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(səvĭl`, sĕ`–), Span. Sevilla, city (1990 pop. 678,218), capital of Seville prov. and leading city of Andalusia, SW Spain, on the Guadalquivir River. Connected with the Atlantic by the river and by a canal accessible to oceangoing vessels, Seville is a major port as well as an important industrial, cultural, and tourist center. Wines, fruit, olives, cork, and minerals are exported. Its industries include the manufacture of tobacco, armaments, explosives, perfume, porcelain, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, textiles, and machinery. It has a university (founded 1502).

Points of Interest

Seville has kept much of its Moorish aspect. The Gothic cathedral (1401–1519), one of the world's largest, occupies the site of a former mosque, of which two parts remain—the Court of Oranges and the beautiful GiraldaGiralda
, the famous tower adjoining the Cathedral of Seville, Spain. It was built (1163–84) to serve as minaret to the main mosque of Seville, on the site of which the cathedral now stands.
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 tower. The interior of the cathedral is extraordinarily rich and contains invaluable works of art and the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Adjoining the cathedral is the alcazar, built (14th cent.) in Moorish style by Moorish artisans on the order of Peter I (Peter the Cruel) and rivaling the Alhambra in its exquisite decorations and splendid halls. Among the many other notable buildings of Seville are the city hall (16th cent.); the former lonja, or exchange, which contains the archives of Spanish America; the university buildings, which were formerly a large tobacco factory (scene of part of the action of Mérimée's and Bizet's Carmen); and numerous churches and private palaces. Seville is the capital of bullfighting in Spain and a center of the Andalusian Romani (Gypsies), famed for their songs and dances.


The ancient Hispalis, Seville was important in Phoenician times. It was favored by the Romans, who made it a judicial center of Baetica prov. and who built the nearby city of Italica (where the emperors Trajan and Hadrian were born), of which some ruins remain. Seville continued as the chief city of S Spain under the Vandals and the Visigoths. In the 6th cent. Seville was a center of learning. Falling to the Moors in 712, it was (c.1023–1091) the seat of an independent emirate under the AbbadidsAbbadids
, Arab dynasty in Spain that ruled Seville from 1023 to 1091. Taking advantage of the disintegration of the caliphate of Córdoba, the cadi [judge-governor] of Seville seized power and became (1023) king of the newly founded state as Abbad I.
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 and a flourishing commercial and cultural center under the Almoravids and the Almohads. In 1248, Ferdinand III of Castile conquered it after a long siege and made it his residence. It is said that 300,000 Moors, the majority of its population, left Seville at that time. With the discovery of the New World, Seville entered its greatest period of prosperity. It was the chief port of trade with the new colonies. In addition to its economic prosperity, it was the seat of a flourishing school of painting to which Velázquez, Murillo (both natives), and Pacheco belonged. In 1718, Seville was superseded as a port by Cádiz. Its economic recovery from the subsequent decline is only recent. In 1810 the French sacked the city. Seville was held by the Nationalists throughout the civil war (1936–39). The 1992 World Exposition was held at Seville.


a port in SW Spain, on the Guadalquivir River: chief town of S Spain under the Vandals and Visigoths (5th--8th centuries); centre of Spanish colonial trade (16th--17th centuries); tourist centre. Pop.: 709 975 (2003 est.)
References in periodicals archive ?
He, the 'Abbasid wazir, and, to a lesser extent, the caliph took pains to make it very clear that the caliph granted the documents on the basis of his trust in the two Sevillians.
And as we strolled slowly back through the Sevillian streets hand-in-hand our thoughts became one and the same: "How many days until next year's Feria?
Mary Elizabeth Perry has observed that similar rights were granted to the wives and widows of Sevillian artisans; see: Gender and Disorder in Early Modern Seville, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ.
73-101, y "Juan de Luzon in the Sevillian Painting Trade with the New World in the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century".
The War of the Independence and the local elites: Reflections around the Sevillian case
The connection with the city goes still further, since Rossini chose the Sevillian tenor and composer Manuel Garcia to create the role of Count Almaviva.
Pepe-Hillo was a southerner, from the outskirts of Seville, and displayed all the grace and superstition traditionally associated with Sevillian bullfighters.
See Ruth Pike, Aristocrats and Traders: Sevillian Society in the 16th Century (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1972), 188.
In this sense, the fact that more than 80% of Sevillian firms have a high dependence degree may help to explain why the Sevillian economy belongs to the last group among the 52 Spanish provinces in all macroeconomic indicators.
102) Verdi Webster, Art and Ritual in Golden-Age Spain: Sevillian Confraternities and the Processional Sculpture of Holy Week (Princeton, 1998), 3-4.
34) Through her great-grandfather she was related to the marquis of Santa Fe de Guardiola, a Sevillian nobleman promoted to the post of oidor (judge) in the audiencia of New Spain.
Chapter three, entitled "Mariner, Would You Scratch My Legs," represents the author's gleanings from the aforementioned 175 peninsular cases the author found mainly in the Sevillian Archive of the Indies.