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World expositions in Seville

01 May 2023

Did you know that we had 2 world expositions in Seville? One in 1929 and 1992.

World exposition of 1929
The exposition in 1929 was entitled Exposición Général de España.

In 1881 an exposition had already taken place in Barcelona, but it had not met expectations and therefore politicians had chosen to prepare a new exposition.

These preparations took a long time because in 1913, a designated group was finally given the preparations of a world exposition to their task with the theme of electricity in 1917. In 1914, a grant application was submitted to the Spanish government to build the park, but a few months later, the First World War broke out and eventually they did not start building the park until 1920. In 1925, the world exposition was finally given the green light, with 3 themes presented: Sport, Culture, but above all Spain.

This world exposition took place in 2 locations, Seville, and Barcelona. In Seville the site was 69 hectares, and this exhibition was also the location for the South American pavilions and was therefore called Exposición Ibero-Americana. The site of Barcelona was a lot larger, namely 118 hectares and was called Exposición Internacional de Barcelona.

The exposition in Seville ran from 9 May 1929 to 21 June 1930, the exposition in Barcelona from 20 May 1929 to 30 January 1930.

I think you all know the main building of this exposition in Seville, Plaza de España, and it was designed by the architect Aníbal González. It is the largest work of art of all buildings built in the city in the 20th century.

This exposition was titled Exposición Universal de Sevilla 1992, and was the 31st world exposition. From 20 April to 12 October, the exhibition was held in the Isla de La Cartuja district on the theme of "The Age of Discovery" and celebrated the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America. Some 42 million visitors came to this exposition.

The opening on April 20, 1992, was not coincidental on this date, as this was also the date when Columbus returned from his first journey for the Spanish kings Ferdinand and Isabella in 1493. Was the end date a coincidence? No, October 12th is a holiday for Spanish nationality.

This exposition is best known for the size of the grounds, the grounds are 215 hectares. So, people also needed several days today to visit all the pavilions. This exposition is also known for its many new bridges, including the Puente del Alamillo, gates and modes of transport.

The La Cartuja Monastery was originally a 15th century monastery where monks were once housed. After these monks had left in 1836, the building was converted into a ceramics factory.
Christopher Columbus also stayed in this monastery for some time in preparation for his world trips and supported the monks with tasks.
In the framework of the Expo’29, the monastery was restored and became the main building of this world exposition.

One of the most recognizable monuments of this world exposition is the Esfera Bioclimática. It was part of the microclimate system that helped people get through the hottest months during the exposition. How did they do that? From this large sphere, they spread a water vapor to cool down the hikers.

Would you like to visit the grounds of these world exposition?
During our Daily Tour we pass several pavilions of the exposition in 1929.
And with the Tapas Tour we come through the exposition grounds in 1992.