Metropol Parasol Architecture in Seville:
Metropol Parasol is billed as the “World’s Largest Wooden Structure“. I totally believe it. It should be on your things to see in Seville list! This thing is ginormous, in a good way of course. It is located at the Plaza de la Encarnacion. The plaza used to a market place until 1973. After the market closed, the square became abandoned, and that section of the city was a real eyesore that eventually became a parking lot.In the 90’s, the city council decided to reinvigorate the square. The plan was to build a new market hall, and move the parking underground. When construction started, remains of Roman houses were discovered, and the project was halted. The plan evolved into being an archeological museum. German Designer Jurgen Mayer was the eventual winner of a competition that was launched to find a new design that would incorporate the museum and market place.
Parasol Meaning: (What is a parasol?)
A parasol is defined as a light umbrella to provide shade from the sun. It is also defined as a largely distrubed wide and large mushroom with a slender stalk. You can see why La Seta Sevilla got the nickname of mushroom then, since the shape is so similar. It has been providing shade in hot Sevilla since it was built. We definitely appreciate the Seville mushroom.
Despite years of setback and technical difficulties, construction was finally completed, and the Metropol Parasol officially opened in 2011. I can only imagine what an absolute horror it must have been for the few people that still lived in the area during construction, especially the old people. Our friends said most Sevillanas referred to the things as mushrooms, but to me, they look like giant waffles. Quite a few of the local people still don’t like it, from what he says. It’s basically located at the end of the old Seville center. It is kind of unusual in that you are walking all through the windy little streets and all. The buildings are all old, and quaint, and you feel nostalgic…then BOOM! you are at the end of the city and see this gigantic, very new structure. It hits you right in the face, and you know what? I love it. It’s a welcome jolt. The building area is 5000 square meters, and it is just over 28 meters tall. It is made of concrete, timber and steel, and cost roughly €90 million to build.
Related Reading: Cathedral Seville
No matter how the haters feel, there is no denying that the Metropol Parasol has become one of Seville’s most visited destinations, along with the Cathedral and the Giralda etc. It provides much needed shade, as the city gets a lot of sunshine. There are bustling businesses all around. Apartments are hard to come by, as people have moved back in droves. It was interesting to see this short video about how the Metropol Parasol came to be. You get the feeling that all the council members are very,very,very old, judging by the guy on camera :-). Kudos to them for having the vision to go bold, and new. They voted for the future instead of playing it safe. It certainly has paid off in spades! Everyone seems to have come around and now like the La Seta Sevilla or at least recognize that it’s a big draw for tourists in Seville. The el parasol gets really crowded at night because most Sevillanos stay home during the day to escape the brutal heat and come out at night to enjoy the cooler temperatures.
We visited the Metropol Parasol at night to get a different view. It’s absolutely beautiful. Entry is €2.50 for visitors, but free for residents of Seville. Your admission comes with a free drink. The archeological museum was closed already when we visited, but hopefully, we will get to see it sometime. The elevator takes you up to the fourth floor. You can then walk around the Sevilla metropol parasol and get really good views of Seville, which was awesome. You wind your way back down the wide steps. It is such a cool place to hang out in. There are lots of cafes and shops in the vicinity. We got ourselves some ice cream and sat on the steps, people watching.
For sure, the Parasol Sevilla a must see in Seville. Highly recommended :-). At the end of the street where the Metropol Parasol is located, there is a plaque on the building wall that our friends showed us. It was work done by some famous Spanish guy (sorry, the name escapes me :-) ). There is a bird in the tile work, and legend says that if you find the bird, you will get married soon. We stared at it for like 5 minutes..but did not find the bird, perhaps because we were already married? Here is the tile work below. Can you find it? I know it’s hard to see :-)
Have you been to the Metropol Parasol? Do you think it looks more like mushrooms than waffles? Does it look too futuristic to you?
The bird is here..cheeky bastard used it as a signature! You spend so much time looking at the image itself..don’t you? so did l!!!
Where is the metropol parasol (la seta Sevilla) located?
Metropol Parasol is located in La Encarnation Square (plaza de la encarnation Sevilla) which is in the old quarter.
Opening hours of La Seta are 10AM-11PM Daily.
Friday and Saturday 10AM-11:30PM
What do you think of La Seta? and the forward thinking of the local council? Kindly weigh in your view..