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UNESCO heritages in Seville

24 Aug 2020

Seville has a lot of beautiful parks and buildings, but there are three buildings in Seville that are extra special. The Cathedral, Real Alcázar and Archivo de Indias are the three buildings that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and they aim to reach world peace and security through international cooperation on the three subjects in the name, education, science and culture. The World Heritage List consists of cultural, natural, historical and scientific landmarks or areas on earth that are of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’. These places are important to countries and humanity, so they must be protected for future generations so they can learn from it and also appreciate and enjoy them.

The official name of the Cathedral is ‘Catedral de Santa María de la Sede’ which translates to Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See. The Cathedral is a very old building built in 1403 on the former site of a mosque and is already seven centuries old. It was built in two different styles: gothic and renaissance style and it is the largest gothic building in Europe and the second largest cathedral in the world. Since the creation of the Cathedral it has been used for religious purposes, and it still is. If you are in the city of Seville, you can see the tower of the cathedral from almost everywhere. When you climb that tower you have a beautiful view over the city and the horizon.

In the 10th century the Real Alcázar was built in Seville. Real Alcázar was the royal palace for the Moslem governor and even today it is used by the royal family of Spain. From the Middle Ages until our time there has been a lot of construction on new buildings and beautiful gardens. The palace is rare for its combined cultures, you can find influences from the Renaissance to the Neoclassical styles. The decorations on the inside and outside of the palace are also well known for the tiles that are used and this gives the palace a beautiful look. Nowadays you can walk through the stunning gardens, patios and buildings by yourself.

The Archivo de Indias was designed by Juan de Herrera and was built in 1585. The building was meant to house the ‘Consulado de Mercaderes de Seville’, which means the Consulate of the Merchants of Seville. In 1785 it became the Archivo General de Indias to keep the biggest collection of documentation about the discovery and relationships of the so called ‘New World’.

The reason why these three buildings are so important is because they have a connection to each other and the history of Seville and Spain. Spain played an important part in the colonization of Latin-America after the discovery by Christopher Columbus. Seville became the trading capital with the Indies. The Cathedral houses the tomb of Columbus. The Real Alcázar was the headquarters of the House of Trade. And the Archivo de Indias, the name already says it, is the archive of the most important documents of the colonization of the Indies.

The Cathedral, Real Alcázar and Archivo de Indias are on the UNESCO World Heritage List to learn from, but are also spectacular buildings to look at. So when visiting Seville, a must see in the city!

You want to learn more about UNESCO and the World Heritage List? Take a look on their website! https://en.unesco.org/

Interested in visiting the Cathedral, Real Alcázar and Archivo de Indias? Book a tour with us!
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