Seville's Golden Age

1492 was a very special year for Spain; the Catholic kings conquered Granada (the last Moorish kingdom). Thus Fernando and Isabel ended the 800-year-old Muslim rule. Before, the kings also gave Christopher Columbus the order to make his voyage to India, but what he found instead would change the world and the people who lived there forever. He didn't find India, but a whole New World. this discovery led to the golden age of Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries. In the Cathedral of Seville you can find a tomb of Christopher Columbus and in the Murillo Gardens there is a fountain with sculptures of Christopher Columbus and the Catholic Monarchs.

We offer a very special tour about the role Seville played during this time. You can learn more about this tour here!

In this period the Spanish Empire became the largest and richest empire in the world. The most important city in Spain at this time was not Madrid or Barcelona, but Seville. Seville became a capital of the world.

The location of Seville was perfect for commerce. The Guadalquivir river carried all the riches of the new world into the old world, via Seville. In 1503 the kings gave the title "Port of Indies". Afterwards, people from all over Europe came to Seville. These people were ambassadors and intellectuals. In 1505 the university was founded by papal decree. Seville was the largest city in the 16th century with a population of more than 100 000 people.

The real tobacco factory was the first tobacco factory in Europe. The facade shows the discovery of America, tobacco production and 2 Indians smoking.

In the 17th century the Sevillian golden age began to cease to exist. Reasons for that may be the plague and in 1717 the Casa de Contratación moved to Cadiz. Thus Seville lost its commercial monopoly with the Americas. In 1898 Spain had to sign the Treaty of Paris after the war with the United States. This means that Spain lost Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines to the United States. It marked the end of the Spanish and Sevillian golden age.

This rich history left a lot of things for us today. The great Sevillian monuments tell the story throughout the city. These are the archives of the Indies (UNESCO World Heritage Site). The Cathedral and the Royal Alcazar are also very important. These buildings have a lot of history and are very impressive to visit. There are millions of documents on the Spanish Empire. The Royal Alcazar was the recruiting house to regulate trade and navigation.The "Admirals' Quarters" part was the most important part used in the period. Today we can visit this place.

The Archive of the Indies was important to centralize all the documentation in one place to manage the colonies. 

The construction of the Cathedral ended in 1507 and the builders wanted to build something so beautiful and magnificent that the people who see it think we are crazy. The cathedral shows the power of the Empire.

 

Sources

The Culture Trip
Visit Sevilla
Wikipedia

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