the Los Remedios neighborhood on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. They headed for Sanlúcar de Barrameda and, from there, the open sea.

Reales Atarazanas de Sevilla (Seville's Shipyards) (2019)Seville City Council

Seville's shipyards, the Reales Atarazanas de Sevilla, represented the Crown of Castile's naval industry.

The shipyards were made up of 17 bays in which galleys and other vessels were built, repaired, and stored. They gradually became a huge storage facility for the wide variety of products imported and exported every day between the city and destinations all over the world.

Patio de Banderas Courtyard (2019)Seville City Council

The Patio de Banderas courtyard in the Real Alcázar de Sevilla—the oldest royal palace in the world still in use today—is one of the most visited and remarkable places in Seville.

Surrounded by an exterior wall, near the port and just a stone's throw from the cathedral with its Moorish tower, the square has been the backdrop to numerous spectacular events.

Between the Royal Alcazar and Seville's Cathedral (2019)Seville City Council

In the 16th century, blacksmiths and other workshops occupied the space between the cathedral, the Lion's Gate (Puerta del León), and the Royal Alcázar's inner walls.
In the early 17th century, the area was chosen to be the site of the great Merchants' Exchange, or Casa Lonja de Mercaderes.

The exchange building would later become the General Archive of the Indies, or Archivo General de Indias, housing most of the historical documents relating to the first circumnavigation of the world.

Calle de la Borceguinería (Buskin-Makers' Street) (2019)Seville City Council

The road that is now Calle Mateos Gago, in the Santa Cruz neighborhood, connects the square called Plaza Virgen de los Reyes with Calle Fabiola.

The street was formerly known as Calle de la Borceguinería (Buskin-Makers' Street), so-named because the shoe- and buskin-makers' union was located there until the 18th century.

Seville's Cathedral (2019)Seville City Council

Seville's cathedral was a symbol of the power and wealth of the Sevillian Church in its golden age.

It is the world's largest Gothic cathedral, completed while planning for the Magellan-Elcano expedition was underway. The sheer scale of this astounding architectural work continues to captivate all those who visit it—and it will for years to come.

Casa de la Contratación (House of Commerce) (2019)Seville City Council

The Casa de la Contratación (House of Commerce) was founded in 1503 to take control of the flow of trade from the Indies. It was housed in several rooms of the Royal Alcázar, overlooking a small square in which scribes and official clerks were kept busy with clients, officially witnessing their business dealings.

Puerta de Jerez Square (2019)Seville City Council

The city of Seville acted as a powerful magnet for all sorts of people. They jostled against one another in crowded places such as Puerta de Jerez square, which was—and still is—one of the busiest thoroughfares in Seville.

Calle Alemanes (Germans Street) (2019)Seville City Council

Calle Alemanes (Germans Street) is in Seville's old town. It owes its name to the fact that German merchants began to settle there from the Middle Ages.

It was also known as Calle de las Gradas (Street of Steps) because of the steps along the facade of the Patio de los Naranjos (Orange Tree Courtyard). These steps' location between the city's old Moorish silk market (Alcaicería), Town Hall (Cabildo), and the port, made them an important commercial hub.

El Arenal District (2019)Seville City Council

El Arenal is a neighborhood in Seville's old town. It has a footpath along the Guadalquivir River, where an 18th-century watchtower called the Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold) stands.

At the time of the Magellan-Elcano expedition, the ground there was sandy. It was a place of frenetic activity, with goods being constantly loaded and unloaded.

Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold) (2019)Seville City Council

The El Arenal district was closed off at the Torre del Oro by a section of wall that connected it to the Torre de la Plata (Tower of Silver). This formed part of Seville's city walls, built to protect the Royal Alcázar.

It seems the name Torre del Oro is derived from the golden reflections produced by the tiles that used to adorn its walls.

Ships that were about to embark on expeditions across the globe were prepared and loaded in the tower's shadow.

Torre de la Plata (Tower of Silver) (2019)Seville City Council

Overshadowed by its more famous sister, the Torre del Oro, the Torre de la Plata went unnoticed in its modern urban surroundings until more recently. It currently houses a hidden world of offices, awaiting a more fitting recognition of its undeniable historical value.

Puente de Barcas (2019)Seville City Council

For almost 700 years, Seville's pontoon bridge, the Puente de Barcas, was the first and only bridge over the stretch of the Guadalquivir River that runs through the city. It connected the Triana neighborhood with the rest of the city.

The bridge was commissioned in 1171 by the caliph of the Almohad empire, Abu Yaqub Yusuf.

At the time of the Magellan-Elcano expedition, the bridge was made of wood and supported on tethered barges.

Santa Ana Church (2019)Seville City Council

Santa Ana Church (Iglesia de Santa Ana) is located in the Triana district and is popularly known as the Catedral de Triana, or Triana Cathedral.

In the 16th century, Triana was a seafaring district. It was home to navigators, shipmasters, sailors, caulkers, and shipwrights, as well as ceramicists, innkeepers, and a constant flow of people passing through.

Our Lady of Victory (Virgen de la Victoria), to whom the crew on Magellan and Elcano's expedition prayed at the beginning and end of their journey, is still venerated today.

Credits: Story

Organizers: Paco Cerrejón and Manuel Parodi
Illustrations: Arturo Redondo
Photographs by David Vico and Pepo Herrera
Text: Fernando Olmedo

This exhibition is part of the First Voyage Around the World project.

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.
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