A remarkably charming and equally seductive city, Seville is located in the Southeast part of Spain. It is a provincial capital, seat of the government and parliament of the Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía. With nearly half the population of the whole province (over 700,000 inhabitants called Sevillanos) residing in the city alone, it is the third largest metropolitan area of Spain!
The city of Seville is located on the plain of the Guadalquivir River which crosses the city from North to South. The river can be navigated from Seville all the way to its outlet near Sanlúcar de Barrameda, on the Atlantic coast. In the past, the port of Seville played an important role in commerce between Spain and the Americas and it remains today one of the most active river ports of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Tartessians were the original founders of Hispalis (Seville). The Romans later built Itálica next to the Hispalis settlement in 207 B.C. and both became the center of their Western Mediterranean dominions for seven centuries until the Roman Empire was defeated by Vandals and Visigoths at the beginning of the 10th century.
The Moors then occupied the Iberian Peninsula from 711 AD to 1248 AD, leaving indelible traces in Seville as in all of Al-Andalus (Andalucia). The most well-known of the remaining Islamic monuments is La Giralda, the tower of a once important mosque.
In 1492 Seville's ports played an important role in the discovery and conquest of the Americas. The 17th century was a period of artistic splendor in Seville: painters such as Diego Velázquez, Murillo and Valdés Leal; and sculptors like Martínez Montañés, were all born in Seville and left behind important works. The city also assumed an important role in world literature and it gave life to the legendary figure of Don Juan and to opera's tragic 'Carmen' and comedic 'Figaro'.
In the 20th century, Seville found itself in the spotlight of world's attention: it hosted the Latin American Exhibition in 1929, which left important urban improvements in the city; and more recently in 1992 with the Expo92, which reinforced the image of Seville as a modern and dynamic city.