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Seville´s city hall and it's curiosities

19 Sep 2022

Seville City Hall In 1527, under the direction of the architect Diego de Riaño, the beginning of a beautiful new building was erected, which we know today as the City Hall of Seville: el Ayuntamiento.

With the discovery of America in the 15th century and the importance and wealth it acquired as a result, Emperor Charles V wanted Seville to have a town hall that radiated the power of the city. He thought the old town hall near the cathedral didn't radiate enough power. Therefore, he decided to build this new one. The town hall was built after the wedding of Charles V to his cousin Isabella of Portugal in 1526.

If you stand at the back of the building, you will be amazed. This is due to the unique architectural style 'Plateresco' that Diego de Riaño used. This architectural style first appeared in the 15th century. It is known for the fine finish and the various details that can be seen everywhere. On the facade you will find various images of historical and mythical characters, heraldic symbols and emblems referring to the city's founders. And representations of characters connected to the city. Such as Hercules (called Herakles in Greek), who, according to Greek and Roman mythology, founded the city when he visited the nymphs there, who guarded the land “the Tree of the Golden Apples” and where Hercules found one of the apples (if you of which you became immortal) had to rob.

In Seville we still have the Alameda de Hércules, a wide avenue of 450 meters long in the center of the with many nice restaurants. This avenue was created in 1574 as a public garden with two columns placed at both ends of the avenue, originating from the remains of a Roman temple near Mármoles street with Hercules and Julius Caesar on it. It was decided to be created by the son of Charles V, Phillips the Second.

Julius Caesar is another historical figure, who stands on the town hall. Caesar had been governor for a while of Roman-conquered Hispania, where present-day Seville was the capital. Julius Caesar is said to have restored part of the city and, among other things, erected Seville´s first city walls, one of the most important facts in our city´s history. Other historical figures included Emperor Charles V, who made Seville one of the capitals of his empire. Statues of the bishops of Seville (San Leandro and San Isidoro), the saints Justa and Rufina, the four evangelists and a series of angels and prophets are also on the town hall.

If you go more to the right, you will see that there are fewer and fewer ornaments. There are two stories you can believe. Story one: the architect died and they left it that way out of respect for him. Story two: The money ran out. Personally, I think the first reason is a more beautiful story to believe!